Health Quality Ontario (HQO) and the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO) partnered to expand ARTIC beyond the research hospital setting and turn it into a resource for all of Ontario’s health system providers. In November 2014, a call for proposals went out for projects focused on integration of care. Two projects were selected for funding so they could spread across the province. These projects are the Depression and Alcoholism – Validation of an Integrated Care Initiative (DA VINCI) and the Mentorship, Education, and Training in Addictions: Primary Care-Hospital Integration (META:PHI).
Depression and Alcoholism – Validation of an Integrated Care Initiative (DA VINCI)
The goal of DA VINCI is to ensure patients with both a major depressive disorder (MDD) and alcohol dependence (AD) have access to a person-centered, evidence-based integrated care pathway. The traditional health care approach to MDD and AD is to treat them separately, often by different health care providers at different periods of time. This is despite the fact that clinical evidence suggests that treating both conditions simultaneously and in a coordinated fashion leads to better outcomes. Initially situated at CAMH in Toronto, through ARTIC funding, DA VINCI is being spread across the province, including to sites Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and North Bay.
Mentorship, Education, and Training in Addictions: Primary Care-Hospital Integration (META:PHI)
META:PHI integrates the alcohol or opioid addiction treatment provided by emergency department staff, addiction physicians, and primary care providers. Opioid and alcohol withdrawal patients are rarely referred to ongoing treatment upon discharge from an Emergency Department. Those who are referred often must wait months to begin a treatment program and are not linked to supports once they complete it. Furthermore, many primary care providers have indicated that they do not feel comfortable or experienced enough in managing addictions in their patients. The goal of META:PHI is to stream patients with alcohol- or opioid-related conditions through an effective integrated care pathway, encompassing care from the emergency department, through to a rapid access addiction clinic and eventually on to their primary care provider, who will continue to provide them with effective evidence-based withdrawal treatment (supported by an addiction specialist), counselling, and connections to community treatment programs. Initially situated in three Toronto hospitals – Women’s College Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, and St. Michael’s Hospital – META:PHI is now being rolled out in additional sites in Ottawa, Sudbury, London, Owen Sound, Sarnia, St. Catherines, and Newmarket.