QI Innovations Conference 2023

Better Data – Better Decisions – Better Outcomes

April 18, 2023

9:00am – 9:30am (EST)

Opening Ceremonies

Welcome Remarks

Details Coming Soon!

Land Acknowledgement

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Opening Remarks from a Special Guest

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9:30am – 10:30am (EST)

Keynote Address: Dr. Muhammad Mamdani, MPH, MA, PharmD

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Dr. Mamdani, MPH, MA, PharmD, is Vice President of Data Science and Advanced Analytics at Unity Health Toronto and Director of the University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine Centre for Artificial Intelligence Education and Research in Medicine (T-CAIREM). Dr. Mamdani’s team bridges advanced analytics including machine learning with clinical and management decision making to improve patient outcomes and hospital efficiency. Dr. Mamdani is also Professor in the Department of medicine of the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation of the Dalla Lana faculty of Public Health. He is also adjunct Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and a Faculty Affiliate of the Vector Institute, which is a leading institution for artificial intelligence research in Canada.

Dr. Mamdani holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan, a fellowship in pharmacoeconomics from the Detroit Medical Centre, a Master of Arts degree in econometric theory from Wayne State University, and a Master of Public Health from Harvard University with a focus on statistics and epidemiology. He has previously been named among Canada’s Top 40 under 40. Dr. Mamdani’s research interests include pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics, drug policy, and the application of advanced analytics approaches to clinical problems and health policy decision-making. he has published over 500 studies in peer-reviewed healthcare journals.

30 MINUTE HEALTH BREAK – Yoga and Meditation sessions, visit Exhibitor Booths and QI Poster Presentations, Network with conference participants

11:00am – 12:30pm (EST)

Concurrent Sessions (A1-A4)

Presenters share expertise and participants will gain new knowledge and/or a new skill. The presentation will take an interactive approach and explore one of the following four streams related to the ‘data journey’; Getting Started, Adjusting, Progressing and Contribution to the System

A1: Getting Started: What Do I Do With All This Data?

A1: Getting Started: What Do I Do With All This Data?

A1-1: Strategies and Organizational Practices to Ensure High Data Quality

Description: This workshop will share lessons learned and current organizational practices developed to ensure high data quality for both accuracy and completeness. Through an organization wide implementation of Lean practices, the quality of data entry into the Children’s Centre Thunder Bay Client Information System rose from pilot data accuracy of 50% to a current level of 89% accuracy. This was done through an iterative PDSA process of training, staff feedback, and repeated revisions of a standardized service time entry guide. Mistakes and growing pains related to the development of current practices will be highlighted along with outlining mechanisms designed to keep a high level of accuracy.  To be successful in this area, it is critical for organizations to pay attention to multiple factors including use of standardized data entry practices and guide, regular and hands-on staff training, and building an organizational culture which embraces quality and CQI mindset.

Presenters: Fred Schmidt, Amy Killen & Scott McBean, Children’s Centre Thunder Bay

Fred Schmidt is currently the Director of Continuous Quality Improvement at the Children’s Centre Thunder Bay. He has over 30 years of experience in the children’s mental health system in Thunder Bay and has completed his certification as a Lean Black Belt practitioner.

Amy Killen has worked as a Data Analyst at the Children’s Centre Thunder Bay for the past 6 years. She has co-led the development of service metric dashboard and data visualization practices at Children’s Centre Thunder Bay.

Scott McBean is a manager at Children’s Centre Thunder Bay who oversees the Coordinated Service Planning service in Thunder Bay and also co-manages Continuous Quality Improvement practices at Children’s Centre Thunder Bay. Scott is currently completing his certification as a Lean Black Belt practitioner.

A1-2: Data-Driven Decision Making: How to Embed Data as Part of the Everyday Experience in Community Healthcare

Description: This presentation will cover how Reconnect Community Health Services, a Toronto based, multiservice health organization, creates a culture of continuous quality improvement and data driven decision making. We’ll look specifically at how Reconnect monitors and promotes service quality based on the Institute of Medicine’s quality domains (Safety, Timeliness, Equity, Patient/Client Centeredness, Efficiency, and Effectiveness), and the decision support tools used to inform the way programs and services meet population health needs. Given Reconnect’s desire to make data accessible for management and front-line staff, a portion of this presentation will speak to how Reconnect fosters a work environment receptive to change.

