The following are highlights of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Board of Directors meeting held in Ottawa, Ontario on August 24, 2016.
Distribution of Orthopedic Services in Champlain - Decision
The Champlain LHIN Board voted unanimously to change how some orthopedic services are delivered in the region. The aim of the change is to better align care with Champlain residents’ evolving orthopedic needs and create a more coordinated program of orthopedic services for our region.
Orthopedics involves the inpatient and outpatient treatment of injuries and conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system; hip and knee replacements and repairing broken bones are examples of these services.
The proposed integration decision was introduced at the Champlain LHIN’s June 2016 Board Meeting. Specifically, it recommended a new full-service hub at Pembroke Regional Hospital, as there are currently insufficient orthopedic services for people in Renfrew County. Other hospitals in Champlain would adjust the number of orthopedic procedures they perform. In addition, Kemptville District Hospital would continue as an outpatient orthopedic centre, and would be able to provide in-patient services as a satellite of a full-service hub.
Afterwards, the proposed integration was shared for public consultation, and modified based on feedback the LHIN received. “We heard from stakeholders across the region,” said Chantale LeClerc, Champlain LHIN CEO. “We received 51 written submissions from individuals and groups, including representatives from hospitals who are part of the decision and other LHIN providers, primary care doctors, elected officials, and members of the public,” she said.
Highlights of the feedback include:
- 26 submissions were in full agreement with the proposed decision, and offered no changes
- 13 were in favour of the decision, but with some changes (for example, stating the need for orthopedic services for children, which was added to the modified decision)
- 6 were neutral - neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the decision; and
- 6 opposed it primarily because they didn’t agree with the planning and consultation process that had occurred to date and/or wanted a more comprehensive plan before moving forward.
“There was some concern that our plan was not comprehensive enough, that it did not include all orthopedic services in the region or how the changes affect other parts of the system,” Ms LeClerc said. “It’s important to remember that this is a first step towards creating a comprehensive, regional orthopedic program; there is more work to be done. As well, in its oversight role, the LHIN will be responsive to how changes to one type of service will impact other parts of the health system,” she said.
As part of the discussion, board members suggested that to support best-practice, the need for evaluation metrics should be in the initiative from the start. In response, Champlain LHIN Board Chair, Jean-Pierre Boisclair, asked that the decision’s wording be amended to include the need for measurement and evaluation. The Board then unanimously supported the modified integration decision.
This work supports the LHIN’s strategic direction of access: to ensure health services are timely and equitable.
Bruyère Continuing Care Improvement Plan – Information
The Champlain LHIN’s mandate is to ensure health services in our region are well-organized, appropriately funded and meet the needs of residents of all ages.
To ensure this mandate is met, the Champlain LHIN enters into service accountability agreements with each health service provider it funds. In the agreements, the LHIN and providers agree to a number of targets, including those covering operations, finances, service volumes, quality of care, and wait times. The LHIN works with providers, monitoring results and taking actions needed to optimize performance for the individual provider and the regional health system. Since last year, the LHIN has been in dialogue with Bruyère Continuing Care (Bruyère) to address budgetary pressures and other performance concerns.
Bruyère representatives John Riddle (Board Chair), and Marc Guèvremont (Vice-President of Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer), shared the hospital’s improvement plan with the LHIN Board. The plan includes some operational savings and highlights challenges and key considerations impacting longer-term sustainability. After Mr. Riddle’s and Mr. Guèvremont’s presentation, LHIN Board members asked clarifying questions. At its next public board meeting, the LHIN Board will deliberate whether to accept Bruyère’s improvement plan.
“The value and importance of the programs offered by Bruyère are critically important services for residents in our region,” said LHIN Board Chair, Jean-Pierre Boisclair.
This work supports the LHIN’s strategic direction of sustainability: to increase the value of our health system for the people it serves, and fulfills the LHIN Board’s oversight responsibilities.
Sub-Region Development – Patients First Update
Champlain LHIN CEO, Chantale LeClerc, provided an update on the identification of sub-regions. Recently, Champlain and the other 13 LHINs across the province were asked by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Ministry) to finalize sub-region boundaries by the end of September 2016.
Identifying sub-region areas for planning and health-service delivery is foundational to the Ministry’s overall Patients First strategies, and will advance the Champlain LHIN’s Integrated Health Service Plan priority actions related to home, community and primary care.
“While Champlain residents may get health care wherever they need it, focusing on smaller areas to plan health service delivery makes sense,” said Ms LeClerc. “Our region is large, and health needs vary among people living in different parts of our region. With the goal of improved patient and client health outcomes, sub-regions will serve as the focal point for integrated health service planning and delivery,” she said.
Champlain LHIN staff have reviewed regional geography and data, including demographics and health-service-usage patterns, and developed draft sub-region boundaries. In mid-August, the LHIN met with stakeholders representing the public health units, Champlain Community Care Access Centre, French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario, Champlain Indigenous Health Circle Forum, and others. These stakeholders reviewed and provided feedback to the LHIN on the draft sub-regions and the strategy to engage the community in finalizing them.
In early September 2016, the Champlain LHIN is consulting with the public to review how draft sub-regions were identified, and to receive feedback on the preliminary boundaries. The feedback will be used to assist the LHIN in finalizing the identification of its sub-regions.
This work supports the LHIN’s mission of building a coordinated, integrated and accountable health system for people where and when they need it.