Over the past three months, I’ve had a number of conversations with partners, friends, and colleagues about strategy. It’s a broad topic that I’ve come to appreciate is a beautiful hybrid of art and science. It takes creativity and forward thinking to choose how to invest time and resources. It also takes remarkable discipline and rigor to execute on strategy, and avoid the distraction of opportunities that could take you off course.
The importance of the art and science of strategy cannot be understated in the children’s brain and mental health sector. We have to use data and emerging trends to determine how to best support children and families across the country, and then execute on razor thin budgets. I continue to be impressed by the amazing leadership and collaboration on display by mental health service providers to deliver outcomes for children and families in this environment.
Last month, I had the privilege of speaking about the power of cloud technologies for non-profit organizations at Capital One’s Digital for Good Summit. Most organizations we’ve worked with have technology advancements as a key pillar of their strategic priorities, and rightfully so. As we have seen in our project with The George Hull Centre, cloud-based solutions can have a real impact on service delivery. However, implementing these solutions effectively takes real leadership and a lot of hard work. This is where rigor and discipline in execution is critical.
This is why it’s so important for us to work with mental health agencies who are forward thinking and have a history of evolution. It’s also why we rely on individuals from leading for-profit companies to bring their unique and valuable skills to the mental health sector.
As our team at Capitalize for Kids wraps up a couple of projects, we are continuing to evolve our own strategy, inclusive of our vision and tactics to create a meaningful and calculated impact across Canada. As you likely know, we allocate our time, energy and resources towards solving one of the biggest issues facing children’s mental health service providers – capacity. Demand is increasing, funding has not. Waitlists are atrocious and from our perspective, we have yet to see a strong attempt at solving this problem. This is why Capitalize for Kids exists.
Our team has learned a lot along the way, and our next quarter will focus on sharing those learnings. We’ll be packaging up our processes, tools and techniques to create change. It takes a collective effort to build capacity on a national scale. Our belief is that other mental health agencies can learn from our projects and research to support their own problem solving, and create similar change in their organizations and communities.
One final note, I’m pleased to officially welcome David Iudiciani who has left Microsoft to join Capitalize for Kids as a Digital Consultant. David adds a terrific tech skillset that will enable us to deliver more impactful and innovative solutions to the children’s brain and mental health sector. Welcome David!
Director of Consulting, Capitalize for Kids
Director of Consulting, Capitalize for Kids
A significant funder of this work.
We are working with George Hull to implement an appointment reminder and confirmation solution, and reduce the total time clinicians spend on writing reports.
We are thrilled to report that we have concluded implementation of the appointment reminder solution at The George Hull Centre for Children and Families. We’re now packaging up our process for dissemination to service providers across Canada. You’ll be able to see that document in full in the coming months.
Reduction in appointment no-shows.
Appointments used more effectively per year.
In health care value created.
Return on our investment.
After a thorough evaluation led by The Boston Consulting Group, we have concluded that there are two key drivers of above-average report writing times;
- Elapsed time between writing sessions
- The number of writing sessions per report
With these insights, clinicians at George Hull have a very clear action plan to reduce the administrative burden of report writing. We’re working with George Hull to design ways in which clinicians can get their reports done in fewer writing sessions, or keeping writing sessions closer together in their schedules.
Fewer hours spent on report writing annually by clinicians.
We are increasing provincial capacity for mental health and addictions care in Nova Scotia by establishing networks of care between rural mental health services and clinicians at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.
In partnership with McKinsey, we have designed a provincial clinician capability building program and podcast called Clinician Cast: Mental Health and Addictions Treatment Network. Here’s how it works:
- Each month, we select a high priority topic in child and adolescent mental health and addictions.
- An expert will host a 45-minute webinar on the topic to share best practices, and answer questions from clinicians across Nova Scotia.
- Webinars will be edited into podcasts and written summaries for ongoing learning for clinicians in Nova Scotia and across Canada.
On June 19th, we hosted our first pilot webinar and developed a podcast out of this session. We’re now analysing pilot feedback, and designing the sustainable operating model for the program. In addition, we’re identifying opportunities to leverage this knowledge for capability building for clinicians across Canada through the podcast.
This program will improve quality of care, and therefore improve long term health outcomes for children and families.
Here are some exciting results from the pilot session.
Clinicians across Nova Scotia attended the webinar.
54 / 70
clinicians filled out the feedback survey.
of survey respondents said that participating in the webinar will improve the quality of care they can provide to children and youth with obsessive compulsive disorder.
The session has been cut into our first podcast episode. You can listen to it here or subscribe on iTunes or Google Play.
We are supporting and guiding Kids Help Phone to launch a Project Management Office and operationalize their strategic priorities. These are the first steps to improving their existing services and designing new ones that will engage kids using the latest technology.
We have transitioned into the pilot phase of the project management office. We are testing the process, toolkit, and reporting structure on a project to revamp Kids Help Phone’s internal culture. Feedback from project managers will be integrated for the full roll out of the project management office.
In addition, we are in the final stages of operationalizing their strategic plan. We have worked with Kids Help Phone’s executives to develop 9 specific goals, and accountabilities for each. We’re now finalizing initiatives to achieve each goal, and the timeline the executives will be accountable to meet.
Increase in the number of kids accessing Kids Help Phone’s services.
We have positioned Kids Help Phone to achieve an ambitious goal of engaging kids 3.5 million times annually by 2021.
We are helping Yorktown implement a digital HR system to streamline all HR and finance operations.
We kicked off this project in partnership with RBC’s Strategy and Transformation Services team. Over the first few weeks of the engagement, we have working through their current HR and finance processes to identify opportunities to streamline. Once processes have been cleaned up, we will prioritize which functions should be digitalized, and which can remain as-is. This will ensure we find the most cost-effective and sustainable solution for the organization.
Reduction in time spent on HR and finance administration by HR and payroll manager.
Reduction in time spent on HR and finance administration by program staff.
Increase in the number of kids receiving care from freed up staff time.
We are helping Kids Brain Health Network translate research into practice.
In partnership with The Boston Consulting group, we held a workshop with the lead researchers of Social ABC’s – an evidence-based parent mediated intervention for toddlers with suspected or diagnosed autism. We identified the greatest opportunity is to create the best possible experience for families using the intervention, and the coaches who you provide training to families on how to apply techniques to help their kids improve against key indicators of autism.
Increased number of toddlers receiving care for autism.
Reduced lifetime cost of healthcare services associated with autism.
Improved outcomes for kids living with autism.
Thanks to our consulting partners who provide their services at no costs to support these projects.