National mental health information priorities 2nd edition

2.9 - National infrastructure to support an outcomes focus

Page last updated: June 2005

To complement the work of States and Territories, the Australian Government established the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN) in 2003, as a focus for national activity in the development of outcomes and casemix concepts in mental health. AMHOCN comprises three components:

  • a 'data bureau' centre to receive and process the mental health outcomes and casemix data submitted by States and Territories;

  • a specialist research and development centre for the analysis, reporting and ongoing development of mental health outcomes and casemix information at a national level; and

  • a national training and service development resource centre for the ongoing use of outcomes and casemix measures, designed to both inform and improve practice through workforce training, benchmarking and related activities.
The AMHOCN network represents a milestone in the development of collaborative work between the Australian Government and States and Territories, being based on sharing of information to advance the national interest in improving mental health services. Over the years ahead it is expected that the network will increasingly provide a resource that supports parallel developments at the State and Territory level while also producing national information to guide judgements about value for money in publicly funded mental health care.

Three national advisory groups were also set up late into the Second National Mental Health Plan period to provide forums for clinician, consumer, carer and other experts to contribute to future mental health information developments. Specifically focused on outcome measurement but with a wider brief to advise on other areas, separate groups were established to cover adult, child and adolescent and older persons mental health services with responsibility for advising on:
  • the measures introduced within the National Outcomes and Casemix Collection including future modifications;

  • the use of routine outcome measurement to improve clinical practice and service quality; and

  • the training and support implications of routine outcome measurement.
Representatives from each Australian jurisdiction and New Zealand participate in the national forums, reflecting both countries commitment to promote outcome measurement concepts in mental health practice.Top of page