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    Some people's mental health support needs are best met by an overnight stay in a specialised mental health facility; for others, support can be met in an ambulatory, 'outpatient' like setting. In a private hospital context, this type of care is referred to as 'ambulatory' psychiatric care. These hospitalisations do not involve an overnight hospital stay, but rather are provided either on an admitted 'same day' basis or as a home-based admitted patient service. In this section the terms ambulatory and ambulatory-equivalent are used synomymously.

    Compared with the public hospital ambulatory psychiatric care data presented elsewhere on this website, the private sector data may include some same-day procedures, such as Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which are excluded from the public sector data. Private hospital-based ambulatory psychiatric care is provided in either private hospitals with psychiatric beds or private psychiatric day hospitals (PMHA 2016) (see mental health care facilities key concepts section for hospital types). In the private hospital ambulatory psychiatric care data sourced from the Private Mental Health Alliance, the counts of episodes include only what are defined as 'clinically substantive' episodes of care by the Private Mental Health Alliance. For this reason, the patient count can be less than the count of episodes. For more information refer to key concepts.

    Key points

    • In 2014–15, there were 15,060 clinically substantive private hospital-based ambulatory psychiatric episodes in either private hospitals with psychiatric beds or private psychiatric day hospitals.
    • There were 17,723 private ambulatory care psychiatric patients who received 238,555 care days in 2014–15. The average number of care days per patients was 13.5 days.
    • The rate of private hospital-based ambulatory psychiatric patients was highest for person aged 35-44 (11.9 per 10,000 population) compared with a total rate of 7.5.
    • Major affective and other mood disorders (47.1%)and Alcohol and other substance use disorders (18.7%) were the 2 most common principal diagnostic groups recorded for private hospital-based ambulatory psychiatric episodes.

    Data in this section were last updated in October 2016.

    Data presented in this section are sourced from the Private Mental Health Alliance's Centralised Data Management Service (CDMS) and relate to private hospital ambulatory care only. The CDMS fulfils two main objectives. Firstly, it assists participating private hospitals with implementation of their National Model for the Collection and Analysis of a Minimum Data Set with Outcome Measures. Secondly, the CDMS provides hospitals and private health funds with a data management service that routinely prepares and distributes standard reports to assist them in the monitoring and evaluation of health care quality (PMHA 2016b). More detailed information on public hospital data source and private hospitals data source are available at the end of respective sections.


    PMHA 2016a. Private Hospital-based Psychiatric Services 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. Adelaide: PMHA-CDMS.

    PMHA 2016b. Private Mental Health Alliance. Viewed 4 May 2016, Adelaide: PMHA.

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