by Judy E. Hall, Ph.D.

Most healthcare psychologists recognize that the future is present. Two examples are evidence based practice (EBP) and integrated healthcare approaches to healthcare service delivery and training. For any health care problem, an integrated perspective on assessment and treatment seems essential, accompanied by documentation of the factors that promote success in treatment. In this issue we feature opportunities for Registrants to become more comfortable with the latter and continue their understanding of the former.

A new resource on developing one’s expertise in EBP has just been published. John Norcross, PhD, Thomas P. Hogan, PhD, and Gerald P. Koocher, PhD, have graciously provided Registrants with access to this publication for CE credits. This is a “how-to-manual for EBPs.” In this issue, the authors provide an introduction to this guide. On our web site are adaptations of two additional chapters from the book: Locating the Best Online Research and Integrating the Patient and the Clinician with the Research. Although valuable to any psychologist, this guide is designed to serve mental health and addiction practitioners in any setting. However, it is even more valuable to healthcare professionals working in integrated healthcare settings where interest in EBPs is the norm, not the exception. The primary care physicians will be the first to ask for these data. Using this guide, you will learn how to access, interpret and apply EBPs in your practice and earn free CE credits at the same time.

We received considerable interest in our fall 2007 issue profiling practices and training in integrated healthcare. Subsequently I interviewed approximately 15 psychologists working in integrated healthcare settings, most of whom were Registrants. All shared their experiences in family medicine departments or in other primary care settings. Using their recommendations, we promoted healthcare psychologists as essential to integrated healthcare delivery systems to the leaders in family physicians participating in a conference in April 2008. Since then we contacted each psychologist and asked for a written description of their practice approach, training program or grant in integrated healthcare. In this issue we present articles profiling psychologists as members of healthcare teams in Mississippi, Kentucky, Michigan and Newfoundland/Labrador.
Secondly, we are in the process of surveying Registrants and other psychologists in healthcare about their involvement in education and training of healthcare professionals and work history in integrated healthcare. If you have not responded to the survey, you still have time. (Look in your email inbox for the link.) The results of those surveys will be reported in the Spring 09 issue when we continue with another set of articles. If you are involved in programs or practices that you would like to describe for a subsequent issue, please let me know. Promotion of psychologists’ contributions to integrated healthcare services is one of our goals at the National Register, as follows.

To realize our goal of enhancing psychologists' contributions to integrated healthcare, we:

  • evaluate and disseminate mechanisms for ensuring quality healthcare services;
  • advocate for the continued integration of psychological services into primary healthcare and the recognition of psychologists as primary health-care professionals;
  • serve as the only National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) deemed source of credentials verification in the profession;
  • support emerging practice areas for psychologists, including prescriptive authority; and
  • designate postdoctoral psychopharmacology programs in collaboration with the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.