Presenter: Francesco Sijinardo, Reconnect Community Health Services

Francesco Sijinardo is the Director, Services for Seniors and Performance Improvement at Reconnect Community Health Services, and Course Director at York University’s School of Health Policy and Management teaching Quality Improvement and Performance Measurement. He holds a Master’s degree in Health Evaluation from the University of Waterloo, is a credentialed evaluator with the Canadian Evaluation Society, and is trained and certified in Lean and Six Sigma. Francesco has led the design and implementation of multiple program evaluations for mental health, addictions, seniors’ services, and digital health initiatives in the community sector.


A2: Adjusting: Data Exhaustion Strategies and Learnings

A2: Adjusting: Data Exhaustion Strategies and Learnings

A2-1: Weaving Community Mental Health Data to Inform OHT Collaborative QIPs

Description: It is frequently said that the community mental health (CMH) sector lacks relevant data to inform the development of collaborative quality improvement plans within Ontario Health Teams (OHTs).  However, there are multiple sources of CMH data we can weave together to design integrated service models that improve mental health care. In our presentation, we describe how a group of CMH providers within an OHT used standardized data from the Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN) instrument and the Management Information System (MIS) standards along with locally collected data to develop a collaborative quality improvement plan to increase access to CMH services. Data from these sources were triangulated to identify improvement opportunities, gaps in care and potential change ideas. We will discuss lessons we learned and opportunities for integrating CMH data to drive collaborative quality improvement initiatives within OHTs.

Presenters: Frank Sirotich, Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto, Nancy Blades, COTA, and Karyn Deasley, Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto

Frank Sirotich is the Director of Data Analytics, Research and Evaluation at the Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto Branch and an Assistant Professor (Status Appointment) at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. He has over 20 years of experience working within the community mental health sector in clinical, research and senior leadership roles.

Nancy Blades is the Director of Community Health Services at Cota. Nancy has extensive experience in leadership and direct service roles the community mental health sector and in cross-sector collaborative planning and service provision initiatives.

Karyn Deasley is the Manager of Case Management Services at CMHA Toronto. Karyn brings leadership experience overseeing case management services, social recreational programs, peer support initiatives, family-centred care and ACTT services, along with 25 years of front-line experience in the community mental health community/sector.

A2-2: Implementation of a Pediatric Emergency Department Mental Health Clinical Pathway

Description: Emergency departments (ED) are frequently used as a first access point for children and youth seeking mental health (MH) and addictions care, with many patients returning to seek additional care. However, EDs are not prepared to manage large volumes of pediatric MH patients and experience difficulty providing seamless transitions in care between EDs and community services.

The Provincial Council on Maternal Child Health in Ontario commissioned a group of hospital and community-based professionals to develop an Emergency Department Mental Health Clinical Pathway (EDMHCP) for children and youth presenting to the ED with MH concerns. The EDMHCP guides risk-assessment using data from reliable and valid screening tools and ensures a seamless transition from the ED to community MH services.

This presentation will describe how data is used as part of the EDMHCP, present the results of its implementation in four EDs in Ontario, and explore experiences and lessons learned from implementation.

Presenters: Alexandra Tucci, Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions, Dr. Christine Polihronis, Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions, Dr. Mario Cappelli and Dr. Mona Jabbour, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

Alexandra Tucci currently works as a Research Assistant at the Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions. She assisted with coordinating and evaluating the implementation of the Emergency Department Mental Health Clinical Pathway.

Dr. Christine Polihronis currently works at the Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions as a Senior Data Analyst. She has been involved in implementing and evaluating the use of the HEADS-ED in both Emergency Department and in Primary Care settings.

Dr. Mario Cappelli is a Child Clinical Psychologist and a Clinician-Scientist working with children, youth, young adults and their families. He is a co-principal developer of the HEADS-ED tool which is widely used to help screen mental health and addiction needs of young people and guide their care.

Dr. Mona Jabbour is the Interim Chief of the Department of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Her research interests include implementation science and improving systems of care. She co-chaired the provincial working group to develop the Emergency Department Mental Health Clinical Pathway and has led all phases of this project.


