Ontario Health Teams To End Hospital Hallway Care

Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, chats with patients at Bridgepoint Active Healthcare. File: THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

MISSISSAUGA: 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.

Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, was at the University of Toronto Mississauga on November 25 to announce the Mississauga 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 Mississauga 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 Mississauga Ontario Health Team, known as Mississauga Health, will create a connected system of care from prenatal, birth to end-of-life care. The team will focus on improving the health of the people in the community, addressing physical, mental and emotional well-being, as well as simplifying navigation for patients, families and caregivers. Mississauga Health will integrate services from primary care, home care, community care and hospital care to create a seamless system for patients, families and caregivers.

Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. File photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

“With our new Mississauga Ontario Health Team, patients will benefit from better integrated health care, with a seamless experience when moving between different health care services, providers and settings,” said Elliott. “I would like to thank all the health care providers and organizations that helped plan the Mississauga Ontario Health Team; there is lots of work to be done, but with their dedication and hard work, we will continue to improve health care in our communities and ensure Ontarians get the care they deserve.”

As it continues its work to integrate care, Mississauga Health will put in place 24/7 navigation and care coordination services for patients and families. Patients will receive these services through their 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 Mississauga Health’s population. These new services are aimed at supporting patients and families including those people with complex medical or social needs.

“Ontario Health Teams are going to be one of the most important health care initiatives in the next decade,” said Michelle DiEmanuele, Chair, Mississauga Health and President & CEO of Trillium Health Partners.

“Mississauga Health has a tremendous opportunity to improve the health and well-being of our community by working together, building on our strengths and putting patients at the centre of everything we do. We want to thank the Government of Ontario for granting us the opportunity to be one of the first Ontario Health Teams, as part of this once in a generation plan to transform the delivery of care locally and across Ontario.”

The Mississauga Ontario Health Team will begin implementing some of their proposed programs and services in 2020 and will communicate with patients and families about the changes and improvements they can expect in their community.

“Increasing capacity to modernized primary care is essential to ensuring that all patients are able to receive access to health care services in the community that meets their care needs,” said Dr. Mira Backo-Shannon, a Primary Care Physician and Executive Lead of Mississauga Health.

“Partnerships within Mississauga Health will help to ensure patients receive the right care, in the right place, while helping to create a local health system where patients, families and caregivers can move seamlessly between health care providers and services.”

Ontario has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, which includes making investments and advancing new initiatives across four pillars:

  1. Prevention and health promotion: keeping patients as healthy as possible in their communities and out of hospitals.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Building capacity: build new hospital and long-term care beds while increasing community-based services across Ontario.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The first wave of Ontario Health Teams are being approved after an extensive readiness assessment process, which involved significant time, collaboration, research and effort from partners across the health care sector.
  8. The government will continue working with its partners to review their applications to become an Ontario Health Team.