Sault Area Hospital Launches SeamlessMD for Mental Health and Addictions Remote Care Monitoring
Sault Area Hospital (SAH) will be the first healthcare system in North America to launch SeamlessMD, a Digital Patient Engagement platform, to remotely monitor patients through their Mental Health and Addictions care journey. As the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically increased the need to expand access to care while reducing the necessity of in-person care, SAH has made it a priority to create this Mental Health and Addictions Remote Care Monitoring (MH&A RCM) program in collaboration with SeamlessMD to serve vulnerable patients in Sault Ste. Marie and its surrounding areas.
“We are thrilled to partner with SeamlessMD to develop an efficient and effective way to support mental health and addictions patients,” says Dr. James Chan, Director of Innovation at Sault Area Hospital. “With the technology, providers can monitor patients/clients on dashboards in real-time, allowing for personalized care recommendations and quicker intervention from the care team if necessary. Additionally, people are given the tools to effectively self-manage from home, thus empowering individuals to more actively participate in their own healthcare.”
Using SeamlessMD, MH&A patients at SAH can access digital care plans using their own device (e.g., smartphone, tablet, computer). The technology is designed to support patients by providing them with access to specialized resources and care. The hospital collaborated with SeamlessMD to customize protocols and content on the platform, including:
- An expert-approved education library, with content covering a wide range of MH&A topics such as medications, therapy, coping strategies, and harm reduction tactics;
- Local and online resources for MH&A as well as resources for practical areas such as housing and access to food;
- Positive daily affirmations, and daily gratitude journaling exercises;
- Daily self-care reminders, including reminders for taking medications, managing withdrawal symptoms, and exercising;
- Daily health checks for patients to monitor mood, substance use, coping skills usage, medication compliance, withdrawal symptoms, sleep and other self-care items via surveys. Once surveys are complete, they are given recommendations for self-care including coping strategies, calling a crisis service, or going to the Emergency Department in more serious situations;
- A weekly goal setting module for patients to set goals for recovery; and
- A bi-weekly health check for patients to track symptoms over time and indicate any issues accessing transportation, housing, or food.
“Being able to customize content to better serve those in Sault Ste. Marie and area was an important component to include in the program,” shares Lisa Case, Clinical Director for the Mental Health and Addictions program. “The platform also ensures that our Indigenous patients are aware of the hospital’s Indigenous System Navigator, and are given access to additional resources that provide support for Indigenous patients/clients in the region and surrounding communities. This ensures that these patients receive more culturally appropriate care for the best possible recovery.”
This initiative received provincial funding to enhance the pandemic response and recovery plan through appropriate virtual care options, which are key in ensuring continuity of health services. SAH has already partnered with SeamlessMD to engage and monitor patients undergoing 12 specific surgeries across several departments (Orthopedics, General Surgery, Urology and OB/GYN).
“SeamlessMD is honoured to partner with Sault Area Hospital as they continue to drive digital health innovation into the Mental Health and Addictions space,” comments Dr. Joshua Liu, CEO at SeamlessMD. “We are dedicated to supporting patients’ mental and emotional wellbeing through the delivery of effective virtual care.”