Performance Measurement

Performance Measurement (PM) has become an important mechanism for healthcare planning, system improvement, and public accountability—and a growing body of research and practice literature has documented the positive impacts of PM systems on quality of care when properly conceptualized, designed, and evaluated. The development and collection of a comprehensive set of common indicators across community mental health organizations and jurisdictions would allow for benchmarking and improving outcomes over time. It would also support the development and appraisal of service innovations that further stimulate improvement.

CMHA Toronto has undertaken research to support the development of performance measurement frameworks and indicators aimed at promoting better outcomes in mental health services.

Developing Mental Health Quality Indicators (MHQIs) for Community Mental Health Services Based on the OCAN – In Progress

Quality indicators to measure outcomes of community mental health services across providers are infrequently used because most jurisdictions lack standardized clinical data sources which are necessary to develop shared indicators. Consequently important information about the effectiveness and impact of these mental health services often remains unknown. However, the implementation of the Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN), a standardized assessment tool in the community mental health sector, affords an opportunity to leverage data derived from the tool to develop and pilot MHQI in order to support improvement efforts for community mental health services.

In collaboration with CMHA Ontario and approximate 10-15 community mental health providers, CMHA Toronto is leading a study using provincial OCAN data which will:

  • Pilot MHQIs derived from the OCAN with community mental health providers
  • Evaluate the feasibility of using these MHQIs for caring out outcome measurement of community mental health services, and
  • Support providers to improve the quality of their OCAN data

For more information about this study, contact Frank Sirotich at

Mental health and addictions policy priorities and performance measurement frameworks.

Frank Sirotich, Carol Adair, Elizabeth Lin, Christopher Canning
Healthcare Management Forum, 2019; 32:105-112.

To inform the future development of a pan-Canadian Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) performance measurement framework, we undertook a review and comparison of current provincial/territorial MHA policies and performance measurement frameworks. Most did not have performance measurement approaches that were explicitly linked to policy actions but eleven acknowledged the importance of performance measurement. Among the provinces with a framework, there were few performance domains in common. The common policy priorities and areas of convergence in current performance measurement practices may provide a useful starting point for the development of a pan-Canadian MHA performance measurement framework.

Request the Article

Key steps for a mental health and addictions performance measurement framework for Canada.

Frank Sirotich, Carol Adair, Janet Durbin, Elizabeth Lin, Christopher Canning
Healthcare Management Forum 2019; 32:97-104.

To inform the development of a pan-Canadian Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) performance measurement framework, we undertook a rapid review of the recent Performance Measurement (PM) literature and solicited input from 20 MHA policy and measurement experts. Six key steps for framework development were identified: recognizing and acknowledging key issues, developing shared language and understanding of key concepts, defining overall scope, defining framework dimension/domains, selecting indicators and using systematic engagement and consultation processes with stakeholders. Subject matter experts underscored the need for a comprehensive engagement process which would honour multiple stakeholder viewpoints and attend to key issues in the co-design of features of the PM framework. Findings from this analysis may be used to inform a comprehensive stakeholder consultation process for the development of a pan-Canadian PM framework for MHA.

Request the Article

Resources for Developing a Mental Health and Addiction Performance Measurement Framework for Canada.

Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2019.

This Mental Health Commission of Canada sponsored project involves a review of the literature, interviews with performance measurement experts, and survey of policy experts to identify areas of focus for developing a pan-Canadian information and performance measurement framework specific to mental health and addiction.

Read the Report

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