9. Reserved Tags

This document defines the Department reserved tags used to identify specific records types in the Primary Mental Health Care Minimum Data Set (PMHC MDS). Tags beginning with an exclamation mark (!) are reserved for future use by the Department.

Tags field definitions for each record type are available in Record formats.

9.1. !br20 - Australian Government Mental Health Response to Bushfire

PHNs in fire affected communities are funded through the Australian Government Mental Health Response to Bushfire Trauma to deliver services including:

  • Front line emergency distress and trauma counselling, with up to 10 free mental health support sessions for individuals, families and emergency services personnel
  • ‘Surge capacity’ mental health services to individuals and families who are affected, and
  • Increased demand for headspace sites in fire affected areas.

The PMHC MDS reporting changes are designed to capture this funded service activity through the reserved Episode tag !br20.

9.1.1. PHNs who received funding

PHNs funded through the Australian Government Mental Health Response to Bushfire Trauma must apply the bushfire response tag to all episodes where one or more service contacts is funded by the response.

For these PHNs, the service provider should apply the bushfire response tag to:

9.1.1.1. New clients

  • Who are accessing services funded through the Australian Government Mental Health Response to Bushfire Trauma
  • Whose access to a mental health service was prompted by exposure to bushfire (e.g. their stated reason for approaching a service is their recent exposure to bushfire), and/or
  • Whose mental health service need was significantly increased by their exposure to bushfire (e.g. based on the judgement of the service provider).

9.1.1.2. Existing clients

i.e. clients with an open episode.

  • Who are accessing services funded through the Australian Government Mental Health Response to Bushfire Trauma, and/or
  • Whose mental health service need was significantly increased by their exposure to bushfire (e.g. additional or higher intensity services are required).

9.1.2. PHNs who did not receive funding

PHNs who did not receive funding for Australian Government Mental Health Response to Bushfire Trauma activities may use the PMHC MDS reporting changes to capture the service response to bushfire trauma.

For these PHNs, the service provider should apply the bushfire response tag to:

9.1.2.1. New clients

  • Whose access to a mental health service was prompted by exposure to bushfire (e.g. their stated reason for approaching a service is their recent exposure to bushfire), and/or
  • Whose mental health service need was significantly increased by their exposure to bushfire (e.g. based on the judgement of the service provider).

9.1.2.2. Existing clients

i.e. clients with an open episode.

  • Whose mental health service need was significantly increased by their exposure to bushfire (e.g. additional or higher intensity services are required).

9.1.3. How to apply the tag in the PMHC MDS Data Entry interface

The bushfire response tag is available for use on an episode record and is denoted !br20.

There are two ways to apply the tag through the PMHC MDS data entry interface:

  1. Manual data entry by typing the tag !br20 to the Episode tag field.

    • When entering data directly, episodes will need to be tagged with the string !br20. The data entry system already allows for the tagging of records and therefore it is possible to implement this immediately by communicating the instructions to users.
    • Please note the free text nature of the tag system increases the opportunity for errors because it is easy to mistype a tag. This should be emphasised in communications with users.
  2. Tick the box labelled ‘Australian Government Mental Health Response to Bushfire’.

    • This tick box automatically adds/removes the tag when ticked/unticked. This functionality will be available by 24 January 2020.

The checkbox is on the Episode add and edit screen:

  • Ticking the checkbox will add the !br20 tag to the tag field
  • Typing the !br20 tag into the tag box will also tick the checkbox
  • Unticking the !br20 checkbox will remove the !br20 tag
  • Deleting the !br20 tag from the tag field will also untick the checkbox

9.1.4. Considerations for applying the tag in data uploads

Users of local third-party or in-house developed systems will need to address varying issues depending on the capability of the system. When considering options please be aware the PMHC MDS specification does not require that data is captured in the same manner as it is supplied during upload.

For example, an ideal solution could be to add an extensible multiple choice “Tags” field to local episode data entry screens. This could initially include an “Australian Government Mental Health Response to Bushfire” option thereby providing the organisation control over the possible tags that can be captured. By ensuring that additional options were easily added in the future such a field would support future special access programs without significant changes, as well as other purposes local or as requested by the Department.

An alternative approach, requiring less development, would be to extend an existing local field at the episode level with an “Australian Government Mental Health Response to Bushfire” option. This gives the organisation control over the values that may be selected.

In both of the above examples, development work would also be required in the data extraction process used to produce PMHC MDS compliant upload files. An endorsement of “Australian Government Mental Health Response to Bushfire” via either method would be converted to the tag !br20 on the extracted episode records where appropriate.

An alternative but not preferred option is that episode records could be uploaded and then subsequently manually tagged via the data entry interface. This would require significant manual processes and double handling but it is a use case supported by the PMHC MDS.

If you have queries about managing data upload processes please contact the PMHC MDS helpdesk at support@pmhc-mds.com.