Academic-Community EPINET (AC-EPINET): Mitigating Barriers to Care

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Recovery from Early Psychosis Program (REPP) is excited to participate with the proposed network of providers in a coordinated effort to further reduce disability that typically occurs following the onset of a psychotic disorder. We have been an active First Episode CSC since July 2017, and grew out of a 30+ year state-supported community mental health center that was located on site in our Department. Over the past two years, REPP has become completely integrated into Northwestern Medicine while at the same time having access to the staff and clinical setting that provided decades of supportive services and treatment to persons with severe mental illness. The PI is the director of REPP and psychosis services in the Department and Lauren Walker, the co-director is an occupational therapist whose approach fits extremely well with a patient-directed and strength-based recovery model. We see the main objective of this RFA as establishing a clinically reliable and useful data set that will improve the quality and access to CSC services. The major aspect of the work is what we have already been doing, i.e. deliver CSC services to first episode patients and integrate reliable measures that we can use to improve the quality and accessibility of our services. We believe we are in a great position to participate in the implementation of these measures as well as the pilot research project. After piloting several self-, provider- and family- administered scales we have been working for the past six months with quality improvement and technology office at Northwestern Medicine to integrate our selected measures (drawn mostly from PROMIS and Phen-X) into EPIC and into our website so as to create a user-friendly data base that we can use to guide our clinical services. We anticipate that the addition of new EPINET measures and establishing the internet links needed to develop the learning health care model will go smoothly based on the cooperation we have received in this and other endeavors since starting REPP. We are excited about the pilot research project to assess the ability of tele-health to improve access to care given how many of our patients come from the greater Chicagoland area and find it very difficult to come regularly to our clinic. We are particularly interested in focusing on the efficacy of engagement as we believe the literature shows this is a particularly challenging task with this population (upon which everything else depends), and one we can offer major contributions. We recognize all this requires time commitments to the implementation of the program elements, to the recruitment and retention of the participants, and to the delivery of care that maintains fidelity with the CSC model.
Effective start/end date9/11/208/31/22


  • Indiana University (8821-NU//1R01MH120588-01A1)
  • National Institute of Mental Health (8821-NU//1R01MH120588-01A1)


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