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The emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on everyone and has greatly intensified the need for accessible mental healthcare.  The UW ALACRITY Center was given a grant by the US National Institute for Mental Health to study the acceptability, usability, and effectiveness of mental health apps for suicide prevention among essential workers and people experiencing unemployment during COVID-19, because these two populations have experienced significant hardship during this crisis.

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Using Real-World Data for Decision Support: Recommendations from a Primary Care Provider Survey.

The Permanente Journal. March 2021. Perm J 2021;25:20.213

The use of real-world data from wearable sensors, smartphones, and apps holds promise as a clinical decision-making tool in health and mental health in primary care medicine, yet provider input on what is important to collect and how information should be shared is rarely ascertained.  This study explored primary care providers’ receptivity to incorporating real-world data into their practice, and how that information should be shared in order to be valuable for decision-making.

We codeveloped an intelligent tutoring system (ITS) with 11 undergraduate students and pilot tested it with six bachelor of social work (BSW) students enrolled in a class on telephone-based cognitive behavioral therapy (tCBT).  This proof-of-concept study assessed the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of the ITS as a classroom adjunct to improve training BSW students in client engagement strategies.

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This paper presents the protocol for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)–funded University of Washington’s ALACRITY (Advanced Laboratories for Accelerating the Reach and Impact of Treatments for Youth and Adults with Mental Illness) Center (UWAC), which uses human-centered design (HCD) methods to improve the implementation of evidence-based psychosocial interventions (EBPIs). We propose that usability—the degree to which interventions and implementation strategies can be used with ease, efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction—is a fundamental, yet poorly understood determinant of implementation.

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As part of its Healthy Aging & Independent Living (HAIL) initiative, Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation (CFI) examined the patient experience regarding the decision to receive a ventricular assistive device (VAD) implant, and patients’ quality of life after the surgery. As health care technology continues to develop, more people will be living longer, fuller lives with the assistance of wearable/implantable medical devices such as the VAD. This case study examined and made recommendations on ways for the Mayo Clinic VAD Committee to improve the program.

Decades of practicing medicine have created a system that teaches physicians and members of the care team best practices to replicate standardised behaviours, the very antithesis of change. In health care, the antibodies to change are embedded in the culture and the training of the employees who provide care.  Setting the stage, and creating the buy-in among leaders and employees to question – even simply suggesting that there are service changes to be made – has become an art in itself. 

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