Development of mental health data systems in Maryland has consistently followed the principles of the Mental Health Statistics Improvement Program (MHSIP). The oldest system in use is the manual entry/exit demographic from used to collect data on traditional outpatients served at Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC). These clinics are the largest providers of public mental health services, currently serving over thirty thousand citizens annually. No data uniquely identifying the patient are currently reported in this system. A Volume of Service (VOS) system containing extensive demographic data as well as service data is also maintained locally at each site. Data systems from other program elements (inpatient, residential, and community rehabilitation) have been upgraded, allowing for electronic transfer of data, including common items to form a unique client identifier. Since a revision of the service section of the VOS is currently being prepared, an ideal opportunity exists to revise and standardize demographic data items and to replace the manual reporting system with an electronic one. Additional data items, and to replace the manual reporting system with an electronic one. Additional data items including, those necessary for the unique identifier will be included in the new requirements, allowing for the tracking of clients throughout Maryland's public mental health system. Such capability will allow for better planning and coordination of service delivery. New reporting and system requirements will be prepared, and local agencies will be given MHA consultation and funding to meet these revised, expanded requirements. Limited allowances for customized programs which would be of use to CMHC personnel will be made, and MHA personnel will host regional or statewide workshops to allow for the exchange of information about current data uses and to encourage more local use of the available data bases. Simultaneously, Maryland is moving to decentralize its system of mental health care using a Core Service Agency (CSA) model. One CSA will be established in each catchment area. It will have primary responsibility for all public mental health clients in that area, as well as control over all public mental health funding for the catchment. Each CSA will be required to establish a data system which tracts clients and costs. By writing these requirements strictly and working with the pilot CSA to be developed in FY 1991 (beginning July, 1990), development of a model CSA information system, based on the MHSIP's philosophy to other jurisdictions. In consultation with newly established CSAs, MHA will provide funding to implement the CSA information system in the program, to train the CSA personnel in the use of this system, and to allow limited customization to meet special needs which the CSA may have.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Unknown (R19)
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Maryland State Department of Health/Mtl Hygiene
United States
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