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ARTICLE ALERT Online

Successfully treating people with behavioral conditions is a difficult, complex process with many different variables. But we do know that therapists who regularly measure and monitor their patients' progress using brief questionnaires can achieve better outcomes, often in fewer sessions. Patients of therapists who received real-time feedback on their progress were 14 percent more likely to see improvement compared with patients of therapists who did not.1


ALERT Online is a web-based patient measurement tool from OptumHealth that graphs the patient's progress to an expected trajectory of change. This kind of feedback is especially important when the patient is not improving as expected, because it allows therapists to quickly respond and correct the course of treatment as needed.


ALERT Online helps our network clinicians improve their clinical outcomes, as well as compare their own effectiveness against their peers in the network. Members benefit too because clinicians with better-than-average outcomes are highlighted on our network directory, providing a valuable decision-making tool.


ALERT Online is the largest national program promoting outcomes-informed treatment. This innovative tool gives us the potential to help enhance the quality of mental health care for thousands of patients.


The ALERT Online pilot was rolled out in October to select provider groups in KY, MO, OR and TX. A national rollout is planned later in 2011.

1. Lambert, M.J., Harmon, C., Slade, K., et al (2005). Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61(2), 165-174.