This paper describes the institution of a clinical database in the consultation-liaison psychiatry service of an Australian general hospital psychiatry unit. One of the problems faced was that many researchers and clinicians in Australia use the ICD-9 rather than the DSM-III-R classification system. Nevertheless, it was possible to use the DSM-III-R-based MICRO-CARES clinical database management system in this project. The data obtained during the first 12 months of its use are presented. Despite differences in the patient demographic characteristics, the data obtained are within the ranges described for North American and European sites. The local benefits of such a clinical database are described, and it is argued that such a database is also necessary for interhospital and international collaborative studies and comparisons.