New Burlington Ontario Health Team to Provide Better Connected Care for Patients
Ontario Health Teams Part of Province’s Plan to End Hallway Health Care
BURLINGTON — Ontario is delivering on its commitment to end hallway health care and build a connected and sustainable health care system centred around the needs of patients. The province is introducing Ontario Health Teams, a new model of care that brings together health care providers to work as one team.
Today, Jane McKenna, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Member of Provincial Parliament for Burlington, was at the Burlington Family Health Team on behalf of Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, to announce the Burlington Ontario Health Team as one of the first 24 teams in the province to implement a new model of organizing and delivering health care that better connects patients and providers in their communities to improve patient outcomes. Through an Ontario Health Team, patients will experience easier transitions from one provider to another, including, for example, between hospitals and home care providers, with one patient story, one patient record and one care plan.
"This is an exciting time for health care in Ontario as we finally break down the long-standing barriers that have prevented care providers from working directly with each other to support patients throughout their health care journey," said Elliott. "Together with our health care partners, the Burlington Ontario Health Team will play an essential role in delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care and building a connected and sustainable public health care system centred around the needs of patients."
The vision of the Burlington Ontario Health Team is to co-create a person-centred and family-centred delivery model that wraps health and social services around patients, families and caregivers. At the centre of the model is the relationship between the patient and family and primary care. Current barriers to the sharing of health information make it challenging for providers to deliver the right care at the right time and for patients to participate fully in their care.
The Burlington Ontario Health Team will be working on a digital health strategy and introducing innovative models of care to address these and other challenges. By collaborating across health and social service providers and continually engaging with those who interact with the system, patients and families can expect better health outcomes and more integrated, proactive and accessible care.
"With our new Burlington Ontario Health Team, patients will benefit from better integrated health care, with a seamless experience when moving between different health care services, providers and settings," said Elliott. "I would like to thank all the health care providers and organizations that helped plan the Burlington Ontario Health Team; there is lots of work to be done, but with their dedication and hard work, we will continue to improve health care in our communities and ensure Ontarians get the care they deserve."
As it continues its work to integrate care, the Burlington Ontario Health Team will put in place 24/7 navigation and care coordination services for patients and families. Patients will receive these services through their integrated primary care teams and the broader Ontario Health Team partners. This work will be implemented in phases and over time will provide care for everyone within the Burlington Ontario Health Team's population.
"As the Executive Director of the Burlington Family Health Team, I have seen the benefits of providing care from not only a family physician but from other complementary health care professionals," shared Joanne Pearson. "Currently, less than 15 per cent of the Burlington community has access to this type of team-based care. The 15 partner organizations within our Burlington OHT are committed to improving access to this model of care, as well as health education and preventative programs and services."
"Patient and family advisors are an integral part of the Burlington Ontario Health Team. In this role, our Community Wellness Council is actively engaged in shaping the Burlington Ontario Health Team," said Chloe Gallagher. "At 15, they called me a miracle patient. Since then, I've become a professional patient. I've experienced many aspects of our system; from good to bad, paediatrics to now, doctors' offices to ORNGE helicopters. We have to ensure patients have a strong support network of health care providers, family, and community. That support, combined with advocacy, autonomy, and informed care, is essential to both prevention and treatment of disease."
The Burlington Ontario Health Team will begin implementing some of their proposed programs and services in 2020 and will communicate with patients and families about the changes and improvements they can expect in their community.
Ontario has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, which includes making investments and advancing new initiatives across four pillars:
- Prevention and health promotion: keeping patients as healthy as possible in their communities and out of hospitals.
- Providing the right care in the right place: when patients need care, ensure that they receive it in the most appropriate setting, not always the hospital.
- Integration and improved patient flow: better integrate care providers to ensure patients spend less time waiting in hospitals when they are ready to be discharged. Ontario Health Teams will play a critical role in connecting care providers and, in doing so, helping to end hallway health care.
- Building capacity: build new hospital and long-term care beds while increasing community-based services across Ontario.
- An Ontario Health Team will be responsible for delivering care for their patients, understanding their health care history, directly connecting them to the different types of care they need, and providing 24/7 help in navigating the health care system.
- Ontarians can be confident that they can continue to contact their health care providers as they always have to access the health care they need.
- The first wave of Ontario Health Teams is being approved after an extensive readiness assessment process, which involved significant time, collaboration, research and effort from partners across the health care sector.
- The government will continue working with its partners to review their applications to become an Ontario Health Team.