ENDING WAIT TIMES

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Project Summary

The Ending Wait Times (EWT) Project: Eliminating wait times for MCYS funded "core" child & youth mental health services across Dufferin Wellington.

The EWT project aims to gather information on the core programs, services, supports and pathways within the child and youth mental health service system at CMHA-WW and DCAFS in order to:

  • Map/understand the system journey including services (the programs we offer) and pathways (how children, youth, and families move between services) from the perspectives of staff and clients.
  • Identify specific pathways for diverse populations including Indigenous and French-speaking.
  • Support effective planning, decision-making, and positive changes in processes and service delivery.
  • Engage service providers and clients in testing prototyped solutions.
  • Ensure planning is based on evidence.

WHY THIS PROJECT?

Right now, we know people are waiting for services. What’s in our control to make this better? We aim to:

  • Understand and continue to do what we do well.
  • Understand and grow in areas where our services/processes do not currently serve children, youth, families and staff well.
  • Build on the successes of our colleagues in other communities who have worked to eliminate wait times.

BY THE END OF THE PROJECT, WE WILL…

  • Have a better understanding of who is waiting for service.
  • Have a better understanding of why they are waiting.
  • Have a clear implementation plan for eliminating wait times that have the biggest impact on the experience of children, youth, and their families.
  • Be committed to sustained change.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

This project supports local activities aligned with the provincial Moving on Mental Health Strategy. It builds on work completed locally in 2016-17 that started the identification of needs and gaps, along with related ongoing initiatives.

MAPPING SERVICES AND PATHWAYS

Mapping our services and pathways allows us to see the whole picture of our system. Creating and validating the maps with clients and staff help us understand the current landscape and learn how clients flow in, through, and out of services.

Our activities include:

  • Hosting mapping and validation sessions for staff and clients at CMHA WW and DCAFS focused on the ‘In’, ‘Through’, and ‘Out’ phases of the system.

EXPLORING DATA INSIGHTS

To increase our knowledge, we are incorporating additional information from sources such as workload analysis and caseload weighting processes, and using data from the Caseworks client information system to build on what we learn from the maps.

Our activities include:

  • Working with staff to adapt/adopt a workload analysis/caseload weighting tool.
  • Forming a data task group to mine CaseWorks data to be plotted onto the maps.
  • Getting clarity on a definition for wait times.
  • Examining data and resources from colleagues in other communities who have been successful in eliminating wait times.

FRAMING THE OPPORTUNITY

From here, we are able to clearly articulate the pain points which presently exist within the system and identify the services that people do and do not wait for, and for how long.

Our activities include:

  • Narrowing in on areas in which to focus our energy for identifying actions.

IDENTIFYING ACTIONS

In response to the opportunity before us to improve the system by ending wait times, we are committed to identifying actions, such as developing and/or revising tools and processes that will improve the flow of service, and involving clients and staff in the co-design of proposed solutions.

Our activities include:

  • Designing prototypes of processes, procedures, protocols, and tools to decrease/eliminate wait times.

TESTING AND ITERATING

Engaging in and collecting ongoing, rapid feedback on prototypes is important to understand how the proposed solutions are responding to the needs of the system, and to make changes towards improvement. Bringing staff, clients/families, and other stakeholders to test prototypes/solutions/tools is essential for this phase of the project.

Our activities include:

  • Incorporating learnings into subsequent versions of the prototypes, continue testing and iterating.

Overall Client and Staff Engagement

  • Narrowing in on areas in which to focus our energy for identifying actions.
  • Designing prototypes of processes, procedures, protocols, and tools to decrease/eliminate wait times.
  • Incorporating learnings into subsequent versions of the prototypes, continue testing and iterating.
  • Presenting on the project at meetings for managers, child and youth team, and psychiatry.
  • Identifying staff champions to support the work.
  • Involving a family advocate to share best practices and facilitate connections for support the work in being family-centric.
  • Inviting family member representatives to be part of key EWT core team meetings.