Schizophrenia med monitoring lands Canadian organization a Davies Award

The Center for Addiction and Mental Health implemented alerting tech that saves patients’ lives.
By Diana Manos
02:41 PM
Share

The Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Canada earned a HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence for using monitoring and alerting technology to monitor clinical deterioration in schizophrenic patients in an inpatient care setting, HIMSS has announced.

CAMH leveraged data to take action to respond to save lives while still delivering the highest standard of psychiatric care, according to Jonathan French, senior director of quality and safety initiatives at HIMSS.

WHY IT MATTERS

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder, catapulting those with the disease into a two- to three-times greater likelihood of facing an early death. Making matters worse is the use of Clozapine, the antipsychotic medication used to treat the 30 percent of schizophrenia patients who are resistant to traditional mainstream medication for the condition. Clozapine has serious side effects, including lowered white blood cell count and medication-induced myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), leading to greater risk of death – all without standardized ways of monitoring these risks.

In 2014, CAMH first implemented a clinical information system--called I-CARE, which allowed the organization to develop clozapine monitoring protocols. With the use of I-CARE, the center was able to improve awareness on the importance of using of standardized order sets for monitoring clozapine. The result was “significantly reduced the risk of serious complications associated with clozapine administration and improved the quality of patient care provided,” HIMSS announced that I-CARE “allowed for close analysis of data, adherence to the protocol, and faster ordering for physicians.”

THE BIGGER TREND

Mental health is no different than physical health in its need for IT to support improved healthcare. Leaders at CAMH say that the protocol for monitoring Clozapine are part of a long list of technological interventions and innovations that have enabled CAMH to become a data-driven organization and stressed that the “ongoing strategic initiatives using technology to support clinical care continue to position CAMH at the forefront of innovation and research in the mental health field.”

Last August, we reported that Comprehensive Mental Health Services in Independence, Missouri partnered with mental health IT vendor, myStrength, to help patients seeking support and care for identified behavioral health needs and struggling with the time in between appointments. By providing evidence-based, self-care interventions to combat depression and anxiety, Comprehensive Mental Health Services was able to improve care for patients with depression, anxiety, stress, substance use, chronic pain, opioid risk management and sleep challenges.

Mental health technology vendors include AbleTo, Psychiatry-Cloud, Quartet and Valant.

ON THE RECORD

“CAMH is honored to be recognized for this prestigious award, which is the result of extensive partnership and collaboration between a number of departments at CAMH,” said Damian Jankowicz, chief information officer and chief privacy officer at CAMH. “It is a continuation of the work we have been doing since achieving HIMSS Stage 7 last year, and demonstrates how CAMH continues to strive to be a data-driven hospital that uses technology to improve patient care.”

The Davies award will be granted to CAMH in Orlando at HIMSS19, which runs Feb. 11-15, 2019. 

Diana Manos is a Washington, D.C.-area freelance writer specializing in healthcare, wellness and technology. 

Twitter: @Diana_Manos
Email the writer: dnewsprovider@gmail.com 

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.