The Chief Information Office Bureau (CIOB) of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) is responsible for meeting the technological needs of the mental health system in Los Angeles County. To assist LACDMH in achieving the goals of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), CIOB is responsible for developing a long-term information systems infrastructure program and expenditure plan for mental health to facilitate the highest quality, cost-effective services and supports for consumer and family wellness, recovery, and resiliency.
Chief Information Office Bureau
To facilitate the accomplishment of the DMH Mission through carefully selected, well maintained, and cost effective information technology products and services.
MHSA – IT Plan
Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LAC-DMH) developed its Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Technological Needs Proposal (MHSA-IT Plan) through a comprehensive stakeholder process that began in September 2007. The MHSA-IT Plan was approved by local stakeholders via a public hearing in August 2008. Subsequent to stakeholder approval, the MHSA-IT Plan was approved by the County Board of Supervisors in February 2009 and California Department of Mental Health in May 2009.
MHSA-IT Plan funds ($69,779,360) will be used to support technology projects that advance two overarching MHSA goals:
- Increasing Consumer and Family Empowerment by providing the tools for secure consumer and family access to health information and;
- Modernization and Transformation of clinical and administrative information systems to ensure quality of care, parity, operational efficiency and cost effectiveness.
Although stated as distinct goals, LAC-DMH views the consumer as the focus of each technology project included in the MHSA-IT Plan. At the core of each is the desire to develop an integrated information systems infrastructure that improves the overall well-being of consumers receiving public mental health services in LAC.
The MHSA-IT Plan contains six projects:
I. Integrated Behavioral Health Information System
II. Contract Provider Technology Projects
III. Consumer/Family Access to Computer Resources
IV. Personal Health Record Awareness and Education
V. Data Warehouse Re-Design
VI. Telepsychiatry Feasibility Study and Recommendations
Integrated Behavioral Health Information System (IBHIS): The IBHIS will provide integrated clinical, administrative and financial functionality to LAC-DMH in its role as a provider of mental health services and in its role as the Local Plan Administrator. The IBHIS will provide LAC-DMH clinicians access to consumer clinical records regardless of where each consumer was seen previously in the LAC-DMH network. Clinicians will have access to medication history information, recent assessments, laboratory and psychological test results, and, when appropriate, clinician notes from prior visits.
Contract Provider Technology Projects: The Contract Provider Technology Project is an umbrella project encompassing a mix of technology projects within the range of projects identified in the MHSA Capital Facilities and Technological Needs Guidelines. This umbrella project is intended to provide a means for Contract Providers within the LAC-DMH provider network to obtain the funding necessary to fully participate in the Integrated Information Systems Infrastructure and address their technological needs consistent with the MHSA Capital Facilities and Technological Needs Guidelines.
Consumer/Family Access to Computer Resources Project: Mental health consumers, and family members need access to computer resources and they should have access to computer training and technical assistance. Computer skills training, and technical assistance are essential to ensure that consumers and family members are able to effectively use computer resources made available to them. Through this project LAC-DMH plans to set-up one or more consumer/family dedicated computer workstations in service settings and secure residential settings. Other settings are being considered. Videoconferencing is being explored in at least one service location in each of 8 Service Planning Areas. This project also includes implementation of a computer skills training program and providing technical assistance during normal business hours to consumer/family users.
Personal Health Record Awareness and Education Project (PHR): Through the stakeholder process, LAC-DMH received considerable feedback suggesting that many mental health consumers have limited awareness of PHR(s) and how a PHR may be used as a recovery and wellness tool. LAC-DMH is requesting MHSA Information Technology funds to support the development of written and online PHR awareness and education materials. Online materials will include both written and video content. Content will be developed with two specific target audiences, consumer/family and mental health service providers.
Data Warehouse Re-Design: Implementation of the electronic health record necessitates re-designing the current LAC-DMH data warehouse. Along with new data collected in the IBHIS, forthcoming MHSA programs (Prevention and Early Intervention, Workforce Education and Training, and Innovation) will bring in additional new clinical, administrative, and financial data that must be stored in the data warehouse. This project will prepare LAC-DMH for warehousing these data from disparate data sources as well as establish appropriate resources for warehousing legacy data.
Telepsychiatry Feasibility Study and Recommendations: LAC-DMH encompasses over 4,000 square miles and some areas are sparsely populated and remote from major medical centers and mental health service delivery resources. LAC-DMH is requesting MHSA funding to support a feasibility study to identify opportunities for a variety of telepsychiatry programs; identify the possible benefits of a more wide-spread and systematic adoption of telepsychiatry; document possible negatives associated with telepsychiatry; and make a recommendation as to the programmatic value of a systematic implementation of Telepsychiatry in LAC-DMH.