Behavioral Health Data Standards Workgroup (BHDSW) SAMHSA recently convened an ad hoc work group to develop consensus on issues related to data standards for behavioral health. The work group shares its topical expertise on data standards in behavioral health care, apprises relevant groups in the behavioral health care field of activities and trends in national data standards, facilitates and coordinates efforts to influence national data standards, and supports the implementation of data standards in the behavioral health care field.

Uniform Reporting System (URS) for block grant reporting under performance partnership grants SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), in collaboration with state mental health agencies, developed the URS—a set of 23 performance measures for the states derived from administrative data and consumer surveys. Through the State Data Infrastructure Grants, the infrastructure needed to report these performance measures is being built. The 10 national outcome measures (see Chapter 5) defined by SAMHSA as critical performance measures for all agency grantees are a subset of the URS measures.5

EHRs and personal health records CMHS is currently implementing a contract to develop prototypes of an EHR and a personal health record (PHR) for consumers of mental health services. As an initial phase of this work, the contractor is reviewing work already under way in the field in both the public and private sectors. The direction of the EHR work is toward a core set of common data standards and interoperability among ongoing systems. The PHR work will center on consumer-operated websites for negotiating and evaluating local systems of care, as well as on collaboration with consumer and family groups to develop the content for a PHR. The contractor is also examining examples of the local health information infrastructure necessary to operate such systems.6

Substance abuse information system The Services Accountability Improvement System (SAIS) of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) is an online, web-based information system used by all of SAMHSA’s substance abuse treatment grantees to input data about their projects that can be used for improved project oversight. In addition, training and technical assistance are provided to grantees on the collection of Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) data, with SAIS serving as a data


Personal communication, Ronald Manderscheid, Chief, Survey and Analysis Branch, CMHS, SAMHSA, on July 27, 2005.


Personal communication, Ronald Manderscheid, Chief, Survey and Analysis Branch, CMHS, SAMHSA, on July 27, 2005.

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