A3: Progressing: Telling Your Data Story and Engagement in QI

A3: Progressing: Telling Your Data Story and Engagement in QI

A3-1: Bridging the Youth-Adult Divide

Description: Youth participating in Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth’s engagement program identified to adult allies that many peers transitioning to adult mental health services unsuccessful in their move. Review of both scholarly and grey literature supported the stories of local youth indicating transition success  rates below 50%.  This presentation describes the collaborative Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth and quality improvement project undertaken by the Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions made possible through the Institute’s Quest QI program.  The presentation will highlight the benefits derived from inter-organizational collaboration to design interventions to vulnerable youth to improve transition success. It will guide participants through the development of the data collection process strategy, identification of success indicators and analysis informing future innovation.  The presentation concludes with recommendations to target other community-based challenges using the identified methodology.

Presenters: Kevin Clouthier, Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth, Katie Torreson, Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth, and Lamia Moheb Almorsy, Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions

Kevin Clouthier is the Executive Director of Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth. His interests in child and youth mental health quality include application of LEAN and Agile organizational methods to drive value in service delivery. He has earned a LEAN green belt and and completed Agile CAL-1 certification.

A3-2: Turning Data into Knowledge: Who is it for?

Description: This panel discussion will explore three different approaches to data visualization that help to turn data into knowledge for different types of audiences including clients, clinicians, decision makers and policy makers using the Mental Health Questionnaire for Children and Youth in EMHware as a case study example (MHQ-CY). Each panel member will outline different collaborative approaches that have been taken to developing different data visualization tools for these different audiences, the considerations in each case, the outcome and strengths/limitations.

Presenters: Dr. Laura Duncan and Jennifer Mulé, McMaster University

Dr. Laura Duncan is an Assistant Professor at the Offord Centre for Child Studies, and has a PhD in Health Research Methodology. Her primary area of research is psychiatric epidemiology, in the areas of measurement and assessment of child and youth mental health, mental health service use, targeting and resource allocation. Her work aims to generate evidence and measurement tools that support taking a population health approach to the assessment of child and youth mental health need and the provision of services to address these needs.

Jennifer Mulé is a Research Coordinator at the Offord Centre, managing the Investigating Mental Health System Design (inMIND) project . She completed her MSW at McMaster University and has held a variety of roles supporting children and youth in the Hamilton area over the last 12 years, focusing on child and youth mental health, housing and homelessness, youth engagement, system planning, and research.


A4: Contribution to the System

A4: Contribution to the System

A4-1: Details Coming Soon!

A4-2: Details Coming Soon!

1 HOUR LUNCH- Wellness sessions, visit Exhibitor Booths and QI Poster Presentations, Network with conference participants 

1:30pm – 3:00pm (EST)

Concurrent Sessions (B1-B4)

Presenters share expertise and participants will gain new knowledge and/or a new skill. The presentation will take an interactive approach and explore one of the following four streams related to the ‘data journey’; Getting Started, Adjusting, Progressing and Contribution to the System

B1: Getting Started: What Do I Do With All This Data?

B1: Getting Started: What Do I Do With All This Data?

B1-1: Data Quality and Waitlist Management

Description: Our agency has used the same data management software to track client information, group attendance and program completion since 2002; however, these data have never been used in any large scale studies or Quality Improvement initiatives. Like many other residential treatment programs, our clientele face ever-increasing wait times for service, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last September, our newly-established Quality Assurance team began an E-QIP Data Coaching Project on the topic of Waitlist Management. This project naturally requires an accurate measure of wait times which, as we quickly discovered, is not always easy to obtain. Despite the large amount of raw data we collect, our agency has historically relied on subjective estimates of wait times. This presentation details the process of turning an undifferentiated mass of client data into a (relatively) manageable set of wait times spanning a three-year period.

Presenter: Arron Carubba, Wayside House of Hamilton

Arron Carubba is Quality Assurance & Data Management Lead at Wayside House of Hamilton. He applies a background in experimental biology to social work through rigorous, data-driven studies of the client experience.

B1-2: Data Culture at CMHAGB: Started From the Bottom Now We’re Here

Description: Since becoming an amalgamated organization CMHA Grey Bruce realized that we didn’t have good reliable sources of data to use for benchmarking, target setting or indicator monitoring.  We determined that one of our first QIP initiatives would be improve data quality, and while this is not directly related to client outcomes it was a necessity for us to establish a foundation for future QI work.  We decided to use the EQIP QI and Data Culture Assessment as our indicator tool.  By improving our score it would show that our data culture was improving across the organization and that the management team saw value in the work being done to make improvement.

