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CAMH Stories Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

CAMH’s ICP for dementia earns top standing as Leading Practice

By Mike Hajmasy

CAMH’s inaugural Integrated Care Pathway (ICP): Dementia – Agitation and Aggression has been recognized by Accreditation Canada and Health Standards Organization (HSO) as a Leading Practice: an initiative in direct care that’s improving the effectiveness and efficiency of health care services.

This marks the fifth Leading Practice at CAMH to be identified by Accreditation Canada, the other four being singled out during the organization-wide Accreditation in 2015 where the hospital earned Exemplary Standing.

It was Jyll​ Simmons, Project Manager, ICP Program who submitted a request to Accreditation Canada and HSO to have CAMH’s Dementia ICP evaluated.

“I saw an opportunity to recognize not only the positive clinical outcomes of ICPs, but also the hard work of the clinical team in developing and implementing the pathway,” she says. “They paved the way for the development of the other seven pathways at CAMH and ​have supported the scale-up of ICPs at other organizations across Ontario.”

The Dementia ICP Working Group (L to R): Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, Dr. Sarah Colman, Dr. Li Chu, Dr. Amruta Shanbhag, Farhat Farrokhi, Saima Awan, Dr. Simon Davies, Rong Ting, Jyll Simmons, Joanne Uyede, Celine Teo, Bob Li, Dr. Ariel Graff and Dr. Philip Gerretsen.

ICPs remain novel in the context of the North American mental health field, but CAMH is leading the charge to ensure this kind of treatment is considered for people living with mental illness and addictions issues.

To be considered as a Leading Practice, programs and initiatives are evaluated based on:

  • ​Creativity and innovation
  • Client- or family-centeredness
  • Past evaluations
  • Sustainability
  • Successful outcomes (results); and
  • Adaptability


A model for other health care organizations

With status as a Leading Practice, CAMH’s ICP for dementia is now the benchmark for standardized care of aggression and agitation associated with Alzheimer’s dementia.

“Other health care organizations can adopt this model of treatment with confidence knowing it has been vetted by Accreditation C​​anada,” explains Saima Awan, Director, ICP Program. “To date, this pathway has been implemented at the North Bay Regional Health Centre and Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre. Our vision is to see CAMH mental health pathways implemented across Ontario and beyond.”

The dementia ICP was first introduced in the summer of 2013, and since then has helped over 100 patients and their families manage the illness and its symptoms using evidence-informed interventions that meet individual needs.

“It’s been an exciting journey from conception to implementation, and now having found sustainability in the long run,” Saima adds. “The Geriatrics team has been exceptional in its collaboration and learnings every step of the way.”   

Published on January 26, 2018


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