Sara Ling_headshot 2022

Understanding compassionate electronic health information exchange from the perspective of people who have substance use disorders

Sara Ling

Award: 2023 Compassion and AI Fellowship

  • Compassion
  • health information exchange
  • substance use disorder

Associate Scientist, Digital Mental Health Lab within the Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Electronic health information exchange (HIE) allows clinicians to securely access and share patients’ medical information between institutions. Sensitive health information, such as a diagnosis of substance use disorder (SUD), carries an increased risk of discrimination or stigma if disclosed and could impact the quality of care provided. Though HIE has many benefits, patients may have preferences about when and how information about their SUD is shared. The purpose of Sara’s project is to explore perceptions of HIE among people with SUDs, with the goal of generating recommendations for practice-based and technological solutions to support compassionate HIE. Her project will serve the dual benefit of informing patients about HIE and gathering their thoughts, ideas, and concerns about HIE in relation to compassionate care delivery. This work presents an opportunity to empower patients and identify meaningful ways to support patient agency in decision-making about their healthcare information.