Developing internal policies and procedures that promote the collection and use of consumer outcomes can help mental health services deliver more effective and responsive treatment and care.
Wherever possible, consumer outcomes should be integrated into policies and procedures governing case management, clinical reviews, discharge planning and all aspects of consumer engagement.
Developing internal policies around consumer outcomes can help to build more consumer-oriented clinical practice, promote sustainable service delivery and generate opportunities for quality accreditation.
Collecting outcomes data
Clinical services can promote compliance with the National Outcomes and Casemix Collection (NOCC) protocol by carrying practical definitions and links to NOCC resources on their intranet and staff bulletins.
As well as clear instructions for documenting each of the NOCC instruments, services should clearly define who is responsible for entering and updating outcomes data in the service’s records and databases.
Collaborating with consumers
All clinical staff should be informed – and should be able to tell consumers – how their outcome ratings may be used, and what feedback will be provided to consumers and their families.
Internal policies and guidelines can help clinicians to encourage the use of self-assessments as a framework for improved dialogue with consumers and carers, and to explain how they can promote more effective decision making around treatment and care.
Promoting staff development
Internal policies can also help to inform practical training for staff on the application of consumer outcomes in everyday clinical practice, as well as identifying needs for further staff development.
Policies and processes can also be developed to explore and promote the use of consumer outcomes in evaluations of specific services and programs, and in benchmarking systems to drive long-term service improvement.