Developing a mobile data collection tool to manage a dispersed mental health workforce

Sarah Maddox, Donna M. Y. Read, Hazel E. Dalton, David A. Perkins, Nicholas N. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Context: The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) connects people who need mental health assistance in rural and remote New South Wales (NSW), Australia with appropriate services and resources. In 2016, RAMHP underwent a comprehensive reorientation to meet new state and federal priorities. A full assessment of program data collection methods for management, monitoring and evaluation was undertaken. Reliable data were needed to ensure program fidelity and to assess program performance.
Issues: The review indicated that existing data collection methods provided limited and unreliable information, were inconvenient for RAMHP coordinators to use and unsuited to their itinerant role. A mobile collection tool (app) was developed to address RAMHP activity data needs. A design and implementation process was followed to optimise data collection and to ensure the successful use of the app by coordinators.
Lessons learned: The early planning investment was worthwhile, the app was successfully adopted by the coordinators and a much improved data collection capability was achieved. Moreover, data capture increased, while errors decreased. Data are more reliable, specific, timely and informative and are used for strategic and operational planning and to demonstrate program performance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5616
Number of pages5
JournalRural and Remote Health
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2020

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