Performance indicators


The purpose of an indicator is to be a partial or proxy measure that provides a summary overview of a specific concept, often as part of a larger system (Pencheon, 2007; QRI, 2021). Performance indicators in health are used to describe specific aspects of our health system to monitor ‘if and how a system is performing to an agreed standard' (Pencheon, 2007, p5). They are also used to understand how a system works and for accountability to consumers, governments and funders (Pencheon, 2007).  

Indicators are usually reported in sets, so that collectively they can be used to show how a system, or a component of the system, is changing or progressing (AIHW, 2021).

This page reports data on performance indicators for mental health services using two particular sets: Key Performance Indicators for Australian Public Mental Health Services and the National Health Care Agreement.

Key Performance Indicators for Australian Public Mental Health Services

The Key Performance Indicators for Australian Public Mental Health Services were developed to improve accountability and transparency and act as a guide to inform decision making.

A summary of the latest indicators data is provided in Figure KPI.1. More detailed data are available in the interactive Figure KPI.2 and accompanying Excel tables. Further information on these indicators can be found in the Indicator library.
 

Figure KPI.1 Summary data for Key Performance Indicators for Australian Public Mental Health Services, 2019-20

An infographic showing performance nationally and for each state and territory key performance indicators for Australian public mental health services.

Figure KPI.2 Key Performance Indicators for Australian Public Mental Health Services, 2019-20

A series of interactive graphs showing performance against key performance indicators for Australian public mental health services.


National Health Care Agreement Indicators

The National Healthcare Agreement (NHA) indicators provide an integrated approach to improving health outcomes for Australians and the sustainability of the health system.

The NHA defines the objectives, outcomes, outputs and performance measures, and clarifies the roles and responsibilities that guide the Australian Government and states and territories in delivery of services across the health sector.

Under this Agreement, reporting occurs against the following mental health-related indicators:

  • Proportion of adults with very high levels of psychological distress
  • Treatment rates for mental illness
  • Rate of community follow up within first seven days of discharge from a psychiatric admission

The proportion of adults with high or very high levels of psychological distress is also included in the Australian Health Performance Framework and reported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Data for the indicators on treatment rates and rate of community follow up are reported in the data download National Healthcare Agreement Indicators tables.

Specifications for the National Healthcare Agreement Indicators are available on the AIHW online metadata registry, METEOR.


Indicator library

A number of different mental health indicator sets have been developed over time to measure the performance of the mental health system. Performance indicators are generally developed for a specific purpose, for example, measuring changes after commitment to a national strategy. The indicator sets can be viewed in terms of what aspects of health performance they measure using the National Mental Health Performance Framework which includes broad domains spanning areas such as safety and accessibility.

Mental health indicator sets include:

Overall health and the impact on life

Factors that have an impact on health

Health system performance

MHS PI 16: Aspects of recovery for children and adolescents according to parents/carers (141KB Doc)

† Since 2013, this indicator has been reported by the Productivity Commission.

* Indicates where several indicators with different technical definitions, including a range of sub-groups (e.g. by Indigenous status, child and adolescents) have been grouped into a single indicator title.

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