What opportunity did Erie County see?

In a changing health care environment characterized by Medicaid redesign and Value-Based Payment, Erie County (NY) Department of Mental Health (DMH) wanted to assist provider agencies with the ability to track their impact on recipient outcomes. In addition, DMH aimed to measure and reduce the use of acute services for behavioral health in Erie County.

How did CCSI approach the work?

CCSI worked with Erie County to pull data from New York State’s PSYCKES (Psychiatric and Clinical Knowledge Enhancement System) database and present this information in a dashboard that would be easily accessible to local providers. This PSYCKES data set shows the percentage of clients utilizing acute services, such as hospital emergency rooms and inpatient substance use and mental health services, for each behavioral health agency in Erie County. The dashboard also allows the user to sort this information by program type and level of care. CCSI developed the dashboard, sought provider input, and built a tool to pull data useful for continuous quality improvement (CQI). Using a “plan, do, study, act” approach to the project, CCSI worked side by side with DMH and local agencies as a coach and facilitator in formulating a CQI implementation plan.

What were the impacts of CCSI’s work?

After a year of working with PSYCKES data and the dashboard, four local agencies involved in a CQI collaborative demonstrated measurable improvements in some key performance areas. In addition, the project helped providers learn a means and a process for accessing, organizing, and acting on readily accessible data to achieve meaningful quality improvement. Each participating provider was also left with a sustainable practice model to continue and broaden this work.

What were Erie County’s insights?

“The need for data analysis to support an agency’s ability to show impact is huge,” says John Grieco, Assistant Commissioner at Erie County DMH. “This project brought people to the table to reinforce the importance of building continuous quality improvement into every organization.”