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Case mix is by definition a system that classifies people into groups that are homogeneous in their use of resources. The application of case mix is broad; it provides the basis, not only for reimbursement, but also for comparing facilities or programs, practice patterns, as an adjunct to quality of care and efficiency measurement, a staff planning tool, etc.


Catchment area

In the DESDE system it refers, mainly, to smallest catchment areas within every field. Social areas may be broader than health areas, and areas for specialised care (Mental Health) may be smaller than areas for LTC but larger than Primary Care areas. Areas between 50 and 250.000 inhabitants were outlined in the original instrument intended for use in mental health. Comparison areas in DESDE-LTC may be extended to 50-500.000 inhabitants depending on the location used in the country or region of reference and the territorial divisions of the geographical region being evaluated.


Clinical units (or care units)

Units of analysis that fulfil some of the criteria but do not fulfil overall criteria for being coded as a service (i.e. a unit of eating disorders within an acute psychiatric ward in a General Hospital).


Closed care

Secluded services with high level of security which is provided under locked doors. Usually these units are for crime & justice patients or persons with mental illness with high risk for themselves or others.


Continuing care services

These services provide patients with regular contact with a mental health professional, which may be long term if required.


Counting trees

These provide a standardized method of measuring levels of main types of care used by the population of a catchment area.



Deterioration in physical or mental state, behaviour or social functioning which is related to his or her condition




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