CAMH helps launch new tool to help patients better manage after discharge

CAMH helps launch new tool to help patients better manage after discharge

TORONTO, November 27, 2017 – The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is pleased to announce the launch of the new province-wide Patient Oriented Discharge Summary (PODS) – a proven tool that provides patients with the vital information they need to know when they leave the hospital.  PODS is rolling out to 27 Ontario hospitals today following a successful pilot program at eight hospitals in Toronto. The original PODS template was designed at the University Health Network’s OpenLab. CAMH has adapted it specifically for mental health patients by collecting feedback from front-line clinicians, patients and family members. A PODS pilot project launched in two CAMH units in September – the Early Psychosis Unit (EPU) and Mood and Anxiety Inpatient Unit (MAUI) – and is now being deployed throughout all CAMH inpatient units.

CAMH President and CEO Dr. Catherine Zahn is thrilled to be a part of an innovative project to improve patients’ transition out of the hospital and help give them the support and confidence they need to care for themselves at home.

“There’s a lot for patients to remember when they leave the hospital,” says Dr. Zahn. “Having all the information they need in one place allows patients and health care providers to have meaningful conversations about post-discharge care.”

PODS discharge summaries provide patients with information about their medication, follow-up appointments, what to expect after discharge, discharge-specific goals and community resources to help meet them, as well as identifies supports after discharge which can assist patients transition to home. PODS discharge summaries are written in plain language, with large font, include images, and are available in 15 languages. There is also a section for patients to write discharge instructions in their own words.

Catherine Corey, whose son has schizophrenia, played a key role in shaping CAMH’s version of PODS for mental health care. She recalled that the first time her son was discharged from a hospital at 17, he was given a taxi chit and a prescription.

Catherine Corey

“It took me two weeks to find him,” she said.

Catherine was adamant PODS needed to provide multiple opportunities to seek client consent to share personal health information– such as medication, follow-up appointment and coping strategies– with family members or supporters.

“My son would often be angry with me about being hospitalized and he wouldn’t give consent,” she says. “What would happen is if they didn’t give consent initially, you wouldn’t be asked again.”

Catherine is optimistic PODS will provide the missing link families and supporters need to help provide care upon discharge from the hospital.

“All the information is in one place. It’s not a Post-it note. I can’t tell you how many of those I’d miss or lose and then find them months later,” she says.

The expansion is thanks to the Adopting Research to Improve Care (ARTIC) grant, and it is a joint program of the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario and Health Quality Ontario.


The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit or follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.

Media Contact:

Sean O’Malley
Media Relations, CAMH
416 535-8501 ext. 36663
[email protected]

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