I recently read a report released by The Change Foundation entitled, Winning Conditions to Improve Patient Experiences: Integrated Healthcare in Ontario. To read the report, click here.
Similar to the views of the OHA, the report advises the Government of Ontario to concentrate first on coordinating and connecting health services – and better patient experiences and a stronger, sustainable health care system will follow.
Winning Conditions provides advice about how Ontario can move closer to an integrated health system and improve the patient experience. It’s based on work conducted and commissioned by The Change Foundation and published research. It draws on what we have learned from other jurisdictions, and is informed by discussions with government, policy experts, regional planners, and the patients we serve.
The report proposes 24 interconnected actions to improve care, governance, funding, performance, and information flow, outlining where Ontario stands now, and where we need to go. Highlights of the recommendations include:
Ø Strengthen and empower regional health care – The government should strengthen Local Health Integrations Networks, by giving them the autonomy and discretionary funds to do the work they are mandated to do. In short, giving them the power to shift funding to meet the particular needs of the population they serve.
Ø Develop a strategy for integrating primary care with the rest of the system – Ensure that services are connected and that the needs and realities of Ontarians are addressed.
Ø Overhaul how we pay providers – Provider payment should align with system goals and design. The government should improve funding models across the health care system to facilitate integrated and high quality care across the continuum.
Ø Shift focus to home and community care – Given emerging technologies and drug therapies, we need to ask how people care be better supported in their homes and communities rather than in hospitals.
Ø Update the relationship between physicians and hospitals – Establish contracts between physicians and hospitals that create two-way accountabilities, in order to align physicians’ work with system-wide priorities to improve quality and cut costs.
The report asserts that progress on health reform is not a matter of money, but rather of using investments more strategically, and I agree, and encourage you all to read the report.