The Youth Stream: evaluating the transition to a new model of care at a regional health service

Mathew Coleman, Kelly Ridley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To determine what benefits and challenges are associated with a cost-neutral organisational change within a rural Community Mental Health Service from a Traditional Care model to a Youth Stream model. Method: Retrospective descriptive analysis of the last 18 months of the Traditional Care model and first 18 months of the Youth Stream model. Results: There was a 17% increase in the number of referrals once the service moved to a Youth Stream model. The increased referral numbers did not lead to a proportionate increase in the number of service contacts, but rather more single assessments were performed. The increased engagement was not reflected across all demographics, with vulnerable youth groups continuing to have below average engagement. Key aspects of data that would allow for further analysis by diagnosis and illness severity were missing from the dataset. Conclusions: Cost-neutral changes to services can create change, if that change is based on need identified within the service. As much care needs to be taken with data entry and evaluation if the service is aiming to perform a retrospective analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jun 2019

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Health Services
Referral and Consultation
Rural Health Services
Community Mental Health Services
Organizational Innovation
Costs and Cost Analysis
Rural Population
Demography

Cite this

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title = "The Youth Stream: evaluating the transition to a new model of care at a regional health service",
abstract = "Objective: To determine what benefits and challenges are associated with a cost-neutral organisational change within a rural Community Mental Health Service from a Traditional Care model to a Youth Stream model. Method: Retrospective descriptive analysis of the last 18 months of the Traditional Care model and first 18 months of the Youth Stream model. Results: There was a 17{\%} increase in the number of referrals once the service moved to a Youth Stream model. The increased referral numbers did not lead to a proportionate increase in the number of service contacts, but rather more single assessments were performed. The increased engagement was not reflected across all demographics, with vulnerable youth groups continuing to have below average engagement. Key aspects of data that would allow for further analysis by diagnosis and illness severity were missing from the dataset. Conclusions: Cost-neutral changes to services can create change, if that change is based on need identified within the service. As much care needs to be taken with data entry and evaluation if the service is aiming to perform a retrospective analysis.",
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