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Digital Empathy™ News Fall 2021

By November 10, 2021May 16th, 2024No Comments

Dr. Sandy Whitehouse

Changing Landscapes

With the start of the new academic year and vaccination rates increasing, we are slowly seeing the world opening.  At the same time, we have noticed many organizations choosing to maintain a hybrid model of care rather than reverting to pre-COVID processes. At Tickit Health, we keep our focus on quality and performance while being adaptable to the ever changing landscape.    

In October, we launched an interface with the Cerner platform for Sydney Children’s Hospital Network and are excited to see new developments in adolescent health management across the organization. You can read the news release on our web site here.  The digital HEADSS psychosocial screen, considered a gold standard across Australia, is now available in inpatient units, ambulatory care, and the emergency department, allowing an efficient and comprehensive approach to identification and behavioural health management. With the youth mental health crisis and over 50% of health outcomes attributed to risky behaviours beginning in adolescence, the digitally empathetic Tickit interface provides an opportunity for prevention and targeted strengths-based intervention.

Over the last several months I have had the privilege to host the podcast series Empathy HIT where my guests share the value and impact of Digital Empathy in different clinical and research settings. You can listen to all of our podcasts on HealthcareNow Radio and I want to thank our clients, partners and listeners for their overwhelmingly positive response.  

Going forward, we continue to broaden our reach into new health and education opportunities. For example, we are working with partners who have customers seeking proprietary self-report assessments for regulatory, quality or service purposes. We are transforming complex and complicated forms with our Digital Empathy framework to increase engagement and trust, and capture the robust, rich, and inclusive data their customers need to improve their offerings and care. 

I hope you take a few minutes to read our latest newsletter.  I am always open to feedback so please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.


Tickit Tool Digital Empathy

Solution News

We continue to listen to the needs of our clients, and aim to accommodate them to increase operational efficiency. Over the last quarter, we focused on enhancing the workflow efficiency for organizations through integrations and advancing the Digital Empathy design of our Survey App to meet the needs of different populations.

With the aim to  improve workflows and access to data through expanded integrations, Tickit successfully completed an interface with the Cerner EHR. This integration simplifies data management by automatically including assessment results and reports in the EHR. It also helps clinicians make faster and better informed decisions, since the data can be seen in the whole context of the patient’s medical record.

With the Survey App, we have designed and built a new solution interface to support facilitated assessments. This new approach allows third parties, such as clinicians or counsellors, to easily navigate throughout the entire survey in a non-linear manner in order to gather data through a non-structured conversation.

Tickit’s Classic layout design for person-reported data collection displays one question per screen, reducing cognitive load and better connecting with the respondent. The new Form layout, designed for facilitated assessments, allows for viewing several questions per screen and navigating through topics and pages on a lateral pane, with the ability to display custom ending pages which show assessment outcomes and next steps for the clinician. The Form layout drastically improves the workflow when the need for free navigation between questions exists.


King County powered by Tickit

Client Success Stories

In our mission to positively impact more than 1 million lives by 2024, we are excited to start our fourth year of partnership with King County to implement the Check Yourself (School Based) program that aims to identify the risky behaviors in students and get them the support they need to achieve their highest potential. This School-Based Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SB-SBIRT) model is uniquely designed for a deeper reach within the student community to identify the most vulnerable individuals within the diverse student population, who might fear stigma, judgement, and lack of trust when sharing information regarding their lives and challenges they face.

Schools in King County achieved higher accuracy in understanding the needs of its student population by implementing universal screening and using an innovative, interactive screening tool, Check Yourself powered on Tickit Health’s Digitally Empathetic platform. Designed by experts in adolescent mental health, Check Yourself integrates existing research validated subscales designed to screen for symptoms of mental health difficulties like the GAD and PHQ, with feedback from youth to ensure it resonates with students. As opposed to the typical screeners which are limited in their accuracy, Check Yourself recognizes that kids are not just a set of problems and symptoms, hence identify student strengths as well the challenges they face. The results of this screening are paired with a brief follow-up intervention based on motivational interviewing techniques to provide personalized support. 

Check Yourself is now implemented in over 60 schools and 12 school districts and producing great results. Through this program, the overarching goal to promote equity, individual wellness, a positive school climate, student success are achieved and and preliminary findings are very encouraging:

  • Universal screening increased equity of access to services: Over 15,000 students participated in SB-SBIRT to date. 
  • 30% of youth had needs identified that were previously unknown to the school; counsellors uncovered a vulnerable group of students who appeared to be doing great but may actually be suffering.
  • In the 2020-21 academic year, 47% of all students screened received Brief Intervention. 
  • Despite it being mostly a remote school year, schools reported increased connection to community-based resources and students reported feeling more connected to the school community.
  • Students reported feeling more understood, connected, and able to get help without feeling stigmatized
  • Amongst the students who were screened by Check Yourself, Top 5 risk factors were identified: Anxiety symptoms (42%), Depressive symptoms (36%), Self-harm (24%), Suicidal ideation (24%), and Bullying (19%)

Interested in learning more? Contact us for a demo here.


Tickit Health news

Tickit Health in the News

In the past quarter, the company continued to be recognized for the great work we and our clients do in the market through news stories, blogs, podcasts, and events.  

First off was our news on how we have interfaced our platform with the Cerner Electronic Health Record at Sydney Children’s Hospital Network in Sydney, Australia.  The hospital network cares for thousands of children each year to help young people live their healthiest lives and have been using Tickit since 2017. You can read the story in Healthcare Information Management and Communications Canada.  

