Victoria has been a national leader in the development of resources to help mental health clinicians measure and monitor the health outcomes of consumers, and ensure continuing improvements in service delivery.
The Department of Health & Human Services has developed a practical guide on Outcome measurement in mental health, which provides clinical staff with strategies and techniques for collecting and using consumer outcomes in their everyday practice.
The guide provides advice and instruction on collating the outcomes data required by the National Outcomes and Casemix Collection (NOCC) and ensuring that all consumers, carers and caregivers are apprised of the importance of this data –for both overall service quality and individual standards of care.
Outcome measures in daily clinical practice
In all mental health service settings, consumer outcomes are critical for informing processes of assessment, review, referral and discharge. It is vital that consumer outcomes recorded by clinicians correspond with information in the consumer’s clinical file. There should also be an entry in the file to indicate whether a consumer self-assessment has been offered – and the result of that offer.
Rating specific outcome measures
Clinicians completing outcome measures and offering self-assessment measures to consumers require training in both rating specific measures and offering self-assessment measures.
When using outcome measures, clinicians should refer to the relevant rating rules for the specific measurement instrument, bearing in mind that:
- Outcome measures have different prescribed rating periods for particular settings.
- A comparison of different clinicians’ ratings is useful in cases where a number of staff members are familiar with an individual consumer.