Towards More Integrated Care

As a health care leader, I feel privileged to work in one of the best health care systems in the world.

However, like many, I also know it can be better.

In fact, it’s frequently noted that our health care system is less a “system” and more a series of distinct organizations. While each organization strives to provide exceptional, patient-centred care, historically we’ve done so from our own silos. In recent years there have been great efforts to change that, and there are many examples of successful cross-sector collaboration, including here in Central West. Now we want to keep that momentum going!

We’re fortunate in this region to have excellent relationships with our partners at William Osler Health System and Headwaters Health Care Centre. And together, we’ve been asking ourselves how we can provide even more seamless care for our shared patients. The synergies are obvious: at the CCAC, we’re serving people with increasingly complex needs, many of whom have just been discharged from the hospital. Some of those patients will also return to the hospital while they’re receiving CCAC care.

As they interact with our organizations, are we doing everything we can to ensure we are best meeting their needs?

From a patient perspective, we know the experience can be disjointed. They wonder if the people involved in their care are talking to one another. They are confused and sometimes concerned about the many distinct components of their care. And they, too, question what can be done to streamline processes and ensure our precious health care resources are used to their greatest benefit, now and for future generations.

Together with our hospital partners, we’re excited to embark on a unique partnership that will explore these challenges and implement solutions. While we’ve always worked closely with our hospitals on the clinical side – and that critical work continues – we recently announced a formal non-clinical integration of our support departments. We did so with the full support of our Boards, who also saw value in leveraging our collective expertise in areas like patient experience, information technology, finance, human resources, organizational development, strategy, and communications to better serve our community. By integrating these essential support functions more closely, we expect to find efficiencies and, ultimately, support more seamless patient care.

This integration is the first of its kind in Ontario, and while it’s early days, we are tremendously excited about the possibilities. Already, I hear staff throughout our organization engaged in thoughtful dialogue about how our new structure will enable positive change for both patients and the health care system. I look forward to sharing more in a future post!

Cathy

 

 

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