LHINfo Minute Archives: Pre-2015

For LHINfo Minutes dated 2015 and onwards, please visit News.

LHINfo Minutes are one-page good news stories that highlight the collaborative work that is being done to improve the health system at the local level. Click on the links below to learn more:

  • Video: Reframing Quality through the Eyes of the Patient (May 2, 2014) When you close your eyes and imagine what patient experience looks like, what comes to mind? Is the care you received from a doctor, the bedside manner of nurses or is it something less concrete, like a feeling or an impression?

  • Enhancing Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Services in Central LHIN (April 15, 2014)
    For some, rediscovering hope stems from a single conversation with one person who understands because they’ve been there. Or by being connected to the right mental health and addictions support, at the right time, in the right place. And that’s why Central LHIN is investing an additional $765,000 annually into mental health and addictions crisis services in Central LHIN – to inspire hope, and connect more people with the support they need to improve their lives.

  • Central LHIN improves access to opioid treatment programs (February 10, 2014)
    “I look like any other person, but I have been hiding an opiate addiction for six years,” explains Lesley, a client that has benefited from support services that are being provided to help people seeking treatment for opioid addictions across Central LHIN.

  • Electronic Medical Records Improve Patient Care (December 18, 2013)
    Information technology and information management play a key role in Central LHIN – they’re important enablers in our strategic plan and in the delivery of services in our local system. But it is patient-centred care that is at the heart of our health care system: making the experience of care more seamless, creating a system that is easier to navigate and improving quality care. This is the foundation for Electronic Medical Records (EMRs).

  • Strengthening palliative care in our communities (September 13, 2013)
    Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross – the author of On Death and Dying – once said, “Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever.” Helping those falling stars disappear with the dignity, comfort and respect they deserve is a commitment that the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), its health service providers and partners involved in palliative care certainly embrace.

  • Central LHIN embeds patient experience into Health Links planning (August 9, 2013)
    Listen and be led. That was the core message behind a recent engagement session hosted by the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) for its Health Links – clusters of health service providers across the continuum of care that are charged with improving the coordination of health care for those with complex medical conditions, such as seniors.
  • Central LHIN partners with the University of Toronto to host forum focused on quality improvement in primary care (May 2, 2013)
    "Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can." These are the words of Dr. Phil Ellison from the University of Toronto that were delivered to over 60 family physicians and other health care professionals at the Central Local Health Integration Network's Quality Improvement in Primary Care forum held on March 22, 2013.
  • New Integrated Health Service Plan helps improve local health care (March 25, 2013)
    Appropriateness, Access, Integration, Person-Centredness. These are the four quality-based system directions – derived from stakeholder feedback – that will guide the Central Local Health Integration Network’s (LHIN) activities and investments in the local health system over the next three years.
  • New discharge philosophy helps seniors return home after hospital stay (February 8, 2013)
    People who receive care in their homes are generally happier, more comfortable and tend to heal more quickly. But too often, seniors go from a hospital stay directly into long-term care, even though that may not be the most appropriate transition for them. A new discharge philosophy common to all Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) hospitals called There’s No Place Like Home is helping patients and their families make informed choices about care that could allow them to return home after a hospital treatment.
  • 2012 Highlights: A Year of Health System Transformation (January 9, 2013)
    Improving people’s experience with and outcomes from the local health system are key priorities for the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). In 2012, these priorities were front and centre. In January, the Ontario government launched its Action Plan for Health Care, a commitment to provide people with the right care at the right time and in the right place. The Action Plan is essential to achieving a high quality, person-centred local health system and for managing health care costs. It is well aligned with the work of the Central LHIN.
  • Single pathway for hip and knee replacement across Central LHIN means faster track to rehab after surgery and better health outcomes (November 29, 2012)
    Surgery is an important part of hip or knee replacement, but the care that is provided before and after a surgical procedure can also be vital to encouraging a robust recovery. This was the thinking behind the development of a single pathway of care for hip and knee replacement that was recently introduced across the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). A Steering Committee in Central LHIN, comprised of representatives from all acute care hospitals in the LHIN and the Central Community Care Access Centre, in consultation with orthopaedic surgeons and clinical administrative staff in their facilities, developed a single set of best practice protocols* and patient communication for pre-op, inpatient and rehab care, and will measure common clinical outcomes. People in local communities will now receive more effective, equitable, timely and coordinated care geared to improving health outcomes.
