The following are the highlights of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network Board of Directors meeting held at the Groves Park Lodge in Renfrew, Ontario on September 27, 2017.

Home Care Wait List 

The Champlain LHIN began delivering home care in May, 2017, after its merger with the Champlain Community Care Access Centre. Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc provided an update to Board members on the topic of wait lists for home-care services.

Ms. LeClerc said that wait lists have decreased significantly in recent months. At the end of last fiscal year (March 31, 2017), roughly 5,400 people were waiting for some type of home-care service delivered through the LHIN. As a result of increased investments in home and community care, and a concerted effort to serve individuals who have been waiting the longest, that number went down to 1,700 - a decrease of 68 per cent - by the end of September. As of Oct 18, 2017, there were 1,443 - a further decrease of 15 per cent. People who are on the current wait list are those with less intensive home-care needs, and are therefore receiving the services they require faster.

The reduction of the wait list happened much more quickly than expected, because some potential clients determined that they no longer wished to receive service. In addition and unexpectedly, fewer new clients signed up for home-care services. The Champlain LHIN is developing a new forecasting model to more accurately predict home-care demand.

Of the people waiting for Champlain LHIN home-care services: 

  • 30 per cent are waiting for personal support services. Of this group, approximately 40 per cent are waiting for the first visit, and 60 per cent are waiting for additional services. 
  • 30 per cent are children awaiting therapy in schools, such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy.
  • 40 per cent are adults waiting for therapy, such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy.

To serve more clients who had been waiting, the LHIN asked its contracted agencies to take on more clients visits. However, a shortage in the number of Personal Support Workers to cover the increased volume has posed a challenge, especially in rural areas. LHIN staff members are working with contracted agencies and partners to find solutions to meet the needs of the population.

Francophone Health Needs and Access to French-Language Services in Champlain

Improving health services for Francophones is an important goal for the Champlain LHIN. In fact, one in five residents of the region is Francophone. To provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care, the LHIN and its partners want to make sure more Francophones:

  • Receive care in French
  • Know about and use French-language health services more frequently
  • Have more opportunities to express their level of satisfaction with French-language services

The French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario (Le Réseau) is responsible for giving advice to the Champlain and South-East LHINs on service planning, decision-making, and program implementation.

Jacinthe Desaulniers (President and CEO of Le Réseau) and Jasmin Manseau (Project Manager at Le Réseau) gave an overview of recent efforts to collect and analyze data on French-language health services in Champlain.

First, the linguistic variable pilot project tracks the number of Francophones treated in hospitals across eastern Ontario by asking patients their linguistic identity upon registration or admission. A number of partners are involved, including

  • Le Réseau
  • Champlain LHIN
  • South-East LHIN
  • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and
  • Canadian Institute for Health Information. 

The aim is to help participating LHINs and partners better understand utilization of health services by Francophones and improve their access to care.

More than 600 employees at 12 hospitals in the Champlain region were trained to document the information about language preference. As a next step, the LHINs and Le Réseau will analyze the data based on overall patient volumes, health conditions, emergency department lengths of stay, and other measures. Ultimately, Ms. Desaulniers said it would be ideal to include English and French linguistic identity on Ontario health cards.

Participating hospitals in the linguistic variable project are:

  • Arnprior Regional Health
  • Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital
  • Cornwall Community Hospital
  • Deep River & District Hospital
  • Glengarry Memorial Hospital
  • Hawkesbury & District General Hospital
  • Kemptville District Hospital
  • Hôpital Montfort
  • Pembroke Regional Hospital
  • Queensway Carleton Hospital
  • The Ottawa Hospital, and
  • Winchester District Memorial Hospital.

Second, Le Réseau has examined the distribution of agencies designated to provide French-language services by sub-region in Champlain. Designation is the mechanism by which Francophones can be assured they will be actively offered services in French at a particular health agency. Currently, there are 24 providers in Champlain that are fully designated to provide French-language services, 9 partially designated, and 15 working on becoming designated.

In each of Champlain’s sub-regions, the data provides details on designation status in various health sectors including hospitals, long-term care homes, community health centres, community support services, and mental health and addictions agencies. Most of the designated agencies in Champlain are located in Eastern Champlain and Eastern Ottawa, with a number of Ottawa-based designated or partially designated agencies serving Francophones who live across the region.

Ms. Desaulniers said Le Réseau will continue to build on the sub-region data, in particular to analyze geographical data for non-identified agencies, and to address deficiencies in French-language services. “There are areas where there are gaps, especially in the regions of Ottawa West and Western Champlain,” she stated.

Capacity Report Findings – Champlain LHIN Hospital Inpatient Mental Health and Addictions Services

The Champlain LHIN and hospital partners have conducted a study on how to improve inpatient mental health and addictions services in the region, producing a plan examining how best to use current bed capacity and dollars in the most effective, high-quality, and efficient way. This work aligns with the LHIN’s strategic priority to integrate mental health and addictions services.

George Weber (The Royal’s President and CEO) and Dr. Bernard Leduc (President and CEO at Hôpital Montfort) were asked by the Champlain LHIN to lead this project. The aim was to deepen our understanding of the challenges faced by the seven hospitals providing this level of care, and how to overcome them.

