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New report highlights progress in treating depression

Minnesota Community Measurement's first report on depression care in the state highlights progress in identifying and caring for adults and adolescents diagnosed with depression.

In 2016, more than 16 million adults in the U.S. experienced at least one episode of major depression in the previous 12 months, and more than 3 million adolescents age 12 to 17 had at least one major depressive episode.

Patients with depression are less capable of reaching out, keeping appointments and maintaining a connection with their provider compared to patients with other conditions. Maintaining proactive contact is key to recovery and improved outcomes.

Essentia Health has instilled new practices to ensure patients' depression care doesn't end with a screening, but results in steadfast improvements to their follow-up care, the organization reported. Essentia Health was one of five medical groups to receive a top rating on depression remission at 12 months.

"Our principles of team-based care have allowed us to share the work of patient monitoring across the team. We engaged in a process improvement project to be proactive in outreaching to patients at six and 12 months," said Dr. Joe Bianco of Essentia Health, in a news release.

"We now have centralized that process to serve the entire organization. By close monitoring, we can follow up with our patients in a more comprehensive and timely manner in order to address the complexity of treating depression."

There were 15 clinics receiving a top rating on depression remission at 12 months. Of those eight of the top performers were Essentia Health clinics in Pierz, Pine River, Valley City, Superior, Hayward, Hibbing, Lakeside and Ashland.

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