Board Meeting Highlights
The following are highlights of two Board of Directors meetings held by the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) in Ottawa, Ontario; the first on October 28, and the second on November 25, 2015.
Regional Planning and Community Engagement
Orléans Family Health Hub Update
The Orléans Family Health Hub is an innovative model of care that will provide a variety of health services to people in the eastern part of Ottawa including Orléans. Dr. Bernard Leduc (President and CEO of Hôpital Montfort) and Renée Ladouceur-Beauchamp (Executive Director of Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre) provided an update to the Board on this important project.
The Health Hub aims to improve access to care and serve people with multiple, complex conditions. It will focus on geriatric support, mental health services, diagnostic imaging, and outpatient medical clinics. Teams of health professionals will help clients navigate the health system and support them in managing their chronic conditions.
Hôpital Montfort will submit the functional plan for the project (Stage 2) to the Champlain LHIN in December 2015. This plan will offer details about the programs and services, the number of clients to be served, and space requirements.
Dr. Leduc commended the partners involved in this initiative for their diligence and collaboration. “The level of engagement of all partners in the Hub is very impressive,” he explained. “People are not boxed into their own corners. They’re really looking at how we can do things differently.”
Partners of the project include Bruyère Continuing Care, Champlain Community Access Centre (CCAC), Champlain LHIN, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre, Geriatric Psychiatry Community Services of Ottawa, Hôpital Montfort, Ottawa Public Health and Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa.
eHealth Ontario Update
A partnership called cNEO (Connecting Northern and Eastern Ontario) is putting in place an electronic health record that will improve health care for almost three million people across four LHINs – Champlain, South-East, North East, and North West.
The goal is to connect 65 hospitals and 4 Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) by March 2017, allowing 18,000 clinicians to access information about their patients in a provincial electronic health record.
A team from eHealth Ontario, and their cNEO partners, provided a summary of its work to the Champlain LHIN Board of Directors. Kelly-May Smith (nurse and Program Manager at eHealth Ontario) also gave a demonstration of the electronic health record now active in the Greater Toronto Area.
Cynthia Morton (CEO, eHealth Ontario) said the benefits of connectivity are two-fold: to enhance the quality of care for patients and to improve the efficiency of hospitals. She added that the experience of clinicians in the Toronto area has been positive. “Lab tests are not being duplicated. X-rays are not being duplicated. People are not waiting around for faxes from other hospitals. So you’re saving time, you’re saving money, and you’re giving better care.”
Champlain LHIN Board members gave the presenters an enthusiastic response. “If you’re going to provide seamless care,” said Board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair, “You have to have the electronic health record. It’s not an option.”
To date, all 20 Champlain hospitals and the Champlain CCAC are engaged in the project, and three of them (Champlain CCAC, The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute) are ready to start testing the technology.
Other members of the eHealth and cNEO teams presenting to the LHIN Board included Emmanuel Casalino (Senior Director, Physician eHealth Program, eHealth Ontario), Shafique Shamji (Executive Vice-President and Chief Information Officer at The Ottawa Hospital) and Dr. Martin Vogel (Physician Lead, cNEO).
The Ottawa Hospital Pre-Capital Submission for a New Civic Campus
The Champlain LHIN Board of Directors endorsed the program and service elements outlined in The Ottawa Hospital’s plan to redevelop its Civic campus. The hospital is planning new facilities on a site near the current campus on an area of Agriculture Canada land.
The endorsement effectively reaffirms the LHIN’s support for the project and sets the stage for more detailed planning and community engagement.
To date, the LHIN’s role has been to make sure the programs and services proposed for the new site align with the health-care needs of the population and the LHIN’s overall strategies. Questions the LHIN asked in making that determination were, for example: Is the potential site located in an area to serve the population’s needs, and is the site easily accessible to emergency vehicles?
The LHIN assessment favoured the hospital’s proposed approach to build on undeveloped land rather than on the current site because that:
- Is significantly less costly
- Allows for the new infrastructure to meet modern design requirements for space and configuration
- Is less disruptive to the ongoing delivery of health services during the construction phase
- Will take less time than building on the current site
While the LHIN endorsement is important in early planning stages, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is responsible for approval of capital projects. The LHIN Board will have further opportunities to review the project as it progresses.
Draft Integrated Health Service Plan 2016-19
The Board of Directors approved the Champlain LHIN’s next three-year plan. The Integrated Health Service Plan (IHSP) sets the strategies, goals and priorities for the region’s health system during 2016-19.
This plan is the LHIN’s most important strategic document, and is developed through significant community engagement. In fact, this year, almost 5,000 people in the region provided input into the 2016-19 plan through a public survey or targeted sessions for health networks and client groups.
The plan has three strategic directions. They are:
- Integration: Improve the patient and family experience across the continuum of care
- Access: Ensure the provision of health services is timely and equitable
- Sustainability: Increase the value of our health system for the people it serves.
Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc reported to the Board that she had met with a number of stakeholders recently and had shared the plan’s overall framework. She said the priorities are resonating with people, adding, “There’s a renewed enthusiasm that we can actually work together to make these changes. I think people are ready. I really do believe that we’ve got that mandate for change, and that we are focusing on the right things.”
A one-page summary of the plan, including the strategies, goals and priorities, can be found on page 4 of the October board package. The plan will now be sent to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for review. It will be released publicly in advance of the plan’s start date of April 1, 2016.
The Board praised LHIN staff members for their efforts in producing the plan.
Quarterly Performance Reports
Board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair noted that the Champlain LHIN’s 2015-16 first-quarter performance report, which reflects a new analytical approach, has been issued and is now publicly available on the Champlain LHIN’s website.
To ensure equitable service levels across Ontario, all LHINs are now being measured against the same targets, which are generally more demanding than in past years. The report provides a ‘performance context’ and includes an analysis of areas furthest from the target, some of the contributing factors, and approaches taken to improve results.