For Clinicians

About M3 Checklist

M3 Checklist is an evidence-based assessment consisting of 27 questions and the assessment which can be easily completed in just three to five minutes. The M3 Checklist was clinically validated in a research study performed at the University of North Carolina, and published in the Annals of Family Medicine (2010). Once completed, the M3 Checklist computes and assigns a numeric value, the M3 Score. The patient-engaging report with the M3 Score reflects a patient’s overall mental health condition, the lower the better. The report with the M3 Score is sent to the clinician providing specific disorder subscores so treatment recommendations can be personalized to the patient’s condition and used to provide clinical support at the point of care.

What differentiates the M3 Checklist?

While there are other screening tools available, they predominantly assess only one dimension and evaluate only the symptoms of a single mental health condition (e.g. the PHQ-9 for depression or the GAD-7 for anxiety disorders). While these tools are effective and accurate within their one dimension, to get an accurate assessment of a patient’s mental health, a clinician would be forced to use several different individual screening tools––a time-consuming process. Additionally, this approach would not provide an overall measurement of mental wellbeing or longitudinal analytics. The M3 Checklist is a multidimensional screen for anxiety, depression, bipolar and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and also assesses the impact of alcohol and drug use, all combined into one brief assessment. It provides a comprehensive screen that can detect undiagnosed and undertreated mental health disorders found in primary care. These disorders can interfere with treatment compliance for other medical comorbities (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, heart failure, cancer, chronic pain, etc.), contribute to re-hospitalizations, and add to the overall cost of care for chronic medical conditions. What separates the M3 Checklist is its ability to screen for symptoms found in multiple dimensions (disorders) and its ability to do so as accurately as any single test.


Missed Diagnoses

Why M3 Checklist?

  • Provides a single rating of whether a person is at risk of a mental health condition
  • Mood and anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric conditions seen in primary care, yet they remain largely under-detected and under-treated
  • Provides an individualized patient assessment geared towards early detection of mental health problems, which are often comorbid with chronic medical conditions
  • Facilitates longitudinal measurement, monitoring and communication among care team members, which is an essential part of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH)
  • Physician can order and receive the M3 assessment report seamlessly over the lab infrastructure via HL7 compliant messaging

Practice Workflow

M3 is ordered as a test through your practice’s electronic health record (EHR) as a lab order, just like a cholesterol test. The lab results are published in the EHR as discrete data in the results viewer. The workflow is streamlined through identification and reporting of diagnostic risk, and focus is directed to the risk of mental health disorders.

Population Health and Registry Development

The care management team can track and measure changes over time and monitor the patient’s progress. The aggregated individual information provides population data available for analysis and reporting. Regular monitoring identifies patients who are not reaching their treatment targets and require adjustments in care. Aggregate mental health data can be integrated into the system’s larger data sets to be used in population stratification, analysis and quality improvement. A mental health registry is created from the compilation of a practice’s systematic screening and monitoring of patients’ M3 Checklist scores. This registry is used to monitor each patient’s score over time and can be used in quality reporting.