The American Psychological Association announces the formation of the Office of Health Care Innovation (OHCI) that will work on developing strategies that leverage technology and data to address crucial societal issues such as increasing access, measuring care, and optimizing treatment delivery at both the individual and system levels.
“The healthcare landscape was changing in significant ways prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the pace of change has only quickened as psychologists shifted to telehealth,” said Jared L. Skillings, PhD, ABPP, APA’s chief of professional practice. “APA is committed to being on the leading edge of practice innovation, including advocacy, education, and resources to support psychologists as practice evolves.”
This increased focus on health care innovation supports the association’s strategic plan by:
- helping to prepare the discipline and profession of psychology for the future as health care increasingly moves toward incorporating technology;
- working to make a positive impact on critical societal issues by increasing access to quality care; and
- strengthening APA’s standing as an authoritative voice for psychology and the psychological science that is often the underpinning for mental health digital therapeutics and other technology-based interventions.
OHCI has three primary initiatives: measurement-based care and the APA Mental and Behavioral Health Registry; telehealth and the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT); and digital therapeutics and mental health technology.
The office will be led by C. Vaile Wright, PhD, who moves into the role of senior director. Wright also serves as a spokesperson for APA, having been interviewed by television, radio, print, and online media including the Today Show, CNN, The Washington Post, and NPR on a range of topics such as telehealth and technology, stress, discrimination and harassment, serious mental illness, and access to mental health care. She received her doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2007, and is licensed in the District of Columbia.