The hospitals in Champlain with inpatient mental health units are: 

  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  • Cornwall Community Hospital
  • Hôpital Montfort
  • Pembroke Regional Hospital
  • Queensway Carleton Hospital
  • The Ottawa Hospital, and
  • The Royal.

Mr. Weber explained that mental-health services evolved historically in a fragmented manner, where an asylum model changed to a better model focusing on general hospitals and community-based agencies, although organizational silos resulted. “What we really have to do is connect the islands of service. That is probably the best way of putting it,” said Mr. Weber. “We don’t have a system, and we hope that this work leads toward that.”

Specifically, there is a lack of clarity of the roles and responsibilities of hospitals with respect to mental-health and addictions services, inadequate coordination between hospitals, and difficulty in recruiting health professionals to cover all the needed services.

The report contains 13 recommendations, which had been endorsed by the all participating hospitals.

The recommendations involve changes to several key areas—leadership, governance and culture; equity and access; patient flow; service delivery, and health human resources. For example, one of the recommendations is to adopt regional standards for inpatient mental health and addictions services. Other recommendations suggest better supporting primary care providers to deliver mental health and addictions services to their patients, and building or reallocating capacity for high-needs, specialized populations such as people with neuropsychiatric disorders.

The LHIN Board endorsed the plan, and directed LHIN staff to begin implementing the recommendations jointly with partners.

Overview of Rural Health Hubs in Development in Champlain

Rural health hubs have been created across Ontario to better meet the unique needs of rural communities, making it easier for patients and their families to understand their health-care choices and access high-quality, more coordinated services.

The LHIN Board heard presentations about two rural health hubs in Renfrew County—Arnprior and Area Rural Health Hub and Madawaska Communities Circle of Health. The LHIN has supported the development of both these initiatives.

The hub in the Arnprior area involves a strong collaboration between a number of organizations and focuses on improving care for people with two common chronic conditions – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and diabetes. The participating agencies are Arnprior-Braeside-McNab Seniors at Home Inc., Arnprior and District Family Health Team, Arnprior Regional Health, Champlain LHIN’s Home and Community Care, Renfrew County and District Health Unit, and primary care physicians. Importantly, the partners have conducted significant engagement with patients, clients and caregivers.

Arnprior Regional Health CEO Eric Hanna and Rural Health Hub Local Lead Merryn Douglas explained how the hub was formed, and gave examples of its successes and challenges.

Mr. Hanna emphasized that the work has fostered a substantial change in approach. “Two years ago, the vision of Arnprior Regional Health was to say, ‘We will be recognized for exemplary care.’ Sounds like something within four walls. Last year at the board retreat, we changed our vision statement to say, ‘Together, we will create a healthy community.’ This rural health hub has been fundamental in changing the culture of our organization and our strategic direction,” he said.

Madawaska Communities Circle of Health, serving people in Barry’s Bay and surrounding areas, is made up of 19 health partners in a number of sectors such as primary care, hospitals, long-term care, palliative care, and public health, as well as patient and public representatives.

Randy Penney (CEO of St. Francis Memorial Hospital and Renfrew Victoria Hospital) and Lisa Hubers (Executive Director of Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care) spoke to the LHIN Board about the Circle of Health’s tangible results.

RPenney LHubers
Randy Penney and Lisa Hubers speaking to
the LHIN Board about rural health hubs

Working in a spirit of collaboration, several recent integrations and partnerships were put in place as part of the hub. For example, Rainbow Valley Community Health Centre joined St. Francis Memorial Hospital in 2011, cultivating a unique integration that benefitted both organizations. The hospital also provided space for the hospice program, and fundraising efforts are now shared between the hospital, long-term care home, and the hospice palliative care service.

Madawaska Valley is the region’s most isolated area, and therefore faces challenges in recruiting health human resources. Acting collaboratively has had the added advantage of helping to create more full-time positions for staff.

“We represent a very rural community,” said Ms. Hubers, “And there are a lot of rural communities that are like us across Canada that are very interested in how we could build a program that is so successful in such a short time for the amount of money that it costs us to operate in a year.”

University of Ottawa Heart Institute Pre-Capital Submission for Outfitting of Space for Inpatient Beds

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is planning to create a new inpatient unit of up to 23 acute-care beds using space being built as part of a larger capital project. The institute is the only specialized cardiac centre in the Champlain region and cares for the sickest and most complex heart patients.

Capital projects are a shared responsibility of the LHIN and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The LHIN is primarily involved in the early stages of capital planning to ensure the program and service elements are aligned with population needs and planning priorities.

Currently, the hospital is operating at, or near capacity, so the additional beds will be needed in the near future. The beds will serve cardiology patients and patients requiring cardiac surgery or procedures including cardiac catheterization, percutaneous cardiac intervention, pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators.

The LHIN Board endorsed the proposal, which will now go to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for further review.


Topics

  • Home Care Wait List
  • Francophone Health Needs and Access to French-Language Services
  • Capacity Report Findings – Hospital Inpatient Mental Health and Addictions Services
  • Overview of Rural Health Hubs in Development
  • University of Ottawa Heart Institute Pre-Capital Submission for Outfitting of Space for Inpatient Beds 

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The next Champlain LHIN Board Meeting

  • Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 1 pm
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • 1000 Pitt St, Cornwall

Consult our calendar for more information