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CMHA Ontario, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario collaborate on quality improvement initiative to support mental health and addictions sector

November 21, 2013

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario and Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) are working collaboratively to lead an initiative that will support community-based mental health and addictions organizations enhance quality improvement.

CMHA Ontario and AMHO are developing a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) template which includes a menu of quality improvement indicators for use by Ontario’s mental health and addictions sector. This QIP template is the result of the expansion of quality improvement work conducted in recent years by the CMHA Ontario Executive Directors Network and the many initiatives taken by mental health and addiction services to demonstrate their quality.

CMHA Ontario and AMHO (formerly Addictions Ontario and the Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs) announced the initiative in a communiqué to the mental health and addictions sector and other stakeholders.

The QIP template is being developed in alignment with the attributes of a high performing health system framework employed by Health Quality Ontario (HQO) and is an important step toward preparing for the legislated requirements under the provincial Excellent Care for All Act (2010) that include reporting to the public on quality of health services in Ontario.

CMHA Ontario and AMHO will be working in partnership with HQO to advance the mental health and addictions QIP initiative.

“One of the strengths of the mental health and addictions sector is our ability to collaborate, create and share tools that increase our collective capacity,” Camille Quenneville, CEO of CMHA Ontario, stated in the communiqué. “Through this work, we are taking the necessary and proactive steps to ensure mental health and addictions organizations can adapt as seamlessly as possible to the provincial government’s quality improvement approach.”

“By working in partnership to help community-based organizations across the full spectrum of addiction and mental health services and supports, the sector can adapt to future wide-ranging legislative requirements,” stated David Kelly, CEO of AMHO. “Helping the sector in this way means mental health and addictions organizations can focus on what they do best, providing support to individuals and their families in communities across Ontario.”

Ontario will be the fourth province in Canada to measure, monitor and report publicly on mental health sector performance. Quality of mental health services are currently measured and monitored in Alberta, New Brunswick and Quebec.

Health Quality Council of Alberta, New Brunswick Health Council, the Quebec Office of the Health and Welfare Commissioner and Health Quality Ontario recently shared information about approaches used towards measuring and reporting to the public on health system performance at the Health Council of Canada annual national Quality Improvement Symposium that took place on October 29-30 in Toronto.

Quality improvement is an approach the provincial government is taking to accountability. It involves health service providers entering into funding agreements based on what health outcomes they will achieve. This approach has already been applied to portions of the health care community, and CMHA Ontario and AMHO anticipate it is going to expand to the community mental health and addiction sector in the future.

Read more about quality improvement.


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