New Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team to Provide Better Connected Care for Patients
Ontario Health Teams Part of Province’s Plan to End Hallway Health Care
ORANGEVILLE - Ontario is delivering on its commitment to end hallway health care and build a connected and sustainable health care system centred on 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, Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General and MPP for Dufferin-Caledon, was at the Dufferin County Paramedic Service base in Orangeville on behalf of Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, to announce the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team as one of the first 24 teams in the province to implement a new model of organizing and delivering health care. The new model will better connect 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 Hills of Headwaters Collaborative 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 on the needs of patients."
The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative will create a local health care system that provides coordinated care for patients, reduces wait times and leads to better heath outcomes for patients. The team will be made up of health and social service organizations that will work together to support the whole patient, and will initially focus on complex care needs, palliative care and mental health and addictions.
"With our new Hills of Headwaters Collaborative 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 Hills of Headwaters Collaborative; 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 Hills of Headwaters Collaborative 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 Hills of Headwater Collaborative Ontario Health Team's population.
"We are thrilled to be chosen as one of the first Ontario Health Teams," said Kim Delahunt, President and CEO of Headwaters Health Care Centre and Co-Lead for the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative. "This endorsement gives us the green light to continue on our path of a shared model of care. We know where we want to go, and we are committed to doing that together."
"We are already witnessing how much more we can achieve collectively, than separately," said Lianne Barbour, Executive Director at Dufferin Area Family Health Team and Co-Lead for the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative. "There is great commitment from community partners, patients and physicians to see this work through. That is what will best serve the Dufferin-Caledon community."
"I had a strong feeling we were going to be selected and I am so happy about it," said Bob Borden, Patient Advisor and Board President at Dufferin Area Family Health Team. "The sky is the limit as we work together to see positive changes that will benefit so many of us. The more I get involved, the better I feel. It is a movement I'm committed to being part of."
The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team will continue implementing their proposed programs and services in 2020. They have formed a Community Wellness Council made up of patients, families and caregivers, who will help co-design the changes and improvements in the region.
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.