Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinics in Peel and Dufferin provide low-barrier, immediate access and care to people aged 16 and up who are struggling with problematic substance use. Because these clinics offer intensive, in-person services, COVID-19 made operating safely a significant challenge.
During the pandemic, RAAM clinics in Mississauga, Rexdale, Brampton, Bolton and Orangeville have either had to be closed or modified to adhere to public health measures. This meant no walk-in clients could be seen and in-person follow ups were reduced.
In normal circumstances, clients can call for information or simply walk in to any one of the RAAM locations. Intake is done on site the same day.
Due to COVID-19, now the client calls the RAAM medical admin for a screener, and intake is done over the phone with a concurrent disorder specialist, registered nurse and nurse practitioner. The client then visits one of the RAAM clinics and assessment is reviewed and validated.
The model of care changed to include role clarity between registered nurses, nurse practitioners and concurrent disorder specialists. Intake involves specific tasks assigned to specific disciplines, which reduces duplication. Now the client flows more easily through the intake process with a smooth hand over to the next discipline.
Additionally, care has been provided virtually where possible to mirror the experience clients would normally have in person. And when in-person care has been needed, but the clinic in the immediate area is closed, clients have been provided transportation to the nearest clinic still operating.
Learn more about CMHA Peel Dufferin’s COVID-19 innovations for RAAM clinics.