TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 10, 2014) - Patients at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre have a new tool when it comes to managing their mental health. The personal health tool is called 'Mood Tracker', and is now available through Sunnybrook's MyChart service for patients and clinicians. It was developed in partnership with the Psychiatry clinician team, led by Dr. Ari Zaretsky, Chief of Psychiatry and VP Medical Education. Mood Tracker allows patients who use MyChart to record moods and feelings they experience throughout the day on their mobile devices and computers.

"We are very excited to see the mental health community using MyChart to support their needs," says Sarina Cheng, Director IS & eHealth Strategies & Health Records Department at Sunnybrook. "The Mood Tracker feature can be used as part of the patient plan in Psychiatry and other clinical areas, allowing patients to play a more active part in their health monitoring outside the walls of the hospital."

Recorded moods and feelings are plotted by Mood Tracker to visually illustrate the range and patterns over the course of the day or week. The patient can then share these results with their psychiatrist and other physicians if they choose to monitor mental health status in between visits.

"Research suggests that when we empower patients to track their moods and feelings, their outcomes will be better," says Dr. Ari Zaretsky, clinical champion for the Mood Tracker tool. "Tracking encourages patient independence by providing the ability to see exactly what their day-to-day experience is through charts and graphs. Often pictures have greater impact than words, and offer insights that might not have been apparent before."

In addition to Mood Tracker, the hospital is piloting the online release of information for mental health notes through MyChart. This means patients can now request and access their physician's mental health notes confidentially. The release of information occurs securely through the doctor's mobile device and they can select what they share.

"We are integrating and expanding personal health management into the physicians' care planning," says Sarina Cheng. "This approach to healthcare encourages patients to take an active part in their wellness, which ultimately benefits the whole continuum of care, patients and their families."

MyChart is a way for Sunnybrook patients to access and manage their own personal health record online. MyChart's clinical health information comes directly from Sunnybrook's electronic patient record system. The information in the MyChart record can be used by patients anywhere, anytime to monitor care while traveling, set up family records, keep a diary to monitor symptoms, manage a family member's health information and care plan, keep care providers up to date, access care in the community and set up emergency information.

Sunnybrook's MyChart is available to the 1.6 million patients currently in the Hospital's electronic patient record system.

About Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is inventing the future of health care for the 1.2 million patients the hospital cares for each year through the dedication of its more than 10,000 staff and volunteers. An internationally recognized leader in research and education and a full affiliation with the University of Toronto distinguishes Sunnybrook as one of Canada's premier academic health sciences centres. Sunnybrook specializes in caring for high-risk pregnancies, critically-ill newborns and adults, offering specialized rehabilitation and treating and preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological and psychiatric disorders, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions and traumatic injuries. The Hospital also has a unique and national leading program for the care of Canada's war veterans. For more information about how Sunnybrook is inventing the future of health care please visit us online at

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Media Contact:
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Laura Bristow
Communications Advisor