Developing performance indicators for homeless outreach psychiatric services



Alexander Holmes, Gail Bradley, Trevor Carslie, Kate Lhuede

doi: 10.1177/1039856214520794

Australasian Psychiatry

April 2014 vol. 22 no. 2 160-164



Objective: Performance indicators (PIs) aim to improve services by measuring key activities in a way that allows comparison over time, between services and against benchmarks. This paper describes the development and implementation of Homeless Psychiatric Service PIs and explores their potential benefits and limitations.

Method: We collected descripton of quality service from key stakeholders. We identified eight key parameters, from which PIs were developed and tested over a 12-month period.

Results: The use of the PIs led to increased awareness of the practice being measured. PIs were used to stimulate practice changes. They played a positive role in team dynamics and were useful in clarifying team aims and identity. The main challenge to their use was the burden of data collection and analysis.

Conclusion: Homeless service PIs can assist in determining how well the programs are performing in activities that are relevant to clients and non clinical services for the homeless. With the movement of homeless clients away from inner urban areas, homeless performance measures may aid teams to develop the capacity to work effectively with homeless clients.