Service Information Management System decommissioning

In May 2019, the Mental Health Commission advised organisations utilising the Service Information Management System (SIMS) that the system would be decommissioned as of 1 July 2021. All community based organisations contracted by the Mental Health Commission utilising SIMS must be transitioned to their own system before 1 July 2021.

The Mental Health Commission has provided funding to WANADA to assist with the implementation of a system for all interested organisations.

The Commission have secured a contract with Global Health for Mastercare Electronic Medical Record for the provision of a system to Next Step Drug and Alcohol Services and is in the process of transitioning Next Step and the Integrated Services away from SIMS into this new system.

What does this mean for you?

If your organisation is currently utilising SIMS, you will need to transition to a new system before 1 July 2021. Any new system you utilise must be capable of reporting back to the Mental Health Commission in accordance with the alcohol and other drug data (AOD) transfer specifications for state and national reporting requirements.

During planning, transition and upon exit from SIMS, you will receive a copy of your data.

Have a question about data reporting requirements? Please have a read of our FAQ below. If you have any other queries regarding support, please contact the SIMS Helpdesk via email

FAQs – Data reporting requirements post SIMS?

Can we still access SIMS?

Selected staff will have read only access to SIMS for at least 3 months from your transition date. This will ensure any data cleansing, mapping or reporting still required is available until the first quarterly data submission is accepted.

What are the agency identifiers for my organisations data reporting?

The agency identifiers used to report the required MHC funded activity was provided to organisations in June 2020. If you require further agency identifiers or need clarity, please contact your contract manager or the SIMS Helpdesk in the first instance.

If a client returns within 3 months, if we opened a new episode, this would be an error in the extract?

Yes it will, as per SIMS, if treatment is opened within 3 months of the previous and is delivered from the same agency identifier with the same treatment type, principal drug of concern and treatment delivery setting this will trigger a validation edit. In these scenarios the first episode should just be continued if the client represents within the 3 months of the last attended direct contact. The only exceptions to this validation are residential treatment episodes (e.g. rehabilitation, low medical withdrawal) or where one of the treatment episodes is for a diversion referral source and a client subsequently engages in a self-referral/non-diversion treatment episode (or vice versa). Contact refers to a direct attended interaction between a staff member and client (e.g. first counselling session).

Is each treatment with a service to be considered its own episode?

Yes. Each row within the episode file structure equates to an open treatment episode (aka SIMS program) during the reporting period. To ensure accurate reporting, it’s extremely important that each treatment is submitted as a new episode, unless it’s a resubmission of the same treatment episode.

Can we report values that are used for other jurisdictions? (e.g. NSW)

No, the codes listed against each data element must be submitted as per the Mental Health Commission (MHC) data specification requirements.

Can we use a secure method of data transfer?

Yes, agencies are currently receiving their own data from the MHC via this method. Equally we encourage all NGOs to submit their quarterly data via your organisation’s secure file sharing mechanism.

How does the new AOD diversion program affect the data submission?

From 4 January 2021, the adult court diversion referral sources (POP, PMC POP, STIR and IDP) will be replaced with AOD Diversion Program.

Similarly, the adult Start Court diversion referral sources (Start POP and Start STIR) will be replaced with Start Court – AOD Diversion Program.


The new permissible values to represent the changes are:

Value Meaning
35 AOD Diversion Program
36 Start Court - AOD Diversion Program

For clear understanding this table represents the mapping of current referral sources to the new program name:

Mapping (grouping)

New Previous
AOD Diversion Program Court Diversion - IDP
Court Diversion - POP
Court Diversion - STIR
Start Court - AOD Diversion Program POP Start Court
STIR Start Court


Can you assist with mapping of the language in SIMS to the requirements?

To conceptualise the SIMS terminology to the new data specification reporting requirements, the following may assist:

SIMS Reference Specification Data Element
Client URN Client Identifier
Occasion Type Contact Type
Birth Country Country of Birth
DOB estimated? Date Accuracy Indicator
End Date Date of cessation of treatment episode
Start Date Date of commencement of treatment episode
Last Injected Drug last injected
Duration (Minutes) Duration
Highest Education Education Level
Program ID Episode Identifier
Is Indigenous Indigenous Status
Living Arrangement Lives With
Program Type Main treatment type
Relationship Status Marital Status
Method of Use Method of use for principal drug of concern
Other Drug 1 Other drug of concern (1)
Other Drug 2 Other drug of concern (2)
Other Drug 3 Other drug of concern (3)
Other Drug 4 Other drug of concern (4)
Other Drug 5 Other drug of concern (5)
Occasion Outcome Outcome
Primary Drug Principal drug of concern
Outcome Reason for cessation of treatment episode
Exit Referred To Referred To
Occasion Date Service Contact Date Time
Gender Sex
Surname SLK-Family Name
Forename SLK-Given Name
Referral Source Source of Referral
Treatment Settings Treatment delivery setting

Can we supply the required data in one single file and not separate files for each agency?


Are we required to report separately on cannabis to synthetic cannabis?

Yes, any drug that is listed as per the specifications (Australian Standard Classification of Drugs of Concern, 2011) with a specific code should be reported separately where the client discloses. In this example it would be reported as:

  • Cannabis code = 7101
  • Synthetic cannabis code = 7102

Are specifications to be reviewed?

The AOD Data Transfer specifications will be prepared annually by the Mental Health Commission, to align with any mandatory Commonwealth reporting such as the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set and other state requirements, including evaluation data used for service planning and monitoring.

Quarterly reporting requirements changed?

As of the 1 July 2021 services will no longer be required to provide occasions of service data they will however still be required to provide client outcome data (Evaluation file) and data for the NMDS (Episode file).

What is the reporting frequency?

Data is to be submitted on a quarterly basis. The required files should be submitted by the 10th date of each quarter, specifically:

  • 10 January
  • 10 April
  • 10 July
  • 10 October

FAQs last updated 29 November 2021.

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