Harnessing system-wide mental health data to support research and translation
The ALIVE Mental Health Research Virtual Café Translation Conversations #5
The ALIVE National Centre is proud to present the fifth instalment of Ready, Set, Translate: The ALIVE Mental Health Research Virtual Café Translation Conversations, on Thursday 28th July, 11am – 12pm AEST
The conversation will be hosted by the Next Gen Researcher Network and Mental Health Care at Scale, and will feature Grant Sara speaking on the topic Harnessing system-wide mental health data to support research and translation.
Using data to understand and feed back health system behaviour and outcomes is essential for translation. Health systems collect large volumes of data, but often only limited information flows back to clinicians and consumers. Technical, structural and cultural barriers all contribute to this information gap.
This presentation describes efforts to use mental health system data to support service improvement and translation. NSW Health’s InforMH team manages data development, analysis and reporting for NSW public mental health services. Recent priorities for data development have included improved detection of self-harm in Emergency Department data, measurement of consumer experience of care, using linked data to measure physical health care and premature mortality in mental health service users (through the NSW Mental Health Living Longer project), and improving early detection of possible suicide through establishment of the NSW Suicide Monitoring System. A “clinical benchmarking” program feeds data back to services to support improvement efforts, and reporting includes a focus on priority population groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Selected measures are integrated into NSW Health’s routine performance monitoring framework.
The presentation will describe some of the strengths and challenges of this approach. The volume of health system data is increasing due to digitization of health records and advances in data warehousing. Australia’s recently signed national and bilateral mental health agreements provide support for improved sharing and linkage of state and national data. There is great potential to reduce information gaps and support better informed services with the capacity for faster translation. However, there are also many barriers to overcome.
About the speaker:
Grant Sara is the Director of InforMH, System Information and Analytics Unit, NSW Ministry of Health. He is a psychiatrist with experience as a clinician and manager in hospital, community and early intervention in psychosis services. He has a PhD in Public Health, and his research uses large linked data-sets to examine substance comorbidity, premature mortality, involuntary care and self-harm in people using mental health services. He is a Clinical Associate Professor, Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney and Honorary Professor, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Macquarie University.
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