To measure in detail the costs associated with an inpatient admission.
A questionnaire for measuring the activity at inpatient psychiatric wards is being developed. Activities and contacts with staff members have an impact on both clinical outcomes and the cost of the care provided in inpatient psychiatric wards. The instrument will be used to measure these activities and contacts in interviews with inpatients. The ultimate aim will be to provide a more sophisticated way of costing inpatient services more accurately than the usually used cost per day.
A literature review of time and activity studies of inpatient mental health care was conducted to inform the development of the questionnaire along with information obtained from several meetings and interviews with staff members. The resulting draft was refined following two focus groups with staff members.
A feasibility study of 25 inpatients was conducted on seven wards to check the appropriateness of the instrument. The final draft of the questionnaire is a four to five page instrument that can be used to obtain the relevant information from patients in a short period of time (five to ten minutes). This measure will be used within Better Pathways and Doorways.