The following are highlights of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Board of Directors meeting held in Ottawa, Ontario on December 13, 2016.
Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc presented a progress report to update the Board on a number of initiatives aimed at advancing the LHIN’s strategic priorities. For example:
Surge Planning: The Champlain LHIN has initiated a working group of providers from all sectors, including public health partners, to address the anticipated surge in demand for health services over the next several months. During the winter season, more patients tend to visit their doctor or an emergency room due to an increase in seasonal respiratory illness. In fact, measures previously implemented by the LHIN have helped the region prepare for seasonal pressures. They included holding a daily call with hospitals to share information about available beds, and producing a daily report that outlines how patients are moving through the system. The result has been improved communication between hospitals, more efficient hospital-to-hospital transfers and improved data quality. The Champlain LHIN was recently selected as one of three LHINs to participate in a provincial knowledge exchange webinar highlighting these and other practices.
Indigenous Health: Several Champlain LHIN staff participated in the "Connecting our Health to our Creation Stories - Culture as Treatment Symposium", hosted by Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health. The purpose of the symposium was to highlight different creation stories from Canada’s Indigenous populations and link these stories to mental wellness and health. The two-day conference was attended by approximately 250 people. Dr. Christopher Mushquash, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Mental Health and Addiction, served as a keynote speaker and participants took part in a number of training sessions.
- Service for People with Diabetes: The Community Diabetes Program of Ottawa has expanded its team to include an exercise physiologist. The Champlain LHIN and Champlain Regional Diabetes Advisory Committee have heard for many years about a gap in physical activity resources for people living with diabetes. The exercise physiologist’s role was created following conversations with local experts and the Ontario Kinesiology Association, as well as conducting a review of staffing in diabetes education programs elsewhere in the province.
Housing for People with Developmental Disabilities: The LHIN participated in the "Developmental Services Housing Forum" hosted by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. The purpose of the forum was to discuss how this provincial ministry and providers from the developmental services sector can continue to improve residential support for this client population. Because many people with developmental disabilities receive services from both the community/social services sector and the health sector, it is important for the LHIN to participate in these critical discussions.
2017-18 Service Accountability Agreements
Target Setting and Local Obligations: Decision
Service Accountability Agreements define the obligations and responsibilities between the LHIN and its funded organizations. This framework supports efforts by the LHIN and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to create a more stable and accountable health system. Specifically, this work is accomplished by ensuring a sustainable financial footing and by facilitating better alignment of health services across the region. The agreements must be in place before the LHIN distributes funding.
At a previous meeting, Champlain LHIN Board members had provided guidance to staff on the approach to setting targets for the 2017-18 performance indicators and determining local obligations for providers. Board members had emphasized the importance of service accountability agreements to create a more person-centred health system. In addition, they had advised that the targets need to be clear and measurable, and that local obligations should align with the Champlain LHIN’s strategic priorities.
Champlain LHIN Director of Accountability, Elizabeth Woodbury, presented a number of recommendations to the Board at the December meeting. She suggested, for instance, that the Champlain LHIN maintain the current 2016-17 performance indicators and fully align health service provider targets with the Ministry-LHIN Accountability Agreement performance indicator targets. Furthermore, as opposed to previous years, all providers within the same sector for which an indicator is applicable would have the same target.
Several new targets were proposed. For example, a target was introduced to ensure the timely transfer of hospital patients to a hospital closer to home (i.e. inter-hospital repatriation within 48 hours). A key aim of this target is to free up hospital beds so that intensive-care services are always available for cases critical to life or limb.
In addition, participating Health Link organizations would be obligated to scale up the program, and providers expected to collaborate in the development of sub-region planning to improve patient and client outcomes through population-health planning. Lastly, hospitals would be required to participate in the implementation of the Champlain sub-acute care plan.
The Board approved the recommended target setting methodology and local obligations for the 2017-18 Service Accountability Agreements. LHIN staff will be working with health service providers in the coming months to negotiate and finalize these agreements.
Looking ahead, Board members discussed the need to increase the focus on indicators that are outcome-oriented and reflect the impact to the health system of LHIN programs and initiatives.