Also in the news,Tugboat Logic published a news release on how their platform ensures Tickit Health is following its controls as they’re written and all policies and procedures are routinely reviewed and updated. We receive dozens of security questionnaires each year from our clients, who are also obligated to manage their vendors for security and compliance. The company saved approximately 100 hours in audit prep over a four-month period by having all up-to-date policies, controls and evidence in the same place. 

In addition to our Empathy HIT podcast series, Dr. Sandy Whitehouse was featured in the latest Start Up Health podcast discussing children’s health and digitally empathetic surveys, assessments and other management tools to collect data to address the rise of stress, bullying, substance use, and other risky behaviors in youth.

 And finally, in case you missed it, we participated in several events in the summer and fall including our August webinar with Possibilities for Change discussed the Digital Empathy Design Framework© and how it is being embedded into risk screening technology to create a caring, comfortable, safe space for youth – enhancing their engagement and honesty.  Our October webinar with Digital Health Canada discussed novel programs that raise awareness of youth mental health issues:

  •     In Atlantic Canada, Bridge the gapp helps youth to connect with guidance and support for mental health and addictions and offers self-help resources, links to local services, and allows the user to share their own personal stories.  
  •     South of the border, schools and healthcare organizations such as School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) are collaborating using evidence-based screening tools, which enable the collection of data to identify the greatest risks impacting youth health, wellness, and academic success, and provide streamlined support in the right system. 
  •     Across North America, organizations have found a better way to gather data to address mental health in youth and adults through Digital Empathy.  It is an approach that supports equity, more effective communication and relevant engagement that considers the science and psychology of communication and applies principles of compassion, cognition, and emotion—combined with the use of digital devices—to help youth trust and engage with the processes and people there to support them.


Empathy HIT Newsletter image

Empathy HIT Podcast Series

As we have shared in previous newsletters, Tickit Health launched a monthly podcast series called Empathy HIT which sees Dr. Whitehouse hosting insightful conversations with clients, partners, and industry thought leaders. 

In our August podcast, Evan Elkin, Executive Director with Reclaiming Futures, highlighted the importance of forging connections between school and community to foster positive youth health and introduced an integrated school based model for middle and high schools that promotes student wellness, school climate, equity and inclusion, and academic success. He went about discussing how his team has been studying and piloting ways to build a more equitable and effective, public health-oriented approach to youth justice. 

In September, Sandy spoke with Elizabeth Borycki, a Professor in the School of Health Information Science at the University of Victoria  about Digital Empathy and its impact in the public health arena and digital patient centered care. She shared about her work developing different models of telehealth, under which she assesses how technology can support high-quality patient and provider interactions. Signifying Digital Empathy as a key component of effective user experience, she highlighted that personalization of technology is crucial to providing individual care at a mass level. This podcast is uniquely insightful as Dr. Borycki brought her rich research experience in Health Informatics to speak on the development in design of technology that breaks silos in healthcare by bringing providers and patients together.

The October podcast features Vincent Ng, Director of Data and Innovation of the Specialty Drug Care Program at Bayshore HealthCar. He shared his experience how Bayshore HealthCare, one of Canada’s leading providers of home and community health care services saw a 300% increase in patient usage using Tickit’s Digital Empathy Design Framework. Vincent shared his optimism on the use of digital tools in healthcare, believing that technology is a big enabler of patients being proactive and engaged in their care journey for positive health outcomes.

Our latest podcast, released in early November, features an in-depth conversation with Margaret Soukup, School-Based SBIRT Program Manager in King County (USA) about the success of the School-Based Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SB-SBIRT) program implemented across 50 schools in King County. She shared her learnings overseeing the program for three years and reported how this model currently in its fourth year of implementation in King County stands out by using Check Yourself Screening Surveying Tool, which uses Tickit Health’s Digital Empathetic approach in enabling strong connection of students with their school, reducing workload for the counselors, increasing detection of risk factors, and facilitating schools to design programs that serve the needs of their individual students.

To date, our podcasts have been downloaded more than 3,700 times and can be listened to here


Alex A Day in he Life of

A Day in the Life Of…

Hi, my name is Alex Yeusiukou. I work at Tickit Health as a Senior System Architect and Development Team Lead. What does this entail? Essentially I am responsible for two key things: making sure the Tickit platform architect is sound and future proof, and ensuring the team is on the same point regarding the first point. My top priority at the moment is designing and planning platform enhancements to handle Tickit’s projected usage growth.

With that, my typical workday consists of team meetings, code reviews, planning and system design, and connecting with client IT departments. With my current position, I no longer code as much as I used to, however programming is still one of my favourite activities so whenever my team needs an extra set of hands – I’m around.

I start my day bright and early at 7 AM: I do a quick morning workout, have breakfast with my wife, and then I get to work. At the beginning of the day I usually have a few hours of deep work before the meetings start, and I love these quiet hours because it’s when I’m most productive and focused. I like to organize my calendar to have longer, uninterrupted blocks of time (which, being a team lead, is not always realistic), because these blocks allow me to get most of the planning and system design tasks done. As the day progresses and I’ve finished my meetings, I like to have a break and go for a run. Running helps me focus and find solutions for problems I am stuck on, so I often will set aside a moment to jot some notes down after my workout. I am a firm believer that these runs, which catalyze self-reflection surrounded by nature, are what got me to where I am right now, so if you don’t see me at my desk working you may find me out somewhere on a trail.

I love my job at Tickit Health because of the balance between technical problem solving and working with people. I get to work with an amazing team of smart, enthusiastic folks (though virtually – hello Covid!) that I am constantly learning from. Learning, after all, is the key to self-improvement and success.


Stay tuned for our next newsletter where we will continue to share our stories.  If you have an idea for an article, please send to