An important means of achieving the LHIN’s goals is through listening to and communicating with a wide range of people including health consumers, the public, health service providers, community leaders, other partners and the media. In addition to the LHINs obligations for community engagement, Local Health System Integration Act, 2006 also mandates health service providers to engage their communities.
Supporting Client Voices
This year, we heard more from health system users, including patients, clients, caregivers, family members.
For example, health system users attended a number of provider events to share their perspectives and experiences. With an aim of improving clients’ experience, providers heard people talk about their sometimes complex journeys through the system. This valuable input helped providers identify system strengths and improvement opportunities, and shape the care they deliver. Some provider events that included clients were the:
- Champlain Regional Diabetes Advisory Committee meeting
- Diabetes and Mental Health Knowledge Exchange Day; and
- Recently-formed Pediatric Diabetes Expert Committee of Eastern Ontario. This group includes two permanent member positions that are occupied by clients/caregivers. Their role is to help shape its work as it creates regional strategies and shares best practices.
Providers are also using client satisfaction surveys in the following services:
- LHIN-funded, region-wide Diabetes Education Programs. Thanks to client feedback, a refresher course became a regular offering in the programs. This year, nearly 800 clients responded to the annual, standardized survey. Overall satisfaction was very high: 98%. As well, when asked if they were given choices and involved in decisions about how they manage their diabetes, 98% of client respondents agreed; and
- LHIN-funded Assisted Living Services for High-Risk Seniors Program. Nearly 300 of the 800+ clients served responded across 10 sites in the region. The average satisfaction rating is high: 93%, compared to last year’s 90%. Providers use this feedback to help stay connected to their clients, and adjust their services accordingly.
As well, a number of on-going and one-time community engagement activities took place this year:
- The Champlain LHIN hosted meet-and-greet sessions during public board meetings. Meetings took place across the region in Alfred, Cobden, Kars and Ottawa; and
- In collaboration with the Ontario Medical Association, Champlain CCAC and the University of Ottawa (Faculty of Medicine Continuing Professional Development Office), the LHIN hosted its Annual Primary Care Congress. This event brings together primary care providers to increase their involvement and collaboration in health system planning. More than 100 providers, health consumers, and specialists gained knowledge of system transformation initiatives and identified priorities for quality improvements to inform future planning and projects.
The LHIN participated as a member of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP) Council, and its Health and Well-Being Sector Table.
The OLIP Council includes representation from the municipal government and various sectors such as education, settlement, and health. Business leaders and private citizens also take part. The partnership is a collaborative community initiative, designed to strengthen Ottawa’s capacity to welcome immigrants and improve integration outcomes.
This year, the LHIN spearheaded the creation of two programs with OLIP and health service providers:
- Coordinated and expanded interpretation services at community-based health provider sites, with a focus on chronic disease, senior care, and mental health and addictions. The program proposal was developed with input from clients, and was accepted by the LHIN for annual funding
- Expanded walk-in counselling services to immigrant communities. Feedback from OLIP was instrumental in developing these new services.
In addition, the LHIN-funded Multicultural Health Navigator Program became operational, and received positive public attention for its innovative approach.
Lastly, the LHIN Board of Directors hosted a board-to-board session with representatives from community health centres serving newcomer clients. Through this engagement, which included members of newcomer communities, LHIN board members gained a greater understanding of client needs and system priorities.
For more information on Community Engagement, please contact Jessica Searson, LHIN Community Engagement Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org, or 613.747.3239).