With an aging population, the Ontario health system’s efforts are shifting from acute or hospital-based care to community-based services. Home and community care aims to keep seniors, particularly the medically complex and frail, safe, healthy and in their homes longer. This shift means having physicians and other health care providers and their patients work together to access care in the home and community.
Providers and patients alike have raised concerns about how much home and community care vary across the province in terms of the types and levels of service provided.
Since being introduced in April 2013, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) patients are now self-managing their care from the comfort of home thanks to the Central West LHIN Regional Telehomecare program.
Telehomecare has improved access to care by wirelessly connecting patients with nurses who provide both remote monitoring and regular health coaching sessions, while continuing to have appointments with their existing Health Service Providers (HSPs) as needed. As a result, Telehomecare does not replace but rather augments physician services, and has notably reduced unnecessary visits and admissions to hospital.
"Elgin and I would like to tell you how much we have needed and appreciated all of the help provided by the Telehomecare Nurse these past months. During this time, she has helped us through several difficulties. She has eased our minds on several occasions, and her suggestions regarding Elgin’s nutritional needs and medications were invaluable. It is very reassuring to know there is someone with medical training available to assess the data sent by the Telehomecare equipment, and to respond twenty-four hours a day if required. We are so grateful this service is available to those of us who need it, and we surely hope this will be a permanent part of our health care system!"–E & S Gardhouse
In 2015, the MOHLTC endorsed a report it commissioned from an expert panel led by Dr. Gail Donner. "The Donner Report" marks a significant milestone in shaping the direction of home care in Ontario. As the province adopts recommendations and develops policy following from that report, the Central West LHIN will take a local leadership role in their implementation.
|Strategic Direction||Strategic Initiative||Strategic Action|
|Build Integrated Networks of Care||Home and Community Care Renewal||Implement local home and community care renewal in the Central West LHIN in keeping with the provincial strategy.|
|Establish and implement new standardized levels of care framework based on MOHLTC-led home and community care renewal.|
|Expand home and community care services to meet the needs of Individuals identified in the capacity plan.|