Technology

A key part of this project is the development of a user-friendly and secure online tool for Psychiatric Advance Directives in California. With this technology platform, people will be able to learn about, complete, and store their Psychiatric Advance Directives.

Benefits of Digital System

  • Scalable for broad use across the lifespan
  • Easily accessible in medical and residential care systems
  • Timely information to reduce hospital and jail recidivism
  • Accessible in either digital or printed versions
  • Immediate connection to a personally appointed advocate/agent
  • Personalized information on medication use and preferences
  • Personalized crisis de-escalation techniques
  • Electronic signatures
  • Accessible if individual moves between counties

Psychiatric Advance Directive Technology Overview

The technology platform aims to:

  • Honor individuals’ autonomy in decision-making regarding their mental health care supports and services
  • Support the collaboration between Peer Specialists and individuals to complete the Psychiatric Advance Directive
  • Serve as an easy-to-use, approachable, and accessible place for anyone who is interested in learning more about and completing Psychiatric Advance Directives
  • Ensure Psychiatric Advance Directives information is readily available, and can help inform decision making during mental health crises or in other mental health treatment settings

This will be achieved through:

  • Creating a secure, HIPAA-compliant place for individuals to create and store their Psychiatric Advance Directive
  • Enhancing the experience of creating a Psychiatric Advance Directive through a guided, user-centered approach. Explore the use of interactive prompts to support, and provide information to, the user
  • Allowing individuals to share their Psychiatric Advance Directive either electronically or via a printed copy based on their preference
  • Offering cloud-based, real-time access to Psychiatric Advance Directives by necessary stakeholders (e.g. peers, family members, crisis responders, law enforcement, hospitals, mental health professionals, etc.)
  • Being a centralized place for education, information, and training materials, including videos, regarding how to complete, or help others complete, and use Psychiatric Advance Directives
  • Accessibility in 8 languages: Arabic, English, Farsi, Hmong, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese
  • Connecting with existing information and data systems being used by stakeholders (e.g. electronic health records, records management systems, California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, etc.)

At times, the digital space feels cold and distant, yet this project resonates differently with me. It’s rooted in compassion, and it has the power to transform what was once a scary place into a comforting and familiar space.

– Jackie S., Certified Peer Support Specialist

Having an electronic version of PADs is going to be completely game-changing. Almost no one I’ve worked with who receives mental health services is even aware of PADs. This is going to bring so much awareness!

– Tiffany E., Certified Peer Support Specialist

Quick access to information in the field aids law enforcement in making more quality decisions for all parties.

– Isaiah Hicks, Deputy Sherriff, OCSD

This technological resource will help to save lives, as well as lower the risk of causing further trauma to those in the middle of a mental health crisis.

– Savannah B., Certified Peer Support Specialist

At times, the digital space feels cold and distant, yet this project resonates differently with me. It’s rooted in compassion, and it has the power to transform what was once a scary place into a comforting and familiar space.

– Jackie S., Certified Peer Support Specialist

Having an electronic version of PADs is going to be completely game-changing. Almost no one I’ve worked with who receives mental health services is even aware of PADs. This is going to bring so much awareness!

– Tiffany E., Certified Peer Support Specialist

Quick access to information in the field aids law enforcement in making more quality decisions for all parties.

– Isaiah Hicks, Deputy Sherriff, OCSD

This technological resource will help to save lives, as well as lower the risk of causing further trauma to those in the middle of a mental health crisis.

– Savannah B., Certified Peer Support Specialist

Co-creating with peers, families, service providers and first responders

An important feature of the project’s technology innovation is the use of a participatory development approach. This participatory approach centers peers, families, community members, public sector health, and other service providers in helping to create the PADs technology together. This ensures that the community's needs drive the way in which the technology is developed. The core values of participatory development include:

  • Inclusive Partnership
  • Building trusting relationships that represent the diverse and unique perspectives of users and ensure that all have an opportunity to contribute and be heard in the process of product development and design. When community partners are supported to co-lead in the process, they experience a greater sense of ownership over the technology which leads to more meaningful and impactful outcomes.
  • Knowledge Exchange
  • Local knowledge and lived experiences are highly valued and it is crucial for community partners to voice their values, beliefs, assets, and capabilities along with the challenges and barriers they experience. By including the community in the product design and development process, the creation and use of technology is democratized and demystified. All parties come away from the project with greater knowledge and understanding of the ways in which technology is used in health systems and can contribute to improving those experiences.
  • Collaborative Problem Solving
  • A process where problems are defined, and solutions are identified, together with the community.  As the platform is developed, versions are shared for further input and updated based on community knowledge. This leads to solutions that are more effective, relevant, and sustainable.
  • Transparency
  • There is transparency, achieved through open and timely communication, in all partnerships, at every phase of the project, and throughout product development.

Technology Workgroups

There are three distinct technology workgroups, each meeting one to two times per month, with participants from the project’s seven counties who represent the following groups:

  • Peers, individuals self-identified as having lived experience with the recovery process
  • First Responders (e.g. law enforcement, crisis teams, etc.) and Service Providers (e.g. hospital and behavioral health staff, etc.)
  • Family, Caregivers, and Community Members

The purpose of the workgroups is to ensure the values, preferences, beliefs, and lived experiences of participants are reflected in the technology and design of the PAD. Workgroups topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Concerns about using technology and safety/privacy and ways to address these concerns
  • Current ways information is shared or obtained in crisis situations
  • What information is most important to have access to in a crisis situation
  • Potential barriers to being able to successfully use the technology
  • Features and functionality that will make the technology easier and more appealing to use

Regular updates will be shared here regarding the workgroups.  

Workgroup Updates

December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023