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HIMSS Davies Awards 2018: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Improves Schizophrenia Care

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Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder, and those who suffer with the condition are two to three times more likely to face an early death versus the general population.

Clozapine is an antipsychotic medication reserved for treatment resistant schizophrenia patients. An estimated 30% of individuals meet the criteria for treatment resistant schizophrenia. Clozapine is the only medication with proven efficacy for these patients; however, it is associated with potential serious side effects.

Agranulocytosis (lowered white blood cell count) is a well-known but rare side effect of clozapine, which has regular blood monitoring in most countries. In contrast, clozapine-induced myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) is more common and associated with a greater risk of morbidity and mortality, but has no standardized monitoring protocols.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) implemented a clinical information system called I-CARE in 2014, which enabled the development of clozapine monitoring protocols by integrating them into clozapine order sets.

Through improved awareness, educational efforts related to the importance of using of standardized order sets, and making monitoring protocol elements mandatory within clozapine order sets, CAMH significantly reduced the risk of serious complications associated with clozapine administration and improved the quality of patient care provided. The system allowed for close analysis of data, adherence to the protocol, and faster ordering for physicians.

This protocol adds to the long list of technological interventions and innovations that have enabled CAMH to become a data-driven organization. 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.

HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence

The HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding achievement of organizations that have utilized health information technology to substantially improve patient outcomes and value. As the pinnacle of the HIMSS Value Recognition Program, this award highlights organizations promoting health information and technology-enabled improvements in patient and business outcomes through sharing evidence-driven best practices on implementation strategies, workflow design, change management and patient engagement. “CAMH stands at the forefront of using monitoring and alerting technology to monitor clinical deterioration in a behavioral/mental health inpatient care setting,” said Jonathan French, CPHIMS, senior director of quality and safety initiatives at HIMSS. “Leveraging data, CAMH can take action to respond to save lives while still delivering the highest standard of psychiatric care. HIMSS is proud to recognize CAMH as a 2018 Davies Award recipient.”

“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, vice president of Information Management, chief information officer & 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 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) will be recognized during the 2019 HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition, taking place Feb. 11-15 in Orlando, Florida. All Davies Award recipients will be highlighted during the HIMSS19 Awards Gala on Wednesday, Dec. 13. Register for the event here.

Learn more about how CAMH has embraced the value of health information and technology: explore three award-winning use cases.