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Definition

The sum of the number of days or part days of stay that the person received care as an admitted patient or resident within a designated psychiatric unit, minus the sum of leave days occurring during the stay within the designated unit.

Components

Data Element (this item)

Comments

Guide for use:

Designated psychiatric units are staffed by health professionals with specialist mental health qualifications or training and have as their principal function the treatment and care of patients affected by mental disorder. The unit may or may not be recognised under relevant State and Territory legislation to treat patients on an involuntary basis. Patients are admitted patients in the acute and psychiatric hospitals and residents in community based residences.

Public acute care hospitals:

Designated psychiatric units in public acute care hospitals are normally recognised by the State/Territory health authority in the funding arrangements applying to those hospitals.

Private acute care hospitals:

Designated psychiatric units in private acute care hospitals normally require license or approval by the State/Territory health authority in order to receive benefits from health funds for the provision of psychiatric care.

Psychiatric hospitals:

Total psychiatric care days in stand-alone psychiatric hospitals are calculated by counting those days the patient received specialist psychiatric care. Leave days and days on which the patient was receiving other care (e.g. specialised intellectual ability or drug and alcohol care) should be excluded.

Psychiatric hospitals are establishments devoted primarily to the treatment and care of admitted patients with psychiatric, mental or behavioural disorders. Private hospitals formerly approved by the Commonwealth Department of Health under the Health Insurance Act 1973 (Commonwealth) (now licensed/approved by each State/Territory health authority), catering primarily for patients with psychiatric or behavioural disorders are included in this category.

Community-based residential services:

Designated psychiatric units refers to 24-hour staffed community-based residential units established in community settings that provide specialised treatment, rehabilitation or care for people affected by a mental illness or psychiatric disability. Special psychiatric units for the elderly are covered by this category, including psychogeriatric hostels or psychogeriatric nursing homes. Note that residences occupied by admitted patients located on hospital grounds, whether on the campus of a general or stand-alone psychiatric hospital, should be counted in the category of admitted patient services and not as community-based residential services.

Counting of patient days and leave days in designated psychiatric units should follow the standard definitions applying to these items.

For each period of care in a designated psychiatric unit, total days is calculated by subtracting the date on which care commenced within the unit from the date on which the specialist unit care was completed, less any leave days that occurred during the period.

Total psychiatric care days in 24-hour community-based residential care are calculated by counting those days the patient received specialist psychiatric care. Leave days and days on which the patient was receiving other care (e.g. specialised intellectual ability or drug and alcohol care) should be excluded.

Admitted patients in acute care:

Commencement of care within a designated psychiatric unit may be the same as the date the patient was admitted to the hospital, or occur subsequently, following transfer of the patient from another hospital ward. Where commencement of psychiatric care occurs by transfer from another ward, a new episode of care may be recorded, depending on whether the care type has changed (see metadata item Care type). Completion of care within a designated psychiatric unit may be the same as the date the patient was discharged from the hospital, or occur prior to this on transfer of the patient to another hospital ward. Where completion of psychiatric care is followed by transfer to another hospital ward, a new episode of care may be recorded, depending on whether the care type has changed (see metadata item Care type. Total psychiatric care days may cover one or more periods in a designated psychiatric unit within the overall hospital stay.

Comments:
This metadata item was originally designed to monitor trends in the delivery of psychiatric admitted patient care in acute care hospitals. It has been modified to enable collection of data in the community-based residential care sector. The metadata item is intended to improve understanding in this area and contribute to the ongoing evaluation of changes occurring in mental health services.

References

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Use within a Question 0
As a numerator in an Indicator 0
As a denominator in an Indicator 0
As a disaggregation in an Indicator 0