Responding to COVID with Person-Centered Care in Behavioral Health Care

Responding to COVID with Person-Centered Care in Behavioral Health Care

What is person-centered care?

The term ‘person-centered care’ has been used in different contexts for several years. Most people just think of this as service-oriented care for that individual, where interventions and services are the only means by which to attain this aspirational goal.

How does the World Health Organization define person-centered care?

However, the World Health Organization defines person-centered (also called patient-centered or whole-person) care, as “empowering people to take charge of their own health rather than being passive recipients of services.” This care strategy is based on the belief that patient views, input, and experiences can help improve overall health outcomes. The question is, “How can we support ‘person-centered care’ and build resiliency during the continuance of a worldwide pandemic?”

Why do we need access to meaningful information in real-time?

Having access to ‘real-time’ information is so important in the work we do within any aspect of the human-services field. While there are large amounts of information collected and stored by an organization, often the collected data is not directly connected to meaningful care planning.

Is real-time data access still needed during the pandemic?

During the pandemic, we know from indicators that mental health need for care has increased significantly, but it will be years before evaluation and research teams extract and analyze data to retrospectively measure the increased need during our time now. What if systems of care could react in real-time to changes in population need as they occur? At Opeeka, that is what we built our software to enable – real-time monitoring of population changing need to support agile care serving systems.

What assessments are helpful for person-centered care?

One trend in support of person-centered care is the use of whole-person assessment instruments. Unlike psychometric tools which norm individuals against populations measured for a specific psychological construct, whole-person assessment instruments evaluate many aspects of a person’s life, including psychological, social, intellectual, relational, environmental, physical, financial, and other constructs.

What are the CANS and the ANSA assessments?

One example of such an instrument is the tool aptly named the Child Adolescent Needs & Strengths or CANS (or its counterpart the Adult Needs and Strengths Assessment or ANSA). The use of this tool does exactly what its name implies; based upon meaningful conversations, this tool identifies both needs and strengths. Unlike a traditional psychometric tool, the CANS captures the ‘what’ is going on in many aspects of life of that child/youth and family. These whole-person tools help to illustrate a person’s story by capturing the elements of their journey in life to the point they are today.

How do I use the CANS or ANSA as outcome measurement tools?

The CANS is often completed more than once during care in order to capture the transformation of the person’s story while in care. This also supports the adjustment of plans of care and the monitoring of progress. This re-assessment allows agile care delivery so that plans can be revised or updated whenever necessary to meet the person in care where they are at in that moment. But what if needs begin to shift for an entire service population as many people become more anxious or more isolated? The question becomes, “Wouldn’t it be great if we are able to use real-time information to adjust services offerings to respond to changing needs in the populations we serve?”

What is resilience?

“In the context of exposure to significant adversity, resilience is both the capacity of individuals to navigate their way to the psychological, social, cultural, and physical resources that sustain their well-being, and their capacity individually and collectively to negotiate for these resources to be provided in culturally meaningful ways.” -Dr. Michael Ungar-Researcher

How can I use technology in proactive care planning?

After careful observations, we have recognized that there have been some positive consequences to COVID-19. One of the most revealing was how technology assisted in bridging the gap during the time of the worldwide pandemic, especially during sheltering-in periods. However, this is only partially the case as we have learned that many individuals, children/youth and families still do not have access to the internet due to financial constraints connected with poverty. The Economic World Forum back in April of 2020 wrote an article “Coronavirus has exposed the digital divide like never before” highlighting the lack of access for many students during virtual school sessions.

How does the digital divide affect care?

The ‘digital divide’ does not apply just to having access to technology, but it is also related to accessing the data for day-to-day use. Although almost all care systems collect and store data, their divide is in the access and meaningful use of data as it relates to ‘person-centered care planning’ at both an individual level and a system-wide level.

How does this compare to what we learned about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)?

I would compare this divide with what researchers learned about ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) because when researchers finally extracted and analyzed the information about traumatic experiences in childhood, they discovered a strong relationship with adult illness. The relationship was always there but rather discovery through real-time monitoring as the data was first collected, it was not discovered until many years after data was collected. The care system was slow to discover and slow to respond. The findings have finally shed some light on ways we can assist individuals, children/youth and families who are most at risk, but they took way too long to discover.

How can we bridge the gaps in technology?

‘So then how can we bridge the gaps using technology?’ Well, this is where Person-Centered Intelligence Solutions (P-CIS), pronounced pieces (P-CIS) can help. Opeeka’s P-CIS is the first outcomes management software designed to measure assessment responses over time to effectively transform health assessments into actionable treatment plans, care plans and system monitoring of population patterns.

What technology can bridge the gap?

P-CIS connects to any electronic record to help agencies streamline assessment collection & outcomes monitoring at the individual and population level. P-CIS allows recognition of population trends in needs by capturing all assessment types and funneling changes in individual needs into pattern recognition models to inform population trends. Research and evaluation staff can monitor population trends in real-time and systems can make adjustments to service offerings in response to changes in service population need as they occur, like they have during the COVID pandemic.

What is Opeeka’s Person-Centered Intelligence Solution (P-CIS, /pieces/)?

P-CIS even takes it to the next level, moving closer to the World Health Organization’s concept of integrative people-centered health services. Integrated person-centered health services targets the comprehensive needs of people and communities, not only diseases, at the center of health systems, with the goal to empower care systems to respond quickly and effectively to the changing needs of the people they serve.