November 28, 2015 |The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library
The inaugural pathways conference was held this past November to an audience of doctors, nurses, clinicians, pharmacists, and various other medical professionals and mental health and addiction specialists.
Following brief introductions by DA VINCI Co-Leads Saima Awan and Dr. Andriy Samokhvalov, Dr. Benoit Mulsant (University of Toronto’s Chair of the Department of Psychiatry) launched the event with his talk on the pharmacological aspects of an ICP approach to treating late-life depression. His objectives reinforced the need for standardization in the treatment of mental illness, highlighting how all too often doctors find themselves making health decisions for their depressed patients based on an empathetic emotional response (which may differ from physician to physician) rather than following a proven algorithm that works. Dr. Mulsant’s discussion was a highlight of the day and a great way to set the tone.
The morning continued with engaging speakers such as Dr. Jürgen Rehm (CAMH Director of Social and Epidemiological Research) and Dr. Peter Voore (CAMH Director of Ambulatory Care & Structured Treatments). The topics touched on by the keynote speakers sparked conversation and questions amongst the audience, leading to an engaging discussion between speakers and spectators alike.
Attendees got a chance for more interaction during the afternoon sessions and workshop. The interactive sessions focused on DA VINCI’s implementation at two partner sites. Dr. Valerie Primeau (North Bay Regional Health Centre) led a discussion on the unique aspects of implementing the pathway in a rural community hospital setting, while Dr. David Verrilli and Ms. Diana Noel (both of Village Family Health Team) shared their experiences starting up the ICP within a primary care practice. These sessions fielded many questions from audience members joining from practices and institutions in similar circumstances who came to the conference to gain this specific information – how they, too, could provide improved care to their clients using patient-centred care pathways.
There were also those who chose to attend the workshop, How to Build an Integrated Care Pathway, which was led by CAMH’s Ms. Saima Awan, Dr. Andriy Samokhvalov, and Dr. Peter Voore. Ms. Awan and Dr. Voore both play vital roles in the design, expansion, and success of the eight pathways currently in place at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, while Dr. Andriy Samokhvalov is the lead psychiatrist and co-lead on the DA VINCI Project as well as a psychiatrist in CAMH’s Major Depression and Alcohol Dependence ICP. The workshop facilitators broke the group down into teams and set them to the task of creating a pathway, guiding participants along the way with the necessary information and processes involved in the making of a pathway. Groups brainstormed to designate which condition or issue their pathway would tackle, what factors would be considered in the standardized treatment of that condition/issue, and what was needed to work towards their mock pathway’s realization.
The late afternoon portion began with a well-rounded symposium featuring representatives of three CAMH pathways: dementia, early psychosis, and schizophrenia. These pathways were represented by nurse educators, project managers, a doctor, and a nurse practitioner. This diverse group proved to be great examples of the many layers involved in the implementation of a successful pathway. The audience also got a chance to hear Dr. Meldon Kahan (Women’s College Hospital) speak about the ARTIC-funded project, META:PHI (Mentoring, Education, and Clinical Tools for Addiction: Primary Care-Hospital Integration) which, like the DA VINCI project, is currently being carried out at several partner sites across Ontario.
Finally, the day culminated with an expert panel led by Saima Awan. The panel was comprised of experts involved in several pathways across several sites. Dr. Andriy Samokhvalov, Dr. Bernard LeFoll, Dr. Valerie Primeau, Dr. Peter Voore, and Dr. Meldon Kahan all sat down to discuss a single topic:
Why is it so difficult to standardize care in mental health and addictions? What we’re doing about it and what the future looks like.
Thank you to all who participated in this wonderful event. We hope to see you again next year!