3.1.9. Miscellaneous Questions

3.1.9.1. Clients/consumer terminology

3.1.9.1.1. The terms ‘patient’, ‘client’ and ‘consumer’ are used interchangeably in the documentation. Consultation indicates a preference for the term “consumer”.

The Department acknowledges the importance of language in describing those who use mental health services and that ‘consumer’ is the current preferred term in the sector. However, for the purpose of specifying the PMHC MDS, the term ‘client’ is used in the technical specifications. This does not imply that the term ‘consumer’ should not be used in PHN communications with stakeholders.

3.1.9.2. Provisional Psychologists

3.1.9.2.1. Can provisional psychologists provide services under supervision in priority area 3?

Provisional Psychologists fall within the broader Practitioner category of ‘low intensity workers’. These are defined as “individuals with appropriate competencies but who do not meet the requirements for registration, credentialing or recognition as a mental health professional”. The deployment of low intensity workers is at the discretion of PHNs, but of course depends on suitable clinical supervisory arrangements being in place.

3.1.9.3. Referrer postcode

3.1.9.3.1. It would also be useful to collect the postcode of the referrer to understand referral patterns across and within regions.

Referrer postcode is not regarded as essential for the national data and thus not included in the PMHC MDS. However, PHNs have the discretion to add this as additional information collected at regional level.

3.1.9.4. Multiple episodes

3.1.9.4.1. When patients receive services under multiple funding areas is the data recorded against a separate episode of care for each service? For eg: a young person is receiving care through a headspace site (priority area 2) yet has an acute episode and requires services for a follow up around a suicide attempt- (Priority area 5) is the MDS data uploaded against both priority areas?

The business rules for Episodes are stated in the MDS specifications. Episodes are defined at the level of the Provider Organisation, not the funding source. A client can only have one episode at a time for any given Provider Organisation. Or course, if two Provider Organisations are delivering services simultaneously, one episode would be created by each Provider Organisation.

Each Episode is classified according to a single ‘Principal Focus of Treatment Plan’. This may be changed in the course of an episode if the original code entered changes during the course of treatment.

3.1.9.5. Data collection responsibility

3.1.9.5.1. Does the referrer of clinical provider collect the sociodemographic and clinical data? If the former, this may not be acceptable to GPs

While referrers will continue to provide some information as part of the referral process, it is the responsibility of the Practitioner and Provider Organisation to ensure the integrity of data submitted to the PMHC MDS. Most of the data required would normally be collected as part of the assessment process by the Practitioner. GPs are not expected to provide the full set of sociodemographic data.