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Guelph Police use new technology to improve sharing of information on mental health calls

Information now shared with health practitioners electronically straight from the cruiser
DO NOT USE 20160202 Guelph Police Station Exterior KA
File photo of Guelph Police Service Building. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday

Guelph Police are teaming up with the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Guelph General Hospital to speed up the process when dealing with calls involving mental health issues.

Pertinent information about the call that used to be hand written on a form filled and delivered to medical practitioners will now be submitted electronically through an app straight from the responding officer’s cruiser.

That means the information gets delivered almost immediately to all parties that might end up being involved.

“It gets them the appropriate help by getting the information to a medical practitioner quicker. It gets the facts and issues to a person with the expertise to make the right decision,” said Gueph Police spokesperson Const. Chris Probst.

“Not only is it taking the follow up paperwork that officers had, it’s making it digital and it’s advising all relative community partners that work with us on mental health calls and advising them instantaneously so everyone knows what’s going on,” said Probst.

They get that information in the blink of an eye, from the cruiser right after the call, as opposed to paperwork being filled out and handed over later.

“It speeds everything up and it’s easier for tracking as well,” Probst said.

The system was developed in partnership with Waterloo-based HealthIM.

Probst said it also is a more efficient use of police resources, adding that one of the issues in policing these days is how much resources are used in mental health calls. Being able to track calls assists in that efficiency.

The upgraded tool was launched earlier in January.

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Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 30 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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