As part of Integrated Patient Care Team (IPCT) model, Homewood Health Centre CADS (COMMUNITY ADDICTION DIVISION SERVICES) therapists are embedded within primary health care teams. Data regarding the metal health and addictions outcomes of patients was used to identify sites that would benefit the most from enhanced addictions-related support. Most recently, CADS therapists have been integrated into the Guelph FHT Psychiatry Clinic and Arbour Medical site. This partnership with CADS allows for easier access to a CADS Therapist. CADS provides outpatient addiction counselling for individuals and families who are concerned with substance use, overuse of technology, gaming, online shopping and/or gambling.
The locations to pilot this initiative was based on data from billings for substance use visits, Family Health Teams with higher numbers were asked if they would like to pilot a partnership with CADS that allows for easier access to a Therapist, Addiction and Mental Health. CADS provides outpatient addiction counselling for individuals and families who are concerned with substance use, overuse of technology, gaming, online shopping and/or gambling.
There are many benefits to a CADS therapist being located on site within a primary care team including reduced wait times for service. Physicians on the team can directly refer to the therapist, and a patient can then be connected within 24 business hours to service and have an appointment within a week. Patients are commenting on how quickly they are connected to counselling. The CADS therapist is able to document directly into the primary care electronic medical record (EMR) and the physician can view the documentation. The therapist has access to the patient’s medical history to reference, making the assessment and intake quicker when the sessions begin. The therapist and physician can then message in the EMR to share updates on progress, if there are any issues, and when goals are met. As patients work towards their goals, if they experience challenges or barriers along the way, they can call the therapist to re-engage in service directly within 30 days of discharge (rather than needing to be re-referred).
At this time of great need for mental health and addictions services, this collaboration is improving access to mental health and addictions services, a strategic priority for the GW OHT.