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Kaiser Permanente offers effective psychiatric screening on POV 

Originally posted at:

Kaiser Permanente offers effective psychiatric screening on POV 

"This is improving the quality of care."

Dr. Arne Beck, research and development director for Kaiser Permanente, Rocky Mountain Division, spearheaded the program to bring a new psychiatric screening test, the Shedler QPD Panel, into the HMO provider's offices over two years ago. The test is helping Kaiser Permanente provide better patient care and also control costs. Every test is administered on the hand-held Point-of-View Survey System. 

"The (Shedler) QPD Panel allows our physicians to quickly and accurately diagnose psychiatric disorders and make better treatment decisions,"says Beck. He also knows the QPD helps control costs: "When depressed patients are diagnosed by the QPD and get appropriate treatment, unnessary use of other health care services declines," he added. 
Jonathan Shedler, PhD, a psychologist, designed the QPD Panel after conducting interviews and focus groups to find out why physicians didn't use existing tests. They told him they wanted a test that: 

required no time from them; 

Required no time from their staff; 

Required no training; 

Diagnosed the full range of mental disorders they are likely to see; 

Made specific diagnoses using DSM-IV diagnostic criteria; 

Presented results in a familiar format; 

Was liked and accepted by patients. 

One physician summed it up: "We'd like to order a lab test." Now, POVSS makes all of those hopes a reality. The test takes about six minutes. It tests for eight common psychiatric disorders using DSM-IV criteria to ask true and false questions. Numerical scores are provided that measure the severity of a patient's symptoms and the physician has a lab report in the patient's charts before they get to the exam room. 

Parts of this article are reprinted with the permission of Managed Healthcare, June 1997, an Advanstar publication.


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