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National Community Managed Organisation Outcome Measurement Project

On behalf of Community Mental Health Australia (the alliance of state and territory mental health peak bodies), MHCC was funded by the Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA) to work on a national fact-finding and consensus building project on individual outcome measurement use in the CMO sector. This was in partnership with the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN).

The project reviewed the use of outcome measures in mental health related community managed organisations (CMOs) across Australia.

Project inclusions;

  1. a literature review to determine what instruments for measuring mental health consumer outcomes have been developed that are relevant to the range of service types provided by Australian community managed mental health services and which might show the best potential for use across the sector;
  2. a scoping survey to determine current use of outcome measures and existing supporting infrastructure in the Australian mental health CMO sector; and
  3. a working group to discuss and provide advice on the findings of the literature review and CMHA's scoping exercise.

The project team conducted a national survey of organisations and a broad consultation of state and national funders of mental health programs, and produced an extensive literature review on one hundred and thirty six (136) different outcome measurement tools either in use or suitable for use in the sector. The results of these activities were presented to a workshop of key sector and funder stakeholders in May 2013. This workshop produced four key recommendations:

  1. Routine outcome measurement should occur within the CMO sector;
  2. Routine outcome measurement should include the collection of a universal measure of consumer or carer experience of service provision, and then be supplemented by specific measures depending on CMO service type and program characteristics;
  3. There should be production of a "guidebook" that builds upon the results of the current project and which outlines measures, data collection protocols and the preconditions necessary for the implementation of routine outcome measurement in the sector; and
  4. The guidebook would be used to structure discussion between CMO peak bodies, service providers, consumers, carers and funders to enable the implementation of routine outcome measurement to the sector.

A final report has been developed which outlines recommendations on measures that have the most potential for use in Australia across the various mental health CMO service types and identifies information infrastructure development issues that would need to be considered to introduce reporting of consumer outcomes. The National Community Managed Organisation Outcome Measures Final Report is now available for download.

To support this report, the CMHA project team will in 2015 embark on the development of a guidebook describing recommendations on what CMOs can measure, how they can implement routine outcome measurement, data collection protocols and information infrastructure and training considerations.

This report is now complemented by a Guidebook Implementing Routine Outcome Measurement in Community Managed Organisations. The Guidebook details the measures most appropriate for different domains of community mental health sector focus and activity and also provides advice on how to introduce collection of routine outcome measurement. It explores their uses and application in community organisations, the importance of consumer and carer participation, workforce training and education and outlines benefits including, consumer outcomes, service improvement, service comparability and value for money.

Should you require any information on this project, please do not hesitate to contact Jenna Bateman, CEO - MHCC (02) 9555 8388. Information about the project can also be viewed on the CMHA website.