The 5th Australasian outcomes and information conference was held in Queenstown last week. Set alongside beautiful Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by the soaring Remarkables, it proved to be an inspirational conference – aptly themed ‘rising to new heights’. 

With this in mind, the keynote presentations didn’t fail to deliver, challenging the more than 200 attendees to do just that. 

Scott Miller urged us to become better clinicians and therapists using feedback and practice. He spoke about having a baseline in order to measure progress and using hope and allegiance well – believing in the process of engagement and expecting results to improve. 

Jackie Crowe shared the importance of involving service users and families in therapeutic work, and challenged delegates about the need to be accountable for their practice. 

Andrew Page talked about the Western Australian experience of feeding back outcome information to service users and encouraged using feedback as a way of improving services at all levels. 

Daryle Deering and Sheridan Pooley discussed why the development of ADOM is a good example of co-production, and the context of using outcome measurement in a recovery paradigm. 

Many insights and ideas emerged from the conference.

  • The need to tell people’s stories using data (“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” W. Edward Deming).
  • We may not be as good as we think we are therapeutically and outcomes feedback can be a way of helping us get better as clinicians and therapists.
  • All services need to consider how they measure effectiveness.
  • Services need to learn how we share information with service users and families.

There was a great vibe at the conference, with feedback such as it included a good selection and variety of some great content. We thank everyone who attended and presented, you all played a part in making it a great event! 

We hope the inspiration gained stays with you so that collectively we can improve the use of outcomes and information to benefit people with mental health and addiction problems and their whānau; the reason why we come to work each day. 

We look forward to the 6th Australasian Outcomes and Information Conference (AMHOIC) which will be hosted by the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN) in Brisbane in two years’ time.