The ESMS/DESDE system is used to classify and describe (in a standardised way), service availability in defined catchment areas. It enables planners to analyse existing services, identify gaps, prioritise changes, model alternate service delivery and make comparisons with other local and international health service implementations.
The European Service Mapping Schedule (ESMS) (Johnson et al, 2000) is a tool that was originally designed for mapping services for adult mental health care. It uses an innovative, hierarchical taxonomy. It was later expanded to support chronic care, disability and ageing.
The Description and Evaluation of Services and DirectoriEs (DESDE) (Salvador-Carulla et al, 2013) is a multiaxial coding tool for mapping care provision within a local area, for any target health condition. It follows a whole system approach and currently provides more than 150 codes to map health and social services for a defined target population. It can be used to map health, social, employment, education, justice and housing services.
Countries using ESMS/DESDE