New Screening software used by police

Chief Mark MacGillivray and Community Officer Aaron Tompkins gave a good overview of the department’s new screening tool at CoW Monday night. Photo credit: Sally Smith.
Posted on: May 15, 2018

Sally Smith

Community Police Officer Aaron Tompkins, along with Chief Mark MacGillivray presented and described the department’s new Health IM Screening software to Committee of the Whole May 14.

Health IM has three components – a digital mental health screener, a wireless connection, and records management synchronization with the hospital system.

Health IM is a screening tool “to help people in a mental crisis,” explained the Chief. With its data analysis, the hope is for fewer apprehensions and reduced hospital wait times. The goal is to lead to “more efficient use of the hospital and the Lanark Carleton Mental Health Unit.”

Tompkins looks at it as a “standardized tool.” It takes three minutes to use, he says. The software is set up in the cruisers. When a mental health call comes in, the officer responds, asks the standard questions and enters the answers using standardized phrases, expressions and words (which are in the program), and sends the information immediately via wireless connection to the hospital or the health unit. Once the information has been input, a clinical risk score on a scale of 1 to 10 will be applied, and sent out under encryption, using the criteria of harm to self, harm to others, and failure to care for self.

Those on duty at the hospital or mental health unit can make a quick assessment which will help direct the officer where to take the individual who has made the call. Further action can quickly be determined – to apprehend, or make a referral, or escort back home or to the hospital or mental health unit. At this time a “harm risk” can be communicated to hospitals, to other officers or health units.

One of the great aspects is that “everybody is getting the same information,” Tompkins says.

Councillor John Mulroney asked the cost. Chief MacGillivray answered, again, that it reduced apprehensions and hospital wait times. “At the end of the day, the care is excellent,” he added. Councillor Dawn Quinn was enthusiastic about the new system commenting that  “police need a support system.”

  • The 16-inch water main is now back in the system.
  • The compost site is open from 8-4 every Saturday from now to the fall.
  • May 24-25 is leaf pick-up.
  • Docks are in and ready for Le Boat. First renters will be here May 17.
  • Canal  is open this weekend; basin not ready but rest of system is.
  • Another three weeks before parks are ready.
  • Please stay off the football fields – they’ve been seeded.
  • The ice is out of the arenas.
  • Musical Ride scheduled for May 27, Lower Reach Park, 2-4 p.m. with bleechers for 900 people.
  • Levels of water are up so the pair-bonded swans will be back soon.