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Michelle O'Keefe



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    OS05 - Mining the Gold! (ID 6)

    • Event: e-Health 2019 Virtual Meeting
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track:
    • Presentations: 1
    • Coordinates: 5/27/2019, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM, Pod 7
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      OS05.03 - Early Intervention Solutions for PTSD Indicators in First Responders (ID 466)

      Michelle O'Keefe, Sierra Systems; Ottawa/CA

      • Abstract

      Purpose/Objectives:
      Police recognize that Early Intervention Solutions (EIS) can be invaluable tools for improving the effectiveness of supervisors, identifying at risk officers, and building public trust, but what impact would an EIS have on detecting warning signs of PTSD in first responders and front-line hospital workers, who are frequently exposed to traumatic, life-altering events? This presentation explores how combining data about at-risk events (e.g. complaints and critical incidents) with operational data allows agencies and health employers to provide early intervention for at-risk front-line staff, manage corresponding follow-up activities, and ultimately preserve careers and support mental health. Sierra SystemsÂ’ Justice and Public Safety and Health Leads will explore how lessons learned from Police can help to support mental health for front-line healthcare workers.


      Methodology/Approach:
      With intense public scrutiny of relations between police officers and the communities, departments were looking for new ways to mitigate problems before they escalate. Police departments already have a lot of data available that could be helpful: use of force incidents, citizen complaints, praise of officers from other officers or the community. Even the number of calls they respond to, the type of call, the condition of victims and perpetrators, the shifts or locations, high-speed pursuits, canine use, and how relative peer groups compare can all impact the analysis. To sort through the data and draw the right conclusions, departments are turning to early intervention systems for predictive analytics. Analyzing the data allows for monitoring of early indicators of potentially risky behaviours, exemplary behaviours, and even indicators of officer wellness. The EIS gathers data from a dozen or so operational sources and maintains it in an EIS data warehouse. Configurable, standard deviation-based threshold criteria are established, examining simple event counts, ratios, presence of multiple of events, etc. Personnel are grouped into peer groups, with trends and optimal warning levels made available to supervisors. Notifications are automatically routed to supervisors, with links to additional information made available to support interventions. The solution also records findings, interventions, and employee responses. Staff have access to their own summaries, as well as comparisons to their peers, organization to organization, and trends.


      Finding/Results:
      Law enforcement agencies both large and small have seen improvements in proactive risk mitigation, transparent evidence-based staffing decisions, and public trust and communication. Agencies are now expanding use of the same operational metrics to flag early detection of potential PTSD-related work behaviours by comparing an officer to their own personal historical metrics and looking for material changes such as: -Increase in risky high-speed pursuits or acting before backup arrives. -Decrease in productivity, e.g. missed court appearances, or dropped charges due to incomplete investigations. -Changes to sick-time patterns. -Conflicts with other officers detected through scheduling requests. -Scheduling requests that suggest avoidance of certain neighbourhoods.


      Conclusion/Implications/Recommendations:
      EIS monitoring of first responder health worker performance, including exemplary, risky, and potential PTSD workplace behaviours, is something that should be pursued. While it is not a panacea and does not replace a professional diagnosis, it can help agencies get a better handle on the metrics and identify outliers.


      140 Character Summary:
      Exploring the impact of an Early Intervention Solution on detecting warning signs of PTSD in first responders and front-line hospital workers.