  • Integrative model of cardiovascular rehab care helps lower the risk of strokes (November 7, 2012)
    Integrative model of cardiovascularPeople in Central LHIN who are at risk of stroke are receiving greater support, thanks to three new cardiovascular rehab sites that are now part of an integrated model of care coordinated through the LHIN’s District Stroke Centre at Mackenzie Health. The Lifestyle Education and Exercise Program (LEEP) at Markham Stouffville Hospital; the Carefirst Community Cardiovascular Rehab Program at Bayview Hill Community Centre; and a joint venture of Mackenzie Health, the University Health Network-Toronto Rehab and York University at the Toronto Track and Field Centre, are part of an initiative that is helping people who have experienced a warning stroke to acquire the knowledge they need to make the best decisions to create a healthier lifestyle. rehab care helps lower the risk of strokes
  • Behavioural Support Services – Mobile Support Teams provide timely response for seniors experiencing behavioural issues (September 17, 2012) 
    Families can connect with a new program when seniors exhibit challenging behaviours such as aggression, wandering, physical resistance and agitation, whether they are living in the community or long-term care homes. Since launching across Central LHIN in early June 2012, 20 local clients have received support.
  • Specialist care closer to home: Telemedicine offers faster access to health care in Central LHIN (August 27, 2012)
    With the help of five telemedicine nurses recently hired in Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), more residents are benefiting from faster access to specialist care closer to home. 
  • Resource Matching and Referral (RM&R): An electronic system for faster, easier access to the right care in Central LHIN(July 31, 2012)
    It’s hard to reach a destination in a timely manner by following an incomplete map – you may need to stop and ask for directions. Health care is no different. Hospitals in Central LHIN seeking to refer patients to rehab, long-term care, ambulatory or home care, faced a similar problem in the not-so-distant past – but not anymore.
  • Unique partnerships strengthen access to health care professionals (July 11, 2012)
    When Ontario communities such as Bradford West Gwillimbury, a small town north of Toronto, need additional physicians, they no longer have to look beyond the borders of their own Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). Since 2010, over 40 physicians have been recruited and placed in positions by HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency’s Regional Advisor for Central LHIN. Communities that have benefitted from these efforts include Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Alliston, North York, Vaughan, Georgina and Stouffville, and this is on top of the doctors and nurses who have independently found work through HFOJobs – an online employment opportunities portal for health care professionals – or through other means.
  • Making Progress on Wait Times: Central LHIN meets all LHIN-specific surgical and diagnostic wait time targets (June 5, 2012)
    In 2010-11, some people waited six months (184 days) to access a diagnostic MRI scan at Mackenzie Health (formerly York Central Hospital (YCH)). One year later, they were waiting just 28 days. This kind of improvement is but one example of the advancements Central LHIN health service providers have made on wait times over the past year. In fact, for the first time, Central LHIN has met all LHIN-specific targets on surgical and diagnostic wait time indicators (fourth quarter 2011-12 results) - the first of Ontario’s 14 LHINs to do so.
  • Behavioural Supports Ontario: Supporting challenging circumstances of care (March 28, 2012)
    People with cognitive difficulties due to mental health problems, addictions, dementia, or other neurological conditions can behave in ways that are challenging to others. They may wander, appear agitated or become verbally or physically aggressive. These behaviours, which can happen when the person is living at home, in acute care or in long-term care, are a major source of distress to the individual, their family or caregivers and others providing support.
  • Senior Friendly Hospitals: Improving the health, well-being and experience of seniors in hospital(February 29, 2012)
    For many seniors, important items such as glasses or hearing aids keep them mobile and able to communicate effectively. When in hospital, these items can sometimes be out of reach due to physical limitations, and seniors may also need help with walking, opening cartons, cutting food at mealtime or finding ways to keep mentally stimulated. That’s where the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) steps in to lend a hand.
