A Clinical Care Monitoring and Data Collection Tool (H3 Tracker) to Assess Uptake and Engagement in Mental Health Care Services in a Community-Based Pediatric Integrated Care Model: Longitudinal Cohort Study

JMIR Ment Health. 2019 Apr 23;6(4):e12358. doi: 10.2196/12358.


Background: National recommendations for pediatric integrated care models include improved capacity for care coordination and communication across primary care and specialty mental health providers using technology, yet few practical, short-term solutions are available for low-resource, community-based pediatric integrated care clinics.

Objective: The goal of the paper is to describe the development and features of a Web-based tool designed for program evaluation and clinician monitoring of embedded pediatric mental health care using a community-partnered approach. In addition, a longitudinal study design was used to assess the implementation of the tool in program evaluation, including clinical monitoring and data collection.

Methods: Biweekly meetings of the partnered evaluation team (clinic, academic, and funding partners) were convened over the course of 12 months to specify tool features using a participatory framework, followed by usability testing and further refinement during implementation.

Results: A data collection tool was developed to collect clinic population characteristics as well as collect and display patient mental health outcomes and clinical care services from 277 eligible caregiver/child participants. Despite outreach, there was little uptake of the tool by either the behavioral health team or primary care provider.

Conclusions: Development of the H3 Tracker (Healthy Minds, Healthy Children, Healthy Chicago Tracker) in two community-based pediatric clinics with embedded mental health teams serving predominantly minority children is feasible and promising for on-site program evaluation data collection. Future research is needed to understand ways to improve clinic integration and examine whether promotion of primary care/mental health communication drives sustained use.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02699814; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02699814 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/772pV5rWW).

Keywords: community mental health services; community-based participatory research; data collection methods; integrated health care systems.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02699814