Vista Hill SmartCare

SmartCare is an integrated mental and behavioral health program of Vista Hill that operates collaboratively with the primary care teams of our partnered rural health clinics in north inland and south east communities of San Diego.  Research has shown time and again the overall benefits that integrated health care models have on patients and providers alike in improving health outcomes as well as client and physician experiences. Thus, it has been prioritized by the Behavioral Health Services Department of San Diego to promote such integrated delivery of services, especially in the rural communities.

Local data reveals that the rural communities in San Diego county are at greater risk for negative behavioral health outcomes, higher rate of emergency department encounters related to substance use, self-inflicted injuries, and drug overdose. Behavioral health problems such as depression, anxiety, alcohol or substance abuse are among the most common and disabling health conditions, hindering people from living their optimal healthy and productive lives. Hence, SmartCare is here to counter this trend with our collaborative care approach to integration.

SmartCare is Collaborative Care.

The Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) developed at the University of Washington is a specific type of integration focused on treating common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety that require systematic follow-up due to their persistent nature. SmartCare uses the collaborative care model approach which is client-centered, low-barrier treatment promoting parity across mental health and substance use services provided. Our purpose is to enhance the services delivered in primary care settings through the CoCM using evidence-based practices in a way that is convenient for patients, can reduce the stigma associated with accessing treatment, builds upon the existing provider-patient relationships, and can help improve overall care for rural residents.