John P. Hirdes, Mounir Marhaba, Trevor Frise Smith, Leah Clyburn, Lori Mitchell, Rita Ann Lemick, Nancy Curtin Telegdi, Edgardo Perez, Peter Prendergast, Terry Rabinowitz, Keita Yamauchi and on behalf of the RAI-MH Group
As has been true for other sectors of the health system, policy-makers and service providers in psychiatry have begun to place a greater emphasis on equitable funding, accountability, cost-effectiveness and responsiveness to the complex needs of persons with mental health problems. In Ontario, the move towards case-mix-based funding for acute care, long-term care and chronic care facilities raised an interest in the establishment of similar systems for inpatient psychiatry. What began as a funding-driven policy initiative has resulted in the development of a new comprehensive assessment system for psychiatry designed to support multiple applications to meet the needs of multiple audiences. The aim of this article is to outline the collaborative development process that resulted in the creation of the Resident Assessment Instrument - Mental Health (RAI-MH) and to summarize new research initiatives to be undertaken as part of its ongoing evolution. A detailed technical analysis of reliability and validity is provided elsewhere (Hirdes et al. forthcoming).
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