New Ottawa Ontario Health Team to Provide Better Connected Care for Patients
Ontario Health Teams Part of Province’s Plan to End Hallway Health Care
OTTAWA — 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, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, was at the Centretown Community Health Centre to announce the Ottawa 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 Ottawa 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 Ottawa Ontario Health Team, known as Ottawa Health Team/Équipe Santé Ottawa came together with a commitment to help people be as healthy as possible and to offer seamless care when they need it in both official languages. To do this, Ottawa Health Team/Équipe Santé Ottawa is building on a strong foundation of primary health care through the Ottawa Community Health Centre Collaborative and the breadth of its partners representing primary care, acute care, sub-acute care, long term care, supportive housing, home and community support, mental health and addictions support, palliative care, emergency services, public health and social services.
As it continues its work to integrate care, Ottawa Health Team/Équipe Santé Ottawa 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 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 Ottawa Ontario Health Team's population.
"We believe that we can work together to make it easier for people to access the right care and supports when they need it," said Simone Thibault, Executive Director of the Centretown Community Health Centre and a convening partner of the Ottawa Health Team/Équipe Santé Ottawa. "We are committed to work as one team, the people who use and provide our services, to simplify the way we offer care and support in our diverse community. There is a strong commitment and appetite for change. We all know that we can do better together."
The Ottawa Ontario Health Team/Équipe Santé Ottawa will begin implementing some of their proposed changes to the way programs and services are offered in 2020 and will communicate with patients and families about the changes and improvements they can expect in their community.
The government will also continue to work with the partners of Kids Come First/Les enfants avant tout, an innovative model of child and youth wellness that has the potential to enhance the delivery of a full continuum of care for children across Eastern Ontario. Through this ongoing collaboration, the government will work with these health leaders to further refine how their partnership can improve care for families and support the work of other local Ontario Health Teams.
"As we reviewed the many excellent applications to become an Ontario Health Team, it became clear to us that there are some proposals like Kids Come First that provide invaluable services for specific patient populations that should not be contained within a single team," said Elliott. "We will continue this exciting work to articulate a vision for offering comprehensive, high-quality and tailored child and youth health services to kids in the care of local Ontario Health Teams."
In support of this vision, the Kids Come First application proposed an innovative model for delivering home and community care services for children in the Champlain region. In recognition of their leadership, Ontario will approve this new model, building on the partners' experience in delivering children's community rehabilitation services and its clinical leadership in supporting children with medical complexity.
"The goal of Kids Come First/Les enfants avant tout is to ensure that every child and family has faster access to high-quality, connected child and youth health services," said Joanne Lowe, Executive Director of Youth Services Bureau, incoming Vice President of Mental Health and Addictions at CHEO and a member of the Kids Come First/Les enfants avant tout steering committee. "We are so pleased to receive a green light for our innovative, first of its kind integrated home care program for children and youth. We look forward to partnering, first with the Ottawa OHT and then with all the other local health teams that follow, to make the new OHT system work well for kids, families and providers."
The Kids Come First/Les enfants avant tout partners will work with the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health to develop a home and community care implementation plan and ensure a smooth transition for clients and families and better integrated care.
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.
- The government has approved hospitals and other partners to deliver home care where hospital care or expertise is a critical component of the care plan. This includes care pathways for hip and knee replacement, for example.