Blog | Drug Treatment

Improved Communication and Health Care Effectiveness

Communication is invaluable. It is necessary for our everyday lives. It is essential to our health care. We use communication to ask for help. Medical professionals use communication to provide that help, share information and expand scientific knowledge. Registries may be a good way to achieve these goals.

Because our nation and our medical professionals are finally talking more about addiction, more people are finding mental health. Health care is more effective than ever. As communication and conversation about addiction continues, hope for recovery becomes even greater.

One way patients and professionals can create community and share information is through a registry. The American Psychiatric Association shares, “A clinical registry is a system that helps providers easily collect and submit quality reports; in addition, it gives patients a secure way to provide information to their clinicians to track their progress.”

A registry does not threaten confidentiality. It offers a channel for easy access to information. It helps patients talk with their care providers. It helps care providers better understand where patients are in their recoveries. A registry shows care providers which practices work best and which will best serve patients moving forward. Recovery is flexible and fluid. Physical and mental health care needs change throughout the process. Registries help providers keep track of changes and meet patients where they are in life and treatment. They also give professionals access to information about new and changing treatment methods.

Registries and improved communication methods help patients and professionals interact. They also help professionals work together to move their field forward. The APA recognizes the importance of registries and created a mental health registry called PsychPRO. Members of the association hope this program “will spur future research and develop better ways to treat and prevent psychiatric illnesses.”

Professional meetingRegistries push professionals to talk with one another. They learn about new treatment methods or collaborate to develop them. Although different practices work differently for each patient, overall reporting helps professionals know where to start when beginning work with a new patient or considering new paths and practices for a patient to try. The APA explains that PsychPRO will be “used to better understand patients’ health care history and experiences, as well as the quality of care they are being provided…Registries have emerged as a valuable method of using the latest information technology to capture data that will aid psychiatrists in making decisions about the most optimal patient care.” PsychPRO offers a channel for communication and growth. It promises better substance abuse treatment and innovative options for recovery.

The APA isn’t alone in opening up the conversation about addiction. It isn’t alone in recognizing the importance of accurate reporting and information sharing. The U.S. Surgeon General broke a long silence on substance abuse and released a report dedicated to the topic. The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health focuses on a public approach to substance abuse prevention and treatment. It states that the first and primary goal of such an approach involves improved reporting.

The Surgeon General explains, “A public health systems approach to substance misuse and its consequences, including substance use disorders aims to define the problem through the systematic collection of data on the scope, characteristics, and consequences of substance misuse.”

The better the public and professionals understand addiction, the better they can treat it now and prevent it in the future. The report asks professionals to “work across the public and private sector to develop and test interventions and…Monitor the impact of these interventions on substance misuse and related problems as well as on risk and protective factors.” Registries like PsychPRO help professionals test treatment practices. They open communication between providers that otherwise may not have shared information. They help everyone better understand the causes of addiction and the factors that lead to treatment and recovery.

Communication between patients and providers and within the professional communication ensures better, more effective mental health treatment. Opening the conversation beyond the mental health care field also promises improved care and health.

The Surgeon General calls for practices that, “support the integration of clinical prevention and treatment services for substance use disorders into mainstream health care practice.” Mental and physical health cannot be separated. Health care that treats one and not the other does not provide complete healing. Communication can be pushed beyond the bounds of individual specialties.

The APA shares that it is not alone in creating a registry, as “such registries are already being successfully used within other medical specialties and medical associations, including the American Academy of Neurology, American College of Cardiology, American Society of Clinical Oncology and many others.”

Systems for sharing information and improving treatment practices are in place within many professional healthcare groups.

These registries promise future opportunities for communicating across specialty lines and integrating mental and physical health care. More communication means better care. It means a promising future for those struggling with substance abuse, mental health disorders and physical health issues. Registries like PsychPRO are just one sign of forward momentum in better understanding and addressing the nation’s addiction concerns.


[1] “APA Announces New Mental Health Registry PsychPRO.” American Psychiatric Association. 8 Nov 2016. Web. 30 Nov 2016.

[2] “Frequently Asked Questions.” American Psychiatric Association. 2016. Web. 30 Nov 2016.

[3] Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health: Chapter One. 18 Nov 2016. Web. 30 Nov 2016.