Improving Care, Improving Performance, or Just Improving Numbers?

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This Open Forum reviews the literature on computerized systems that purport to either assess or improve clinical care in mental health. There is little empirical support for these claims. These limitations are in keeping with the author's own experience in developing and using such systems. In light of this evidence and experience, the author argues, nonquantitative methods of assessment can be not only complementary to use of computerized systems but possibly corrective. The author concludes with the caveat that if the only things you can change are the things you can measure, then perhaps the only things you are changing are measurements. (Psychiatric Services 59:1328–1330, 2008)

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