Readmissions to Acute Specialised Mental Health

The rate of readmission to hospital within 28 days of discharge is a commonly used indicator of how well a health system is performing.

For people accessing mental health services, this indicator can help health services better understand the effectiveness of the in-hospital treatment and community based follow-up care that they provide. While it is important to note that there may be other factors that influence early readmissions, such as the episodic nature of mental illness, this indicator is still considered a useful way of measuring and monitoring how well mental health services are meeting the needs of the people they care for.

Measuring readmissions to acute specialised mental health inpatient units

The period of 28 days is internationally accepted as an appropriate time period for the measurement of readmissions following discharge from an acute inpatient mental health service. This standard has been endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) Mental Health Information Strategy Standing Committee (as at 24 March 2011).

The benchmark for this indicator is ≤ 12% patients admitted to an acute specialised mental health inpatient unit having one or more readmissions within 28 days of discharge.

How do we measure up

The graph below shows the combined rate of readmissions to acute specialised mental health inpatient units within 28 days of discharge for each of the EMHS hospitals:

  • Armadale Health Service
  • Bentley Hospital
  • Royal Perth Hospital

Chart: EMHS Quarterly Rate of readmissions to an acute specialised mental health inpatient unit within 28 days of discharge

Rate of mental health readmission within 24 days of discharge

What the figures mean

The graph shows the rate of readmissions to acute specialised mental health inpatient units by quarter for EMHS.

A rate lower than the benchmark is desirable.

The overall EMHS rate of readmissions to acute specialised mental health inpatient units remained slightly over the benchmark during 2018. We aim to achieve a consistent rate of less than 12% at all our hospitals and this is an area of ongoing review.

Last Updated: 15/04/2021