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IAR-DST

The Initial Assessment and Referral (IAR) Decision Support Tool (DST) for mental healthcare

CESPHN’s regional mental health planning and commissioning of services is founded upon a stepped care approach.

Stepped care aims to:

  • Match a person’s needs to the least intensive treatment likely to lead to the most significant possible gain
  • Provide flexible services as a person’s needs change (I.e. step up or step down)
  • Provide accessible, quality, outcomes-focused care that responds to the needs of the population

Knowing what “step” or level of mental healthcare is required by a patient can be challenging and without a consistent pathway, GPs and other clinicians take a variety of approaches to assess and assign levels of care. This results in discrepancies in the type of care provided for similar clinical presentations.

A nationally consistent approach to mental health referrals

The Initial Assessment and Referral (IAR) Decision Support Tool (DST) provides primary healthcare with a nationally-consistent, evidence-informed, objective approach to initial assessment and referral of patients seeking mental health support.

The tool has been developed to address common challenges amongst referrers in determining the most appropriate level of mental health care and services required for patients.

Aims of the IAR-DST

The IAR-DST is an initiative of the Australian Department of Health and brings together information from a variety of sources including Australian and international evidence and advice from a range of leading experts.

The IAR-DST aims to:

  • simplify how clinicians determine the care needs of a patient with mental health concerns
  • prevent patients being overburdened with services they may not need or can cope with, or under-serviced with recommendations that may not meet their needs improve transparency on decisions made relating to referrals
  • create consistency and a common language amongst health professionals, enabling them to articulate treatment needs that will be understood across the sector.

The IAR-DST:

  • is a decision support tool aiming to guide referral and promote shared decision making and consumer choice
    is designed to be used alongside a comprehensive mental health assessment
  • collects data across four primary domains and four contextual domains (8 domains total), against which the referrer will provide a rating
  • will recommend one of five levels of care after all domains have been rated.

Further detail on the eight domains and five levels of care can be found in the  IAR Snapshot.

The IAR-DST is NOT:

  • an assessment tool
  • diagnostic
  • prognostic
  • a replacement for clinical judgement
Training Opportunities

A comprehensive training package on how to use the IAR-DST is available to all GPs, GP registrars, practice nurses, mental health nurses, allied health professionals and anyone else working in the mental health space in the CESPHN region.

There are 3 options for delivery of the IAR-DST training:

1.Online – 2 parts (30 min + 90 min)

This option includes:

  • Viewing of a 30 minute pre-recorded webinar (Workshop 1*) via Open Learning and completion of a post webinar survey. A link to this Workshop will be sent to you with your Workshop 2 registration confirmation.
  • Attendance at a 90 minute live webinar (Workshop 2) and completion of a post workshop survey. Workshop 2 sessions are delivered in the evening from 7:00 – 8:30pm, morning 9:00 – 10:30 or Friday sessions are 12:30 – 2:00pm via Zoom. You will be asked to read through a few vignettes that may be used for the practical example in the workshop. These vignettes can be found here.
  • Completion of a follow up survey that will be emailed to you 3 months following Workshop 2

*please note that completion of Workshop 1 is a PRE-REQUSITE prior to attending workshop 2. Workshop 1 can be completed at any time within 6 months prior to attending Workshop 2

2. Online – 1 part (2 hours)

This option includes:

  • Workshop 1 & 2 as described above, will be delivered in a single 2 hour session. These single workshops are delivered in the evening from 6:30 – 8:30pm via zoom.
  • There is no requirement to view the webinar before attending this training session. You will be asked to read through a few vignettes that may be used for the practical example in the workshop. These vignettes can be found here.
  • You will also be required to complete a follow up survey that will be emailed to you 3 months following the training.

3. Face to Face

This option includes:

  • Workshop 1 & 2 as described will be delivered in a single 2-hour face-to-face training session at the CESPHN Offices in Mascot. These face-to-face sessions are delivered in the evening from 6:00 – 8:30pm with networking and dinner from 6:00pm and the training commencing promptly at 6:30pm.
  • There is no requirement to view the webinar before attending this training session. You will be asked to read through a few vignettes that may be used for the practical example in the workshop. These vignettes can be found here.
  • You will also be required to complete a follow up survey that will be emailed to you 3 months following the training.

GPs will be paid $300 upon completion of the training and RACGP CPD hours are available.

Certificates of attendance provided to all attendees to claim relevant CPD hours.

Paid places for each training session are limited so get in quick!

Upcoming workshop dates are below, click the date of your choice to be taken to the registration page.

# please note registration cut-offs:

  • Registration for the 2-part online sessions closes 24 hours before the event to allow time to complete Workshop 1 prior to the interactive session (Workshop 2).
  • Registration for face-to-face events closes 3 business days before the event to allow time to organise catering

Upcoming training sessions (sessions are Online – 2 parts (30 min + 90 min) unless specified):

May

Wednesday 22nd May 7.00pm-8.30pm – Evening

Friday 24th May 12.30pm-2.00pm – Lunch

Monday 27th May 7.00pm-8.30pm – Evening

Thursday 30th May 9.00am-10.30am – Morning

June

Tuesday 4th June 7.00pm-8.30pm – Evening

Thursday 13th June 6.30pm-8.30pm – Evening (2 hour)

Wednesday 19th June 7.00pm-8.30pm – Evening

 

If there is not currently a date or time that suits you, please contact the IAR-DST team.