Expanding data gives a full picture of care provided by the Way Forward team

Monday, April 3, 2023

The care provided by mental health and addictions services are complex and varied, running the gamut from crisis support and interventions through to psychosocial support to help get consumers back on their feet.

Metro South Hospital and Health Service’s Way Forward team provide culturally secure mental health and addiction services to the First Nations community across the entire health service. Combining best practice care, the indigenous-led model acknowledges the cultural rights and fosters a connection within the community to help consumers.

Noticing a gap in how information systems capture the breadth of those services, Team Leader Michelle Combo reached out to their local data manager to explore if there was anything they could do to tailor reporting.

“A large portion of the work we do was put under the banner of ‘cultural support’ within our data systems, but most people don’t understand how wide-ranging those sorts of activities can be,” Ms Combo said.

“There is almost a stigma against the term with people thinking we’re ‘just’ having a yarn, meaning it is hard to advocate for the service. By working with our partnership, we were able to access features within the system to articulate what those specific interactions entail.”

A change which is paying dividends for the team.

The expanded data has supported them to advocate for the service within the system to ensure they are adequately resourced with the right skills mix to meet community need. Which in turn is drastically improving outcomes for their community.

“The functionality was always in the system to add your own metrics, however it wasn’t until we started partnered with our data manager that we learnt it was possible,” Michelle said.

“We now work closely together as one team to closely monitor the data and explore further enhancements we can make with the system, and different ways to cut it to understand the trends within our consumer interactions.”

To learn more about how the Way Forward service has leverage data to unlock its full potential, watch the latest episode of Clinical Excellence Stories on the Clinical Excellence Showcase website.

Last updated: 3 April 2023