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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 7678-7689; doi:10.3390/ijerph110807678

Assessing Program Efficiency: A Time and Motion Study of the Mental Health Emergency Care — Rural Access Program in NSW Australia

1
Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health, University of Sydney, Broken Hill, NSW 2880, Australia
2
University of Sydney, Orange, NSW 2800, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 May 2014 / Revised: 15 July 2014 / Accepted: 24 July 2014 / Published: 31 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health Care)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [432 KB, uploaded 31 July 2014]   |  

Abstract

The Mental Health Emergency Care-Rural Access Program (MHEC-RAP) is a telehealth solution providing specialist emergency mental health care to rural and remote communities across western NSW, Australia. This is the first time and motion (T&M) study to examine program efficiency and capacity for a telepsychiatry program. Clinical services are an integral aspect of the program accounting for 6% of all activities and 50% of the time spent conducting program activities, but half of this time is spent completing clinical paperwork. This finding emphasizes the importance of these services to program efficiency and the need to address variability of service provision to impact capacity. Currently, there is no efficiency benchmark for emergency telepsychiatry programs. Findings suggest that MHEC-RAP could increase its activity without affecting program responsiveness. T&M studies not only determine activity and time expenditure, but have a wider application assessing program efficiency by understanding, defining, and calculating capacity. T&M studies can inform future program development of MHEC-RAP and similar telehealth programs, both in Australia and overseas. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental health; telemedicine; emergency medical services; efficiency; program development; Australia mental health; telemedicine; emergency medical services; efficiency; program development; Australia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Saurman, E.; Lyle, D.; Kirby, S.; Roberts, R. Assessing Program Efficiency: A Time and Motion Study of the Mental Health Emergency Care — Rural Access Program in NSW Australia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 7678-7689.

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