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Mental Health and Addictions Resources

How EMRs Support Mental Health and Addiction Care 

Digital health technology like EMRs help clinicians provide more precise and better care for patients with mental health and addiction issues. The right care requires the right tool, and OntarioMD is at the forefront of helping connect clinicians to EMR-integrated tools that can help patients lead healthier lives – mentally and physically.

Our EMR: Every Step Conference (ESC) and Vendor Showcase and On The Road with OntarioMD events bring clinicians the latest digital health innovations, education and best practices using the EMR. Below are links to ESC sessions focused on  how EMRs help improve mental health and addiction patient care:

Health Report Manager: Facilitating Care Transitions  

Improved care coordination for mental health and addictions patients

Mental health and addictions patients often have complex care issues. This can make coordinating a proper plan difficult if patient data isn't accessed in a timely fashion. HRM helps remove the barrier of communication between the hospital and the patient's care team. When a hospital processes a medical record for a patient, HRM instantly and securely delivers the report to the clinican's EMR. This ensures clinicians and the rest of the patient's caregivers gain quicker access to the patient's information and can make the patient's transition to care back in their community as smooth as possible. Clinicians now have the ability to quickly deliver a more coordinated care plan best suited to the patient's needs. 

Better communication and information sharing across the health care system

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) figures state that patients with high mental health costs incur over 30% more costs than other high-cost patients, and the economic burden of mental illness in Canada is estimated at $51 billion per year. These costs include health care costs, lost productivity, reductions in health-related quality of life, law enforcement and criminal justice. Digital health tools like HRM can help to reduce the risk of complications and adverse events that result in costs to the health care system by facilitating and improving the exchange of patient information between hospitals and clinicians. This means that mental health patients get the care they deserve faster. It reduces the likelihood of overprescribing opioids and other harmful narcotics, reduces unnecessary procedures and tests, and saves time for hospitals, clinicians, and patients. 

An independent evaluation study found that HRM helps to eliminate unnecessary expenses for the Ontario health care system. In addition to the clinical benefits to patients, HRM helps the Ontario health care system avoid $15 million a year in costs by eliminating the need for staff to print, mail, or fax paper reports. This cost avoidance increase each year with as HRM continues to expand to more clinicians, hospitals and specialty clinics.

Five of the largest mental health hospitals in Ontario are live on HRM:  

HRM regularly adds new hospital sites, including their mental health units, as it continues to connect every hospital and every clinician who uses an EMR in Ontario. Stay up-to-date on the latest sending facilities live on HRM

Testimonials from Mental Health and Addiction Sites 

"Ontario Shores has fully integrated HRM across its clinical programs. This tool enables clinicians to provide assessment information, progress reports, consult summaries and discharge notes to family physicians in a timely and secure manner to ensure a seamless transition of information as patients move across the continuum of care."  Sanaz Riahi, Vice-President, Practice, Academics and Chief Nursing Executive 

“For CMHA WW, this integration enables the secure delivery of psychiatric consultation documents, psychiatric progress notes, and psychiatric closure summaries directly into the primary care clinicians’ certified EMRs." Helen Fishburn, Senior Director of Service and System Transformation 

“The integration between CAMH and OntarioMD’s Health Report Manager is a significant step towards the continuity of care. Family physicians will have seamless access to their patients’ mental health information, expediting treatment and support from a whole health perspective." 

Dr. Damian Jankowicz, VP, Information Management, Chief Information Officer & Chief Privacy Officer 

 EMR Quality Dashboard

OntarioMD is rolling out an EMR Quality Dashboard that will help clinicians identify and manage patients with mental health issues and those who are prescribed opioids or medications related to mental health and addictions issues.

Learn more about the EMR Quality Dashboard initiative.