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Evaluating and improving e-mental health services - a guiding framework for evaluating e-mental health services (2020)

Posted on:
November 14, 2021

In this useful framework document, the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (the Centre) and Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) provide an approach to evaluate current virtual care (or digital, hybrid/blended service delivery).

Why it's useful: "Understanding what has worked well, challenges and how these have been addressed will enable the sector, post-pandemic, to take planful and deliberate steps to adding virtual care options to their suite of mental health services for families."

The document is useful for any organization looking to evaluate their digital or hybrid/blended service delivery, regardless of the sector. It provides:

  • a summary of relevant findings from the literature on the implementation and evaluation of virtual mental health services; and
  • a checklist for evaluating e-mental health services

The guiding framework suggests that you conduct "evaluations of virtual care assess processes and outcomes across three levels:

  1. client level (including the perspectives of children, youth and families),
  2. service provider level and
  3. organizational level.

Other factors in the larger environmental context are also important considerations (e.g. legislative and socio-cultural factors), but beyond the scope of work at any one agency."

The evaluation checklist they provide is a subtle, but powerfully important reminder that what you are evaluating is not technology, but the effectiveness of service interventions and client outcomes.

They also ran a webinar on the topic in October 2020:

Evaluating and improving e-mental health services - a guiding framework for evaluating e-mental health services (2020)

Summary

In this useful framework document, the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (the Centre) and Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) provide an approach to evaluate current virtual care (or digital, hybrid/blended service delivery).
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