Canada’s largest mental health and addiction hospital wins CHIA award

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital that combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion. Our vision includes being able to enhance recovery by improving access to integrated care and social support and to enhance a reputation for outstanding service, accountability and professional leadership. As we looked for new and innovate ways to improve client safety and quality of care delivery, we understood the value of implementing an electronic health record (EHR) system had on our goals.

In collaboration with Deloitte and Cerner, CAMH implemented a full integrated EHR (locally called I-CARE) across the emergency department and all inpatient/outpatient clinics. After the successful implementation, we rose from the bottom 10 percent in adoption of advanced clinical information technology to the top 1 percent. I-CARE provides us with the tools necessary to meet our goals by offering a single source of client information – information that is recent, accurate and accessible by nurses, physicians, psychiatrist, allied health professionals, pharmacists and other staff. Providing one source of information, accessible to all clinicians actively involved in client care, that is accurate and standardized, enables a true client-centered approach to treatment.

While a fully integrated mental health EHR is an achievement, we implemented some key innovations:

  • Organization readiness for adoption and change: Leading up to the implementation, we committed significant resources, effort and focus into preparing for the implementation. To name a few activities, we engaged over 170 stakeholders, conducted an organizational readiness assessment and developed a change management strategy.
  • Improve transitions of care: More than 80 percent of our patients have two or more diagnoses. Documentation in an integrated record allows us to provide more accurate medical diagnoses that are used to track the complexity of our patients.
  • Understand the patient story: We leveraged MPages to ensure our design and structure communicated the patient story. MPages provide a consolidated view of the patient’s history with real-time clinical information. We worked with Cerner to design several customized MPages, like the Therapeutic Notes MPage. Group therapy sessions are integral to recovery. End-users are now able to go into every patient’s record to document the group’s progress and make individual notes.

We’ve seen some great results since the implementation. Our order entry adoption is 100 percent with all orders placed electronically. Since our centralized scheduling has gone live, the new standardized processes have reduced wait times across several clinics. The Child and Youth Clinic wait times decreased from four months to two weeks. I-CARE has helped us standardize and streamline our clinical documentation, which has resulted in a dramatic reduction of assessments used by clinicians – 700 down to 152. We also implemented some key alerts to notify clinicians of potential adverse effects during the decision making process.

CAMH is continuing to build up our systems and innovate around our partnership with Cerner. We are extremely proud to be honored by ITAC Health and COACH: Canada’s Health Informatics Association with The Canadian Health Informatics Awards for our I-CARE implementation. To be recognized for our innovation and excellence in health care is amazing. Our goal has always been to provide high quality care and safety to our patients and I can truly say that we are exceeding those goals.

CAMH, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Cerner, Deloitte, I-CARE, ITAC Health and COACH: Canada’s Health Informatics Association, MPages, The Canadian Health Informatics Awards


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