This study by the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership Clinical Leaders Project sought to describe ongoing or soon-to-be-established national-level mental health quality measurement programs in 12 participating countries, in order to understand the nature and structure of these programs.
A survey was distributed to representatives from the participating countries (Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Taiwan, and the United States). Data included descriptions of qualifying programs and the organizations responsible for them, quality indicators used, entities assessed, sources and means of the programs’ data collection, the level at which data are reported, and how the data are used. Participants were asked to identify which quality domains and subdomains were represented by indicators in each program. Results were analyzed with descriptive statistics.
Thirty-eight programs were identified. Most programs were administered by governmental organizations, focused on hospital care, and used encounter or utilization databases as sources of information. Programs used different methods to identify indicators. Program data were used for various purposes. A wide range of domains of quality were represented in the programs reported, although most commonality was seen in domains associated with high-acuity care, with fewer programs assessing recovery-related domains.
This study found wide variation among established quality assessment programs, which may reflect a focus on local priorities. The goal of this project is to work toward establishing an international framework for mental health quality assessment and thus a means to compare key measures of performance across countries.