Presenter: Beth Debrone, CMHA Grey Bruce

Beth Debrone is the Manager of QI and Privacy at CMHA Grey Bruce. She Completed her Certified Associate in Project Management designation in June 2021 and is currently pursuing Masters of QI and Patient Safety at University of Toronto. Previous roles include Manager of Centralized Scheduling Department at Grand River Hospital and Quality Improvement Coordinator at Ornge Air Ambulance.

B2: Adjusting: Data Exhaustion Strategies and Learnings

B2: Adjusting: Data Exhaustion Strategies and Learnings

B2-1: Building and Mining the 1Call1Click.ca Access and Navigation Program’s Database

Description: 1Call1Click.ca, a regional coordinated access and navigation program, was established to ensure that every child and family in Eastern Ontario has faster access to high-quality, connected, child and youth Mental Health and Substance Use Health/Addiction (MHASUH) services.  It is an innovative collaboration of 25 child and youth MHASUH agencies committed to solving key challenges such as siloed care, communication between hospital and community sectors, navigating program eligibility, systematic measurement of outcomes, and inequitable delivery of/access to care).  We will describe 1Call1Click.ca which includes an integrated database to identify, track, and match client/patient needs to services across the healthcare system.  We will demonstrate the program dashboards (clinical metrics, operations, performance) and client experience data, which are used for continuous quality improvement, assessing service reach, and forecasting service needs. The audience will be actively engaged in discussion around the benefits and challenges of developing, maintaining and mining a comprehensive program database.

Presenters: Josee Blackburn, Cynthia Dawson, and Scott Robson, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

Josee Blackburn has an MSW and spent most of her career working within the healthcare and social services sectors. Josee is passionate about community partnership, collaboration and system transformation. In January 2021, she joined the Kids Come First Mental Health and Substance Use Health/Addiction Table as Director of operations. In this role, she worked on the planning and launch of 1Call1Click.ca.

Cynthia Dawson is the Manager of 1Call1Click.ca. She has worked at CHEO in Mental Health for 18 years. She has extensive mental health experience in working with community partners, families and high risk youth and holds a Lean Healthcare Green Belt certification. Cindy has a passion for quality improvement and connected care which lead to her involvement in the 1Call1Click.ca Program.

Scott Robson is a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Cappelli at The CHEO Research Institute and The Knowledge Centre on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions, where he is currently working on the HEADS-ED and 1Call1Click.ca projects. He completed a PhD in Neuroscience at Queen’s University with Dr. Kuhlmeier in 2022, where he studied how infants learn from observing others actions.

B2-2: Revision of Incident Reporting Processes for Increased Effectiveness

Description: Revamping of our incident reporting processes making the process easier for staff to access, document and follow up. How a lean approach was used to facilitate the new process, the change management involved and the organization of the incident reporting infrastructure.

Presenters: Allan Chong and Sajan Jacob, Services and Housing in the Province (SHIP) 

Allan Chong is the Quality & Privacy Officer at Services and Housing in the Province (SHIP.) He holds a Bachelor of Science from Trent University and Master of Planning from Queen’s University, both with a minor in Risk Management. He has a Six Sigma Black Belt, Internal Quality Auditor. Allan has over 20 years of experience in health care in a senior position. He is also a former researcher in a major international research centre.

Sajan Jacob holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU, formerly Ryerson University) and Six Sigma Green Belt, Internal Quality Auditor.

B3: Progressing: Telling Your Data Story and Engagement in QI

B3: Progressing: Telling Your Data Story and Engagement in QI

B3-1: Counselling Connect: Working Towards a Common Evaluation Agenda to Increase Access to Care

Description: Counselling Connect, Counselling on connecte (CC) provides rapid access to a free phone or video counselling session. Services are available for people across the lifespan, with culturally responsive offerings developed and delivered by Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ+, and African, Caribbean, and Black communities. As a covid-borne innovation rapidly initiated to meet the increased and immediate mental health, substance use health, and addiction needs in the region, there was a need for ongoing evaluation to inform implementation based on incoming data. More than two years later, a strong evaluation and quality improvement plan has been implemented, capturing the efforts of over 20 service partners, client partners, and 100+counsellors collaborating on CC. In this presentation, we describe the process by which we worked towards a common evaluation agenda, share our evaluation framework and quality improvement plan, and discuss our outcomes and lessons-learned along the way.

