The following are highlights of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Board of Directors meeting held in Ottawa, Ontario on October 26, 2016.
Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc provided a progress report to the Board on a number of initiatives designed to better coordinate and integrate our health system. For example:
- Centralized Access to Diabetes Education Teams: The Champlain LHIN has been working with providers to create a more efficient, centralized access to diabetes education teams in our region. These teams are made up of nurses and dietitians who work with people who have diabetes to help them better manage their conditions. As a result of this effort, referrals to these teams have doubled since last year.
- Support for Indigenous Health: The Champlain LHIN is encouraging health service providers to increase their cultural knowledge and awareness of Indigenous peoples. To support this goal, the LHIN funded a number of spaces for provider staff to take the eight-week Indigenous Cultural Safety Training online program. This program was originally developed by the British Columbia Provincial Health Services Authority, and was adapted to reflect Ontario’s context. Response from providers has been very positive: after learning about the training opportunity, some providers have dedicated their own funding toward staff training, and the LHIN is looking into purchasing additional training spaces to meet the demand.
- Improved Care for People with Congestive Heart Failure: To better serve people with this cardiac condition, the Champlain LHIN and University of Ottawa Heart Institute are working to spread the Heart Institute’s knowledge and expertise to providers elsewhere in the region, such as rural hospitals and rural community health centres. The aim is to provide people with care closer to home, and reduce avoidable hospital visits.
Healthy Food in Hospitals Program – Update
During the past two years, hospitals in the Champlain region have created healthier menus for staff, visitors and patients in their cafeterias, gift shops, vending machines and franchise operations. The objective is to prevent chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke and cancer. By making this change, hospitals have demonstrated positive role-modeling by offering inviting, healthy food choices while gradually reducing or eliminating unhealthy ones.
The Champlain LHIN played a leadership role and provided funding to the program, which is a priority of the Champlain Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Network. The program is based on bronze, silver and gold levels of participation. At the bronze level, for example, deep fryers are no longer used, calorie information is posted for soups and entrées, and more vegetables and fruits are offered.
Cholly Boland and Carolyn Brennan (co-chairs of the Healthy Foods Leadership Task Force) spoke to the LHIN Board about the progress of the program. Mr. Boland, also CEO of Winchester Memorial District Hospital, said 21 of 23 sites in Champlain have achieved the bronze level, and the remaining two sites are working toward that status. He added that only one site still has a deep fryer.
Despite some initial concerns from participating hospitals, the program has been well-received. “When Queensway Carleton Hospital achieved bronze and met a few criteria from silver status, our sales went up,” said Ms. Brennan, also Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President Corporate and Diagnostic Services of Queensway Carleton Hospital. “People were delighted to have more healthy things to choose from. They are focusing on the new things they can get, instead of on the items they lost,” she explained.
Champlain is leading the way on this work, and provincial and national health organizations are noticing. For instance, the program will be featured in a national health leaders’ magazine in 2017, and the team has received several requests to share information with organizations elsewhere in Ontario, as well as in Alberta and Manitoba, and has been invited to make key presentations at health symposia.
This work supports the LHIN’s vision: Healthy people and healthy communities supported by a quality, accessible health system.
2017-18 Service Accountability Agreement Obligations – Discussion
Service accountability agreements define the obligations and responsibilities between the LHIN and its funded organizations, and must be in place before the LHIN distributes funding. At a regional level, these agreements play an important role in driving heath-system transformation and integration. For example, 2016-17 agreement obligations were modified to support the LHIN’s latest strategic directions of integration, access and sustainability.
A new round of accountability agreements is being developed for fiscal year 2017-18. In preparation, Eric Partington (LHIN Senior Director for Health System Performance) provided an overview on how the LHIN has been using the agreements as a transformational tool, highlighted some proposed obligations, and sought initial Board input.
Board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair emphasized the Board’s support to fully utilize the agreements to move us towards a more patient-centred system. Board members also stressed the importance of strong collaboration with providers, ensuring all obligations are as clear and measurable as possible, and communicating with provider Boards so they understand the need to deliver on the obligations.
More discussion and decisions on the 2017-18 accountability agreements will take place at upcoming LHIN board meetings.
This work supports the LHIN strategic priority of implementing strategies to achieve performance targets.