CHIS- Led On Behalf of the Erie St. Clair LHIN
Patients across the Erie St. Clair LHIN (ESC LHIN) who are affected by mental health issues now have improved access to care that recognizes their unique needs.
In 2009, the Erie St. Clair LHIN was selected as the pilot LHIN to implement the electronic community-based Integrated Assessment Record (IAR). This first-in-Ontario pilot initially focused on mental health and is a key component of Ontario’s Community Care Information Management (CCIM) program.
The CCIM program is focused on two areas: common patient assessment and business systems, is intended to provide seamlessly-integrated, community-based care where all service providers can securely share and access consistent and accurate information electronically.
The IAR pilot project is particularly distinctive because of its applicability across the system.
The pilot benefits include the following:
- Improved client experience as community providers work closer together to plan and deliver services. Assessment information will be accessed safely and securely and will be available at more points of care.
- An integrated assessment record will provide community care providers with a better understanding of clients’ needs and services where treatment is concurrent. The integrated assessment data will assist Local Integrated Health Networks and other Health system planners in planning investments and assessing outcomes within community care.
- The integrated assessment record will simplify the integration of client data into an electronic health record by codifying and mapping information. A single source of community assessment data will provide interim clinical benefits until the electronic health record is available to community health care providers.
Clinicians working in either community-based or hospital care are now able to ‘view’, through a secure Web-based viewer, mental health assessment information from multiple systems and organizations, regardless of where the patient presents for care. As a result, patients receive care that considers their unique needs and clinical profile.
Providers involved in the pilot include all hospitals and Canadian Mental Health Association branches in Erie St. Clair, as well as Community Health Centres and Addictions Services.
Currently, there are over 5,000 assessments available to clinicians across Erie St. Clair. To support the project, providers have worked collaboratively to establish or enhance regional privacy and security programs.
Users of the viewer – community and hospital based staff – are providing positive feedback on the capabilities of the tool and its benefit to their clinical practices. “We are very optimistic that the integrated assessment record will improve services to our clients,” offered Deborah Ayotte, Manager of Community Support Services, Canadian Mental Health Association, Windsor-Essex County Branch. “The ability to view prior assessments or multiple assessments will expedite the assessment process and reduce the need for service users to repeat their stories. I think this tool has the capability to greatly enhance the continuity of services.”