Board Meeting Highlights
The following are highlights of the Board of Directors meeting held by the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) in Ottawa, Ontario on January 27, 2016.
Champlain LHIN CEO Report to the Board
Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc provided a progress report on a number of health initiatives in our region. For example:
- In Cornwall, the Champlain LHIN added six new supportive housing units and created more capacity to serve an additional six people at home through attendant care outreach. Partners in the initiative include the Champlain Community Care Access Centre, Canadian Red Cross, and Cornwall & Area Housing Corporation.
- Eight of ten Health Links covering sub-regions of Champlain will be operational by March 31, 2016. Health Links is an innovative model that brings together providers to coordinate care for people with the most complex health issues.
- In partnership with the Refugee 613 Health Task Force, Ottawa Community Health Centres and Bruyère Family Medicine Centre, the Champlain LHIN is helping to coordinate health services for newly-arrived Syrian refugees.
- The Champlain LHIN facilitated an engagement session with a broad range of partners to discuss factors contributing to lower-than-anticipated occupancy rates at a provincial Francophone residential youth addictions treatment centre located in Ottawa. The discussion helped identify many opportunities and strategies to improve awareness and utilization of the service. The situation will continue to be closely monitored by the LHIN.
- The Champlain LHIN is pleased to welcome Dr. Jill Rice, new physician lead for the Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program and Champlain Regional Cancer Program.
Local Obligations and Target-Setting Approach for Service Accountability Agreements
The Champlain LHIN is now negotiating 176 new or extended accountability agreements with all of its providers including community services, hospitals, and long-term care homes. The LHIN Board supported the approach taken by the LHIN to conduct this work.
The agreements, to be in effect April 1 2016, will promote accountability among providers by ensuring their work aligns with strategic directions and performance expectations of the LHIN.
“This is an instrument that’s important to the LHIN in the sense of accomplishing its mission, because if you embed in those agreements mission-aligned conditions, you’re more liable to get where you want to go,” said Champlain LHIN board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair.
Where in previous agreements individual providers negotiated their targets with the LHIN based on their local circumstances, now all providers will progress to the LHIN’s regional targets over a two-year period.
The Champlain LHIN has also outlined specific local obligations for health-service providers. For example, providers would be expected to report on activities to increase Indigenous cultural awareness and sensitivity of its staff, physicians and volunteers. Hospitals would also be obligated to support a Champlain LHIN project that collects information related to Francophone patients.
Auditor General's Report on LHINs
The 2015 Ontario Auditor General’s report included 9 recommendations for the 14 LHINs across Ontario (there were also 11 recommendations directed to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care regarding the LHINs). More information is available here.
Some of the recommendations have already been adopted by the LHINs, and others require more work. Four LHINs are now developing a work plan to address the recommendations, a document that will be brought to the Champlain LHIN Board of Directors in the near future. One of the themes of the Auditor General’s report was a need to build greater consistency among the LHINs, in terms of processes.
"There weren’t any recommendations that I feel are particularly challenging or problematic or that the LHINs would not be able to address,” Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc said.
Integrated Health Service Plan 2016-19
The final version of Champlain LHIN Integrated Health Service Plan for the next three years was endorsed by the Champlain LHIN Board.
More context about this plan can be found in the Oct / Nov Board Highlights.
Champlain LHIN Board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair thanked LHIN staff for their diligent and thoughtful work on this critical planning document. He also commended the roughly 5,000 residents of the region who contributed to the plan.
In the coming weeks, the complete plan will be available on our website.
Quarterly Performance Reports
The Board approved the 2015-16 second quarter report of the Champlain LHIN, which is now publicly available on our website. The period covers July to September, 2015.
The report focuses on 14 indicators outlined in the LHIN’s accountability agreement with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Previously, targets were specific to each region but to create equitable care across Ontario, every LHIN is now expected to meet the same targets. In a concerted effort to drive excellence, the targets are also more aggressive than in the past.
Overall in the second quarter, the Champlain LHIN was 78 per cent of the way to meeting the targets, dipping slightly from 80 per cent the quarter before.
The most significant improvement was seen in the percentage of patients in acute-care hospital beds waiting for an alternate level of care. The LHIN was 74 per cent toward meeting the target on this indicator, increasing from 68 per cent the quarter before. “This is a very good indicator of what’s going on in the system as a whole, because if patients are in hospital with no place to go, it’s a sign that all of the other parts of the health system are not functioning as well as they should be,” explained Chantale LeClerc, Champlain LHIN CEO.
A number of programs spearheaded by the LHIN contributed to this positive change, such as launching the Home First approach, expanding assisted-living services and ensuring rehabilitative beds were used as efficiently as possible.
In addition, several indicators improved during the second quarter when compared to the same period the year before, including wait times for hip and knee replacements and lengths of stay in the emergency room for patients with complex health issues.
Other metrics proved more challenging, particularly the number of people with addictions returning to the emergency room within 30 days of their last visit. To help resolve this issue, the Champlain LHIN recently launched three new substance-use initiatives, which will require roughly a year to achieve their full effect. Also problematic were lengthy MRI wait times, due to demand outpacing available resources.
Regional Planning and Community Engagement
Construction of Professional Building on site of Renfrew Victoria Hospital
The Champlain LHIN Board of Directors supported Renfrew Victoria Hospital’s request for endorsement of a project to build a two-storey medical professional building on its property using its own funds. The project is not considered a financial risk to the hospital and will help attract and retain family physicians to this area.