Practice Guidelines

These Practice Guidelines were developed to assist Washington County network providers in identifying approaches to working with clients who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Each section identifies both the Oregon Department of Human Services Addictions and Mental Health Division’s approved evidence-based practices and best practice alternatives for a variety of diagnoses. Neither the list of diagnoses nor the practice interventions are considered complete; they will be continually developed over time. Interventions are listed in no particular order; they are simply grouped into evidence-based practices and best practice alternatives.

Practices are briefly defined at the end of this document. Providers should ensure that they have received adequate training to implement the approach as designed. Similarly, providers are expected to continually strive for the highest level of fidelity possible for any of the listed evidence-based practices that they utilize.

In no case should these guidelines take the place of sound clinical judgment. Safety must always be prioritized and clinicians are expected to use their judgment when choosing a practice approach. Specific attention to assessing suicide risk and safety planning is noted for some disorders; however, this practice should be done with all clients, regardless of their presentation. These guidelines describe a variety of practices that are associated with commonly occurring diagnoses; however, they are not treatment guidelines in that they do not prescribe the specific course of the intervention. It is up to the individual clinician to work with the client to define the course of treatment within the practice intervention.

Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties have also worked together to develop the Tri-County Practice Guidelines. These guidelines were developed to provide a service description for mental health services that are delivered across the metro area and to detail admission, continued stay and discharge criteria for each level of care.

Practice guidelines are independent of service authorization for reimbursement. Regardless of the intervention selected, it is up to the individual practitioner to obtain the necessary authorization for reimbursement.