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Announcing ARTIC’s Two Newest Projects

Mental Health and integration take centre stage through the Adopting Research to Improve Care program.

We recently announced a partnership with the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO) to extend CAHO’s existing Adopting Research to Improve Care (ARTIC) program beyond research hospitals to all health care sectors on a provincial level. ARTIC is a unique program, which fast-tracks the time it takes for providers to apply health evidence to clinical practice by creating new and efficient pathways to promote enhanced collaboration. Together with CAHO, we put out a call for project proposals on the theme of integration of care and received 36 letters of intent from across Ontario.

It’s my pleasure to announce the two evidence-based projects which, through ARTIC support, will soon spread to sites in 10 cities across Ontario. Descriptions of the two programs are below. These programs include hospitals, primary care sites, community programs and a broad range of providers.

The two selected programs have a focus on mental health and addiction but they both fulfill the core requirement to improve integration of care across sectors. I think mental health and addiction are two very important areas of focus within health care quality.

Here in Canada one in five Canadians experiences a mental health or addiction problem in any given year – according to statistics recently reported by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Furthermore, CAMH reports the disease burden of mental illness and addiction in Ontario is 1.5 times higher than all cancers put together and seven times that of all infectious diseases. The work of the two projects described below will hopefully be part of ongoing efforts to curb that burden.

DA VINCI

The Depression and Alcoholism – Validation of an Integrated Care Initiative
The Depression and Alcoholism – Validation of an Integrated Care Initiative (DA VINCI) ensures that patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Alcohol Dependence (AD) have access to high-quality, person-centred, evidence-based care. The current approach to treating MDD and AD (two of the most underdiagnosed and undertreated conditions in Canada) often involves managing each condition separately, often by different health care providers. As a result, the patient experience is fragmented, further exacerbating their situation. This project integrates care in a way that has been proven to improve patient experiences and outcomes. DA VINCI has already met with success at CAMH and through ARTIC will be rolled out in the Toronto Village Family Health Team (FHT), Hamilton FHT, South East Toronto FHT, and Taddle Creek FHT; as well as in the following community hospitals: Trillium Health Centre, Royal Ottawa Health Centre, North Bay Regional Health Centre.

META:PHI

Mentorship, Education, and Training in Addictions: Primary Care-Hospital Integration
This project supports primary care providers in managing patients who have alcohol and opiod addiction. It integrates alcohol or opioid addiction treatment provided by emergency department (ED) staff, addiction physicians, community withdrawal programs, social workers and primary care providers. Currently operational in three hospitals – St. Joseph’s Health Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital, and Women’s College Hospital – META:PHI will soon be rolled out in hospitals and primary care practices in Sudbury, Ottawa, St. Catharines, Newmarket, Owen Sound, Sarnia, and London.

These projects open up new and exciting opportunities for the treatment of mental health and addictions in our province. Both DA VINCI and META:PHI go beyond engaging academic and community-based hospitals and set out to improve quality across sectors – including primary and community care.

Hopefully provincial initiatives like these two programs will not only improve the spread of evidence-based mental health and addiction care but also contribute to more open, constructive dialogue.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on mental health and addictions and integrated care. Please Tweet me @DrJoshuaTepper or email info@hqontario.ca.

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