My OutcomesMy Outcomes - Chicago 2019

Article written by Hine Moeke-Murray

For more than 20 years the My Outcomes team has been dedicated to developing innovations in applied behavioural sciences. Their award-winning team has pioneered the use of intuitive multimedia technology for eLearning, Web 2.0 social groups, advanced reporting metrics and other tools designed to enhance health sciences.

In 2008, My Outcomes pioneered the first web-based version of the trans-theoretical Outcome and Session Rating Scales for use in the monitoring and reporting of behavioural healthcare services. My Outcomes was driven by the belief that mental health practitioners need innovative and practical solutions to help them provide superior care to their clients.

My Outcomes was developed to arm practitioners with a valid and reliable tool with a demonstrated ability to strengthen client engagement in the clinical setting, increase the number of successful outcomes, and reduce early drop out.

Today, My Outcomes is successfully implemented in a wide variety of service settings with diverse clinical populations all over the world. It has an international client base that includes divisions of the U.S. military, government-funded agencies, and some of the world’s largest behavioural-health organizations. (www.myoutcomes.com)

My Outcomes - Feedback Informed Treatment

As you can see in the pictures below and taking into account the St Patricks Day celebrations and a very deliberate green river, Chicago was exciting and demanding in time and brain-matter.  Pictured are our very own Darren Malone and Michael O’Conner from Lakes DHB, Mark and Diana Kopua from MDK Solutions, Ollie Suttor, Lybian Moeke and Hine Moeke-Murray from Te Kuwatawata.  There is one person missing from the shot and that was Matiu Pennell – aka where’s Wally?

My Outcomes 1

So why were we there?  We had all signed up for the Advanced FIT Intensive Training and FIT Supervision Intensive.  To be able to participate in these two trainings and then to find Darren and Michael there, was exciting.  Our whãnau from Aotearoa in world training domination. This could almost be interpreted as being seemingly directed by higher beings.   This also gave us the opportunity to embrace whãnaungatanga with our wider whãnau from home.  Now down to the training.

As in the preamble, Feedback Informed Treatment is a tool that has been designed with the practitioner in mind.  What does this mean?  Simply, we sometimes think that what we do and how we do where and when we do is what whãnau will always need.  We have studied for years to become experts in our chosen fields, but, what we have not been good at doing is measuring our own effectiveness and who better than whãnau the very people that we work with to let us know this.

Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT) is a measurement tool that does precisely that - measure.  At Te Kuwatawata we have been using FIT as a tool to assist us in ensuring how we are working with whãnau is effective for them.  FIT provides whãnau with an Overall Rating Scale (ORS) on which they score from 0 – 10 their levels of wellness.  This gives the practitioner an indication of where conversation can begin by exploring how whãnau have rated themselves.   FIT also provides whãnau with a Session Rating Scale (SRS) whereby they can then rate from 0 – 10 how well they felt the alliance or relationship with you as the practitioner went.

Armed with manuals (6) of them, ideas on what we thought FIT was, we left Aotearoa.  Day 1 and the opening session was on Empirical Data.  At that point and we’d only been there for half and hour, I wanted to hop back in the lift and go from the 26th floor to the lobby, eat doughnuts and drink poor quality coffee.  Ollie on the other hand had stars in his eyes and excitement dopamine’s raging visibly across his face.   Excitement (Ollie) and false animation (Hine) walked side by side for the entire day.  However I did survive day 1 and realised in day 2 and 3, that Scott D Miller had laid the absolute foundational information that would take us through the rest of the training. 

Having never been a quant person but open to any form of persuasion, I can honestly say, due to the type of trainer Scott is, the supportiveness of everyone in the training, and more importantly, realising that I was not alone in not understanding the relevance of the data, I was definitely persuaded.  See a lot of people just like to get on with the doing, show me how and I will do it.  However with FIT there is 20 years of research, trials and evidence – The Science, that needs to be understood.  This the foundation and from there we were able to work with scenario’s, look for solutions, provide feedback, and more importantly, interpret data, understand scales in ORS and SRS with depth and consider how well we really are working with whãnau. 

I could continue to write about the wonders of FIT but actually I would rather talk to you about it.  There is still a lot to learn and Scott and his team are working tirelessly to improve on the current system.  What is important and messaged with clarity is “are you as good as you think you are” and ‘how do you know you are as good as you think you are’.  FIT is a way in which to measure you, to make you more curious about your practice and whether you are reaching whãnau, to make you consider your effectiveness in your area of expertise. FIT is not a tool that has been designed to use as a punitive measure or ruler but a way for you to enrich your practice based on science and the voice of the people we serve.

In Te Kuwatawata the use of FIT really makes us consider our engagement, our goals or the goals of whãnau, our voice or the voice of whãnau coming through, who’s recovery plan is it – ours or theirs, how can I improve, am I the right person to work with this whãnau – how do I know this or when do I become aware of this, or do I just plod along and whãnau achieve no real outcomes?  All these questions are not uncommon in any of our practice, but, FIT gives you a scientifically based tool to make you curious, consider what you need to do to change (not the whãnau) and how you can get their effectively.

So in closing, I would highly recommend that every Mental Health and Addiction Service consider investigation into this tool and how effective it can be in practice for you and your whãnau.

I would also like to return to Chicago – the shopping is fabulous, oops I mean to continue with the training and become a trainer for this programme.  Donations gladly accepted. 

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