Board Meeting Highlights
The following are highlights of the Board of Directors meeting held by the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) in Ottawa, Ontario on March 23, 2016.
Regional Planning and Community Engagement
CEO Report to the Board
Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc informed Board members that the 14 LHINs across the province and Cancer Care Ontario have aligned efforts to improve palliative care. The establishment of the new Ontario Palliative Care Network, which combines expertise from these agencies, will help the Ontario government set direction and allocate funds for palliative services.
“This is very positive, that we now have a structure at a provincial level that is really going to focus exclusively on palliative care,” Ms. LeClerc said.
To align efforts at the regional level, the Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program (which already collaborates with the LHIN), will also now be working more closely with the Champlain Regional Cancer Program.
Ms. LeClerc also provided a brief summary of the two eConsultation models now being piloted in Ontario (eConsultation allows family doctors and nurse practitioners to consult with medical specialists electronically, resulting in quicker care for patients).
The first model, which uses an electronic collaboration space, was spearheaded by the Champlain LHIN and has been expanded by the Mississauga Halton LHIN. Called the Champlain BASE (Building Access to Specialists through eConsulation) Service, the program was given special recognition by Canada Health Infoway in 2015. For more information on the approach, please see this LHIN video.
The second model is delivered by the Ontario Telemedicine Network. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Ministry) is now reviewing both models to develop a common technical platform using the best elements of each.
Health System Reform
Ms. LeClerc summarized the results of local stakeholder consultations on the Patients First discussion paper released by the Ministry in December 2015. Twenty-seven sessions were held across the region, with 415 people participating. Partners and providers in various health networks took part, including family doctors and nurse practitioners. Patients, clients, and family members also gave input. Ms LeClerc outlined a number of themes that emerged from the sessions:
- Those consulted were generally in agreement with the concepts in the Ministry’s discussion paper, but raised concerns about how the reforms would be implemented.
- Many viewed the proposed dual role of LHINs (i.e. as funder and provider) as a potential conflict of interest.
- The notion of delivering health services in sub-geographic regions was poorly understood, particularly with respect to boundary-setting.
- Some participants were worried that if primary-care services and public health units were placed under LHIN responsibility, those sectors would lose funding to the acute-care sector, which includes hospitals.
- Questions were raised about how the reforms would help vulnerable populations such as Indigenous, Francophone and immigrant communities, as well as people with disabilities.
- Some attendees wondered whether the LHINs would have sufficient resources to take on an expanded role.
- Several family doctors voiced concerns about which indicators would be chosen to monitor their performance.
- There was also apprehension about the significant amount of change that may occur, with a hope that any reforms be staggered over time.
- Champlain LHIN Board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair added, “At virtually every session, people were talking about the need to have a meaningful, comprehensive, and accessible electronic health record. That came through in ringing tones.”
The Champlain LHIN has compiled the detailed feedback and sent it to the Ministry, which is now reviewing the material. The detailed summary - Session Feedback Report from Patients First Consultations - was also shared with people who participated in the Champlain sessions.
New Champlain LHIN Health Service Provider: Decision
Roger’s House is a residential hospice for children, established 10 years ago and located in Ottawa.
Currently, Roger’s House obtains funding for nursing services from the Champlain Community Care Access Centre to operate its eight pediatric residential hospice beds. It also receives funding through a subcontract for a community-based program that matches trained volunteers with families of children requiring palliative services at home.
The Champlain LHIN Board of Directors approved making Roger’s House a LHIN-funded agency due to its unique expertise in delivering pediatric palliative care services for the region. The LHIN will now directly fund the Roger House’s at-home program. The decision strengthens accountability and oversight by permitting the LHIN to enter into a direct funding relationship.