  • Championing better approaches to local quality care(February 3, 2012)
    Family physicians and other primary care providers are the front line of health care – caring for patients and their families close to home and supporting their journey through the health system. Improving access to primary care for our residents and developing stronger linkages between primary care providers and other parts of the health system is a key quality priority for Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). To further this aim, Central LHIN recently appointed Dr. David Kaplan, Deputy Family Physician-in-Chief at North York General Hospital, as Central LHIN’s new Primary Care Lead.
  • 2011 Highlights: A Year of Positive Change (December 20, 2011)
    A key goal for Central LHIN is to help people access the right care, in the right place, at the right time. That is the hallmark of our Advancing Quality action plan and what our residents expect and providers aim to deliver. Over this past year, we have – collectively – made excellent progress towards achieving this ideal. And we recognize that these results are from partnerships and collaborations across the local system.
  • Providing the right care for people experiencing a mental health crisis (December 6, 2011)
    For many, the holiday season marks the joyful arrival of the most “wonderful time of the year.” But for Bill Hunter, the impending arrival of Christmas 2010 ushered in anything but joy. Fortunately, North York General Hospital was particularly well-equipped to respond to Bill’s needs thanks to its Emergency Department Division Program, a Central LHIN funded initiative that identifies individuals in the emergency department with a mental health-related crisis or issue and links them directly to community mental health services. 
  • Going home first is often the best medicine (August 18, 2011)
    When 73-year-old Anna’s health suddenly worsened, she became increasingly dependent on others for all aspects of her care. Feeding, bathing, and moving around safely all became major challenges for Anna. After an extended hospital stay, her family was faced with a difficult question: What was the best care for Anna and who could offer that care? Understanding that Anna’s care needs were significant, but wishing for her to stay at home as long as possible, Anna’s husband and three adult children discussed options for her care. And that’s where Central LHIN’s Home First philosophy entered the picture. 
  • Pilot project helps transition ventilated patients from ICU to their home communities (August 12, 2011)
    Every day for over a year, Helen Nikolakakos would start her morning early so that she was at her husband Peter’s bedside at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto soon after he woke up. Even though Peter was not acutely ill, his reliance on a mechanical ventilator kept him in the intensive care unit with no short-term options for transferring out of the hospital. All of that changed when Peter became a candidate for the West Park Transitional Home Ventilation Service, a pilot project funded by the Central LHIN.
  • Central LHIN anti-stigma curriculum for mental illness and addictions goes national (July 22, 2011)
    Innovation and collaboration are at the forefront of any good idea. And if you bring the right people to the table, with the right supports in place, good things really do happen. That’s the case with the Central LHIN Mental Health and Addictions Education Work Group – a committee that was comprised of Central LHIN mental health and addictions health service providers – that developed a strategy to combat stigma amongst health care professionals.
  • Primary care top focus for Central LHIN (April 1, 2011)
    Working to improve access to primary care and maximize service availability across our communities is a key focus for the Central LHIN. Central LHIN recently established a multidisciplinary Primary Care Action Group, co-chaired by Dr. David Kaplan, Associate Chief, Family and Community
    Medicine, North York General Hospital and Central LHIN Primary Care Diabetes Lead. The Primary Care Action Group is comprised of a wide range of primary care providers in the Central LHIN who are working toward developing a system vision for primary care and improving integration and engagement of this critical component of the health system.
  • LHINs launch community engagement guidelines (March 9, 2011)
    Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) across Ontario have adopted new community engagement guidelines that will bring increased consistency, accountability and transparency to community engagement initiatives province-wide. 
  • Day Centre offers seniors and caregivers peace-of-mind and reassurance (January 31, 2011)
    Health care professionals and volunteers at the the Day Centre for Seniors are offering a critical service, providing more than 50 clients a week – who have Alzheimer’s and related dementias – with the supports and assistance they need to lead active and social lives, while continuing to live in their communities. 
