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In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week, this month’s Form Feature highlights the PHQ-9, a widely used form for screening depression symptoms in primary care.
What is the PHQ-9?
The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) is a common yet vital tool for primary care to assess patient mental health and well-being. Developed in the 1990s, it’s been used countless times across Canada to identify and quantify depression symptoms in patients.
11 supported languages in Ocean
8.5K PHQ-9s completed monthly with Ocean
How to use the PHQ-9 with Ocean
With the rise in mental health concerns, early detection is critical. The Ocean Platform offers a handful of ways to seamlessly integrate the PHQ-9 into various workflows, making it much easier to screen more patients, more effectively.
Regardless of when, where, or how the patient is screened, the process is the same:
- Patient receives and completes the PHQ-9*
- Ocean automatically scores the results
- Responses are securely synced into their chart in the EMR and ready for patient-provider discussion
*If the patient scores highly after the initial PHQ-9, Ocean can be set up to automatically present an additional form for suicide risk.
Using Ocean’s online booking solution, patients can schedule their own mental health appointments. By removing the step of having to speak to someone to book an appointment, it can help patients feel more comfortable seeking help. As part of the booking process, you can include a PHQ-9 to get an assessment of the patient at the time of booking.
You can send timely reminders via text or email to remind patients of their upcoming mental health appointments and encourage them to complete the PHQ-9 if they haven’t already. These can be scheduled to go out automatically before or after the appointment, should you want to automate any follow-up questionnaires.
Tablets in waiting rooms can allow patients to complete the PHQ-9 electronically, reducing the need for paperwork and clipboards. In a case study conducted by the eHealth Centre of Excellence, they found mental health assessments completed by patients on tablets helped facilitate more honest responses. Patients who may not have been comfortable sharing their issues face-to-face were given a medium in which they could freely share with their doctors.
“In the past and before the tablets were implemented into our workflow, patients may have downplayed their mental health condition. With the technology integrated into our practice, the tablet allows the patient to focus on how they are feeling and provide more details than he/she would otherwise provide, ensuring that we have a productive appointment that meets their needs.”