Using the Ontario Common Assessment of Need to inform quality improvement: Stories from the front-line.



J. Durbin, G. Langill, J. Rowsell, A. Selick, M. Dunn

Quality improvement (QI) is an important aim of a learning health care system and a policy priority in Ontario. The Excellence through Quality improvement (EQIP) program has been instrumental in educating and supporting community mental health programs to conduct QI. The Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN) is a potential data source for informing QI efforts in EPI programs but in past surveys, programs have reported challenges in collecting and using OCAN data. A recent analysis of provincial EPI OCAN data by our team, however, showed that OCAN data can inform understanding of program delivery relative to the EPI Program Standards, for example, regarding who is accessing service, unmet needs, and staff-client agreement on unmet needs. EQIP has supported a number of QI projects using OCAN data.
This presentation will begin with an overview of the EQIP approach to QI and the provincial OCAN results for EPI. Two examples of improvement work using the OCAN will follow. The first will focus on psychological distress which is a commonly identified unmet need in community mental health clients, including those using EPI programs. York Support Services North will describe a project to leverage existing resources within the agency to assist with reducing the number of individuals who identify psychological distress as an unmet need. In the second, Lynx EPI will describe a project to improve use of paired need ratings (staff and client completed), with a focus on seven relevant domains, to enhance client centred care. The audience will be invited to reflect on the potential use of OCAN or other data to monitor change efforts, and supports they may need for their QI work.

Clinicians Family Members Lived Experience Managers Peer Support Workers Researchers