Ontario Endorses Expert Report on Home and Community Care
Province Putting Patients First by Improving Access to Health Care Closer to Home
The government welcomes Bringing Care Home, a report from the expert group on home and community care, which includes 16 recommendations to improve patient- and family-centred care.
Drawing from consultations with patients, caregivers and health care providers, the expert group, led by Dr. Gail Donner, provides recommendations to improve the patient experience, promote equal access to services in communities across the province, and identify innovative opportunities to support a sustainable and accountable health care system.
Recommendations focus on making it easier for patients and their caregivers to:
- Navigate the health care system with services that are better coordinated and integrated
- Understand what to expect and how to access care
- Receive integrated home and community care after leaving the hospital
- Access more services that support patients and their caregivers
Patients in Ontario are receiving home care within five days 93 per cent of the time for nursing visits, and 84 per cent of the time for personal support visits.
To build on this progress, Ontario will fund interested health care organizations to develop new payment models that focus on enhancing coordination of care, as recommended by the expert group. These Integrated Funding Models help patients transition more smoothly out of hospital into their home. For example, through this approach, a patient requiring knee replacement surgery would be assigned a care coordinator to look after all of their needs, before, during and after the operation to ensure services are wrapped around the patient.
St. Joseph's Health System in Hamilton has already proved that this approach provides better and more integrated care for patients and their families. The government has invited other health care institutions and organizations across the province to participate.
This report will help inform the next steps in Ontario's home care strategy which will be announced in the coming months.
Helping more people access better health care faster and closer to home is part of the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that's sustainable for generations to come.
- Home and community services support people of all ages who require care in their home, at school or in the community.
- In 2014-15, Ontario is investing and additional $270 million in new funding for the home and community care sector.
- Home care is provided to more than 600,000 people per year – 60 per cent of whom are seniors – including 27 million hours of personal support and homemaking, 6.5 million nursing visits and 1.9 million hours of nursing shifts.
- Community support services assist about 1.46 million people per year who are mostly seniors.
“We thank and applaud Dr. Gail Donner and the expert group for their insightful recommendations. The expert group’s recommendations will be an important guide as we improve and transform the home and community care sector. Ontario is moving forward with an improved approach to home and community care that is built on insights and advice from patients, caregivers, health care providers and experts. Providing quality care at home instead of a hospital or long-term care home is important because that’s where people want to be. It also provides good value for our precious health care dollars and better care for our loved ones.”
Dr. Eric Hoskins
“We are thrilled that Ontario is endorsing this important report. We created this report based on input and advice from patients, their families and providers in communities right across the province. Our recommendations will assist in advancing the transformation from a home and community care system based on the needs and preferences of providers to one based on the needs and preferences of the client and family – bringing care home rather than simply providing homecare.”
“The St. Joseph Health System’s Integrated Comprehensive Care program is phenomenal. I would have been lost without the support of the Integrated Care Coordinator and the nurses who came to my home. The coordinator made me feel comfortable while I was in hospital. She made it simple and arranged everything before I went home. She was amazing. Since discharge I am also able to text the coordinator with any questions I have.”