  • Care for a LIfetime program provides innovative and coordinated support for seniors (January 17, 2011)
    The Markham Family Health Team and Markham-Stouffville Hospital are teaming up to deliver an innovative, coordinated program that helps seniors in the Central LHIN avoid unnecessary emergency department visits, and promotes a smooth transition back to the community if a hospital stay is required.
  • Nurse-led outreach teams: a new kind of "house call" in long-term care(January 4, 2011)
    Thanks to three nurse-led outreach teams funded by Central LHIN, a new kind of house call is fast becoming reality for long-term care residents in our LHIN. Nurse-led outreach teams build capacity in long-term care homes, working with staff to enhance access to quality, timely care in the long-term care home, and minimize avoidable transfers to the emergency department.
  • Innovations Expo finalist partners with health service providers to improve quality of care and client safety(December 22, 2010)
    The Central Community Access Centre (CCAC) is improving client safety through its collaborative work with a range of health service providers to deliver the Medication Management Support Service Program. The program is funded through the Central LHIN’s Aging at Home strategy and will receive more than $1.7 million in 2010/11 to continue its efforts to reduce medication-related adverse events for seniors. 
  • The Arthritis Program at Southlake: empowering arthritis sufferers for nearly 20 years (December 7, 2010)
    Through the combined expertise of a dedicated and interprofessional team, The Arthritis Program (TAP) at Southlake Regional Health Centre is educating individuals living with inflammatory joint diseases and other types of arthritis on how to manage these chronic and potentially debilitating illnesses and reduce the impact of symptoms on their lives. 
  • Live, Learn and Share helps people 'open up' about diabetes (November 24, 2010)
    Recognizing that many people struggle with the social implications of diabetes, the Black Creek Community Health Centre partnered with Self Help Resource Centre and Humber River Regional Hospital in February 2010 to start the Live, Learn and Share program. The program helps educate members of the Black Caribbean community in the Central LHIN about diabetes programs and services, and supports them to manage their condition.
  • New Diabetes Regional Coordination Centre works with Central LHIN and providers to improve diabetes services (November 9, 2010)
    As part of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Ontario Diabetes Strategy – a four-year, $740-million plan to fight diabetes – the Ministry has established new Diabetes Regional Coordination Centres (RCCs) in each Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). RCCs align diabetes care and promote the best possible health outcomes for people living with diabetes.
  • Collaboration between Central LHIN and the community support services sector enhances integration opportunities (October 26, 2010)
    Central LHIN has been working closely with the Central Community Support Services (CSS) Network on key priorities to enhance integration across the CSS sector. This work builds on previous Central LHIN investments to increase sector capacity, and focuses on standardizing information management through common client assessment tools and client databases, enabling shared services with a focus on human resources, purchasing and finance and developing and implementing a coordinated transportation services model in collaboration with Toronto Central LHIN.
  • Community Support Services Network brings organizations together to serve vulnerable Central LHIN residents (October 13, 2010)
    With the right mix of support and services, seniors and people with disabilities and special needs in the Central LHIN can continue to live safely and more independently in their communities and in their own homes. Originally funded by the Central LHIN through the Capacity Building Initiative in 2008/09, the Central Community Support Services (CSS) Network is a 37-member self-organized network of community support agencies working together to increase capacity and improve service quality and access to care and services in the Central LHIN.
  • Supporting health, hope and happiness for more than 600 South Asian seniors (September 27, 2010)
    More than 600 South Asian seniors in the Vaughan and Markham areas are receiving the supports they need to live healthier and happier lives thanks to the Integrating Communities: Wellness and Prevention Program. The program – funded through Central LHIN’s Aging at Home Strategy and run through Human Endeavour in partnership with CHATS – provides seniors with disease management and prevention strategies, and assistance navigating the health system.