Presenters: Natasha McBrearty, Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre, Tamara Chipperfield, Centretown Community Health Centre, Liam McGuire, Ottawa Health Team-Équipe Santé Ottawa (OHT-ESO), and Natalie Duchesne (Ph.D), Connect2Knowledge

Natasha McBrearty has worked in community mental health for over 20 years. She is the Associate Executive Director of Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre, co-chair of Counselling Connect, and co-investigator on the Canadian School Attendance Problems (C-SAP) project. Natasha is committed to working alongside researchers, practitioners and client partners to create an accessible and coordinated system of care.

Tamara Chipperfield is co-chair of Counselling Connect and the Director of Mental Health, Community Development and Health Promotion at Centretown Community Health Centre. She has worked in health and social services sector in Ottawa for over 18 years. Tamara brings to her work a passion for community building, collaboration and innovation.

Liam McGuire is the Performance Measurement Lead for the Ottawa Health Team-Équipe Santé Ottawa (OHT-ESO), which seeks to improve access to integrated care for the local client population. Through this role, he has been providing evaluation and performance measurement support to Counselling Connect and other projects and initiatives supported by the Ottawa Health Team-Équipe Santé Ottawa.

Natalie Duchesne, Ph.D, is the owner of Connect2Knowledge and is passionate about helping not-for-profit service providers build more equitable communities. In addition to providing project management services to Counselling Connect, she has helped service providers increase access and equity during COVID-19 by supporting the implementation of a device loan project and by building staff capacity to deliver virtual programming.

B3-2: Collaborative Tenant Engagement to Identify and Bridge Gaps for Holistic Health Care

Description: HLMS is a largest housing provider, providing affordable housing and support services for people with experiences of homelessness and mental illness. Our QI project was to understand higher unit vacancy rate. We analyzed our data, and with tenant engagement we took a deeper dive to understand the reasons.  We used fishbone exercise that revealed gaps in the services, we saw a number of root causes through 5 Why’s and 2 H’s analysis. With staff engagement and participation, we were successful in rolling out change idea and implemented change in three major areas Food insecurity, Health and Harm reduction. We will present our data analysis from the vacancy chart, fish bone, 5 Why’s and change ideas. How we engaged staff and have their buy-in, how we were able to identify indicators and include them in our performance measurement and lastly the impact of the QI project.

Presenters: Parvin Merchant, Rubina Ahmed and Alexandra Monteiro, Houselink and Mainstay Community Housing

Parvin Merchant is the Director of Houselink and Mainstay Community Housing. Parvin brings international work experience and perspectives on systemic issues related to poverty and healthcare. She has worked extensively in housing marginalized individuals and ensuring they remain housed and receive quality services. She is calling for holistic change at all levels to improve service delivery for marginalized individuals and reduce social isolation.

Rubina Ahmed is a Supportive Housing Worker at Houselink and Mainstay Community Housing. Rubina is a registered social worker, working as Supportive Housing Worker with HLMS since 2019. She is passionate about frontline work dealing with homelessness and housing and is providing services in the sector for the last seven years with a trauma-informed lens to individuals with complex mental health and addictions concerns.

Alexandra Monteiro is a recent graduate working as a Supportive Housing Workers with HLMS. Alexandra is currently in the process of obtaining a master’s degree and has been working in the social service field for over year and a half and is extremely passionate about making a difference working alongside the population we serve.


B4: Contribution to the System

B4: Contribution to the System

B4-1: Details Coming Soon!

B4-2: Details Coming Soon!

30 MINUTE HEALTH BREAK – Wellness sessions, visit Exhibitor Booths and QI Poster Presentations, Network with conference participants

3:30pm – 4:30pm (EST)

Closing Panel- Details Coming Soon!

Details Coming Soon!

4:30pm – 5:00pm (EST)

Closing Remarks

Closing Remarks

Terra Cadeau, Director, Planning, Performance, Operations and Engagement, Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence at Ontario Health