Development and implementation of a 'Mental Health Finder' software tool within an electronic medical record system

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Title: Development and implementation of a 'Mental Health Finder' software tool within an electronic medical record system
Authors: Swan, Davina
Hannigan, Ailish
Higgins, Sean
Cullen, Walter
et al.
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Date: Feb-2017
Online since: 2018-05-14T09:31:20Z
Abstract: In Ireland, as in many other healthcare systems, mental health service provision is being reconfigured with a move toward more care in the community, and particularly primary care. Recording and surveillance systems for mental health information and activities in primary care are needed for service planning and quality improvement. We describe the development and initial implementation of a software tool ('mental health finder') within a widely used primary care electronic medical record system (EMR) in Ireland to enable large-scale data collection on the epidemiology and management of mental health and substance use problems among patients attending general practice. In collaboration with the Irish Primary Care Research Network (IPCRN), we developed the 'Mental Health Finder' as a software plug-in to a commonly used primary care EMR system to facilitate data collection on mental health diagnoses and pharmacological treatments among patients. The finder searches for and identifies patients based on diagnostic coding and/or prescribed medicines. It was initially implemented among a convenience sample of six GP practices. Prevalence of mental health and substance use problems across the six practices, as identified by the finder, was 9.4% (range 6.9-12.7%). 61.9% of identified patients were female; 25.8% were private patients. One-third (33.4%) of identified patients were prescribed more than one class of psychotropic medication. Of the patients identified by the finder, 89.9% were identifiable via prescribing data, 23.7% via diagnostic coding. The finder is a feasible and promising methodology for large-scale data collection on mental health problems in primary care.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Springer
Journal: Irish Journal of Medical Science
Volume: 186
Issue: 1
Start page: 191
End page: 200
Copyright (published version): 2017 Springer
Keywords: Software plug-inElectronic medical recordMental healthSubstance usePrimary care
DOI: 10.1007/s11845-016-1541-4
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Medicine Research Collection

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