  • Central LHIN appoints Emergency Department and Critical Care Leads (September 13, 2010)
    Central LHIN recently announced the appointments of Dr. Rakesh Kumar as Emergency Department Lead and Dr. Donna McRitchie as Critical Care Lead. Dr. Kumar and Dr. McRitchie
    were recruited to the positions to help improve access, quality of care and system integration as part of Ontario’s Emergency Department and Critical Care strategies.
  • Innovative collaboration keeps seniors out of emergency by helping them manage their meds (August 16, 2010)
    Medication Management Support Service – a program led by the CCAC – is reducing medication-related adverse events for seniors over the age of 65 with at least one chronic disease and taking three or more medications. Through the program, a pharmacist or nurse visits eligible clients to review discrepancies or medication-related problems, then follows up with the prescriber and/or pharmacist to resolve any issues.
  • Flow facilitators help patients move quickly and easily through the system (August 3, 2010)
    Five public hospitals within the Central LHIN – Humber River Regional Hospital, Markham Stouffville Hospital, North York General Hospital, Southlake Regional Hospital and North York General Hospital – have patient flow facilitators who reduce emergency department wait times by helping navigate patients through their hospital experience. Patient flow facilitators are funded through the province’s Pay-for-Results program.
  • One year and 2500 clients later (July 19, 2010)
    After only a year in operation, the Vaughan Community Health Centre is already changing the lives of 2500 local residents by removing barriers to accessing care and providing a one-stop-shop for their individual health care needs. The interdisciplinary team at the Centre consists of physicians, nurses, health promoters, counsellors, community health workers, outreach workers, nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists and chiropodists.
  • An emergency department diversion success story (July 12, 2010)
    The emergency department is often the first stop for patients experiencing mental health-related crises. But for more than 75 per cent of patients enrolled in North York General Hospital’s Emergency Department Diversion Program, a visit to the local emergency department is no longer necessary. Run by North York General Hospital in partnership with Saint Elizabeth Health Care, Toronto North Support Services and ACCESS 1, the program is focused on improving the coordination of care delivery between acute care and community-based supports.
  • CHATS brings services to seniors and caregivers in Bradford and northern York Region (June 28, 2010)
    In 2009/10, Central LHIN provided funding through Aging at Home to enable CHATS to increase supports to seniors living in Bradford West Gwillimbury and northern York Region who often lack access to family physicians, in-home care and day programs dedicated to keeping them active in the community.
  • Lower emergency department wait times in Central LHIN (June 21, 2010)
    According to the most recent available data, Central LHIN has the third best rate of improvement in the province for wait times for all patients who are treated and then discharged from the emergency department. Hospitals in Central LHIN have also achieved this improvement without losing focus on patient safety and quality of care.
  • Traditional Supports for Seniors of Aboriginal Descent (June 14, 2010)
    Run by the Krasman Centre in Richmond Hill, the Traditional Supports for Seniors of Aboriginal Descent program honours and supports seniors of Aboriginal descent with mental health and addictions issues who are living on their own in York Region by providing access to traditional ceremonies, medicines, community Elders, healing circles and seasonal feasts. The program also has a strong intergenerational component, involving in-home support from Aboriginal youth to seniors and knowledge transfer from seniors to youth in relation to crafts, cooking, drumming, singing and story-telling.
  • Crosslinks Seniors Housing and Support Services (June 7, 2010)
    Crosslinks Seniors Housing and Support Services provides supportive housing for seniors with mental health and addictions-related issues in the greater Jane/Finch area. Run through LOFT Community Services in partnership with Downsview Services to Seniors, Humber River Regional Hospital, the Central Community Care Access Centre, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Toronto Community Housing and funded through Central LHIN’s Aging at Home strategy, the program was expanded to serve 130 seniors with supportive housing, and to provide 180 seniors with case management.
  • Enhanced Independent Living for Seniors (May 31, 2010)
    Run through Better Living Health and Community Services – formerly the Don Mills Foundation for Seniors – Enhanced Independent Living for Seniors is making it easier for seniors in the Central LHIN to manage some of life’s every day tasks. The program serves seniors with complex needs, ethno-culturally diverse communities, seniors with disabilities, cognitive impairments and low income seniors.