Objective: To compare key performance indicators for public state and territory specialist mental health services in Australia.
Methods: A descriptive analysis of the publicly-available National Mental Health Performance Framework key performance indicators (KPI), hosted by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for 2019–2020, at the national level and for states and territories.
Results: The real-world performance of public mental health services varied across the eight states and territories of Australia. Western Australia had the longest acute hospital stays and the lowest rates of involuntary admissions. Queensland (QLD) had the shortest acute hospital stays at the lowest cost. While the Australian Capital Territory had the highest rates of community treatment at the lowest cost, the Northern Territory had highest hospital and community costs with the most involuntary admissions. Victoria (VIC) had the lowest population percentage receiving specialised mental health services, the highest readmission rates after 28 days, and highest physical and mechanical restraint rates.
Conclusions: The KPIs indicate that some states and territories show deviations from national benchmarks that may be important for consumers, carers and clinicians. For further improvement in quality and efficiency, more detailed contextual information is required, including detailed mapping of services.
- key performance indicators
- National mental health performance framework