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New Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team to Provide Better Connected Care for Patients

News Release

New Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team to Provide Better Connected Care for Patients

Ontario Health Teams Part of Province’s Plan to End Hallway Health Care

Ministry of Health

CHATHAM-KENT — 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, Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent—Leamington, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, were at the Chatham-Kent Family Health Team's Chatham site on behalf of Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, to announce the Chatham-Kent 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 Chatham-Kent 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 Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team includes 15 partners who will work closely together across the health care sectors to enhance patient experience and improve health outcomes of their patients. This group of providers has a longstanding history of collaborations and partnerships including enhancing primary care transitions for the most complex patients. The initial priority of the Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team will be the most complex and frail seniors and those with chronic disease.

 "With our new Chatham-Kent 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 Chatham-Kent 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 Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team will put in place 24/7 navigation and care coordination services for patients and families. A focused group of 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 Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team's population.

 "Over the last several months, a steering committee and six work streams made up of leadership and staff from partner organizations, patient advisors, physicians and nurse practitioners have been working to complete the application and move toward implementation," said Lori Marshall, CKOHT Steering Committee Co-chair and President and CEO of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. "In total, more than 100 people came together in a truly collaborative effort to help co-design a local health care system with improved access to care, enhanced system navigation and a more seamless experience for patients. It is inspiring to witness this dedication first hand and I look forward to officially launching our CKOHT."

"Patient advisors have been included in this journey right from the beginning, and by the time we submitted the CKOHT application, more than two dozen patient advisors had contributed invaluable input based on their individual experiences with the health care system," said Judy Gragtmans, Patient Advisor and CKOHT Steering Committee Co-chair. "There is no doubt in my mind the CKOHT partners will remain committed to including the patient, family and caregiver voice moving forward, ensuring an improved local health care system for everyone."

"It was a pleasure working as a Co-Chair on the CKOHT Steering Committee," said Dr. Jim Wheeler, CKOHT Steering Committee Co-chair. "It is very exciting news to be one of the few communities progressing to the next step and a testament to countless hours of work and collaboration by all the people involved in this ambitious project. With continued and enhanced collaboration amongst the many groups involved including family physicians and specialists, we should be well positioned to move forward to implementing an effective OHT that will serve our community's needs to the fullest in a cost-effective manner."

The Chatham-Kent 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:

  1. Prevention and health promotion: keeping patients as healthy as possible in their communities and out of hospitals.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Building capacity: build new hospital and long-term care beds while increasing community-based services across Ontario.

Quick Facts

  • 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.

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