Technology for physical health, mental health & addictions care

Guest post by Sean Erreger @StuckonSW

Mental health and addictions are becoming in the forefront of healthcare. Healthcare leaders are thinking about how they can better address mental health and addictions needs of those they serve.  Opportunities such as co-location of mental health services in primary care are slowly changing the way mental health care.  Organizations such as The Kennedy Forum and The National Council on Behavioral Health are moving the ball forward on integrating behavioral and addictions care into primary care. We still have a long way to go.

As a technology enthusiast, I am wondering where opportunities and barriers are for technology in mental health care. This year I have the privilege of attending the 2018 Health Information Management Systems Society conference (HIMSS18) as a social media ambassador. I am coming to the conference with the belief that Health IT can play a role in mental health integration in 3 key ways:

  1. Decision Support. How can Health IT assist with assessment, referral, and treatment of mental health substance use disorders across the healthcare spectrum.
  2. Health Information Exchanges (HIE’s). How can HIE’s aide the exchange of information between interdisciplinary care providers, patients, and families.
  3. Policy. We know that making mental health and addictions part of an electronic health record makes sense but understanding privacy laws and reimbursement reform will play a key role in how these programs can be implemented.

Technology is certainly making with world smaller and connecting people like never before. On Tuesday February 13th, 2018 at 8:30pm ET, please join me as I host the weekly #hcldr tweetchat (for your local time click here). During this chat I wanted to further explore how technology can be leveraged to connect people, physical health, mental health, and addictions care:

  • T1 In what ways have you seen mental health and behavioral health integrate?
  • T2 In what ways has Health IT been used to successfully connect people with mental health services?
  • T3 What barriers still stand in the way of adopting technology to connect people with addictions with the care/info they need?
  • T4 What can we, as healthcare leaders, do to spur the adoption of technology to bridge healthcare with mental health?

About Sean

Sean is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York State. He has 14 years of direct social work practice mostly with children and families, case management, and crisis services. Interested in social media and technology’s impact on healthcare, mental health, and social work; he blogs at


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