Health Care Tomorrow - Putting Patients First

Senior woman in a wheelchair grasping the hand of a health care providerIntegrated health Services Plan 2016-2019

This is the fourth Integrated Health Services Plan (IHSP) to be released by the South East LHIN. The IHSP is an essential component of our work. It not only helps keep Ontarians, the health care community and the provincial government informed about our plans for managing and funding health care in this region, it also serves as our roadmap. It reminds us of the obligation we have to ensure that people in the South East have the health care system they need, and of the various innovative ways we have determined that we are going to do so.

This IHSP is called Health Care Tomorrow – Putting Patients First. It builds on the foundation that we have laid over the course of the past decade through our first three plans, identifies our priorities for the coming three years, and outlines the various programs and initiatives that will help us achieve those priorities. It is a plan that will help us ensure that the needs of patients and communities across the region are being met. It is a plan that will help us ensure that we are delivering care equitably to all our patients. It is a plan that focuses on innovation and accountability. Most important, it is a plan that puts patients first.

In creating this plan, we were dependent on extensive engagement and consultation with experts, health care stakeholders, community leaders and patients across our region. The plan was also informed by a number of recent developments in health care, including the successful launch of Health Links three years ago, a renewed focus on innovation, and several valuable reports into various aspects of the health care system. Our commitment to putting patients first is one that is shared by the provincial government, as evidenced by the release in February 2015 of Patients First: Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care.

Our fourth IHSP is characterized by its commitment to equity, to innovation, to sustainability and to collaboration. It reflects our understanding that the goals we want to achieve will best be achieved in the context of a better integrated health care system that serves informed and involved communities.

Health Care Tomorrow – Putting Patients First establishes three overarching goals that will guide the work we do and define the direction for our region's health care system over the next three years:

Three Overarching Goals

  1. Achieving better patient outcomes through more equitable access to quality care

    When we talk about equity in health care, we are referring to a fair distribution of resources, based on need as opposed to volume of services. It is not necessary in health care to ensure that all patients receive the same number of services, or even the same services – if they have different care needs. What is necessary is that all patients receive the services they require. If we want to ensure equitable access to care, we need to consider and address the various barriers that exist, whether they be financial, geographic or cultural.

  2. Improving the health care experience through an integrated and patient-centred continuum of care

    Local Health Integration Networks, as the name implies, were created with a mandate to integrate health care. The past 10 years have seen tremendous progress in this regard. We have pressed forward with numerous integrations that have helped create more seamless care, but we know that there remains much more work to be done. Our third IHSP tackled that work head on, addressing what we call the "integration imperative." Simply put, it was an acknowledgement that everything we want to accomplish in health care depends on the vast array of providers and organizations working better together, sharing information, and wrapping the system around the needs of the patient. Integration remains the imperative today. We are committed to building an integrated and sustainable regional health care system that supports healthy communities with a patient-centred approached that is both timely and responsive.

  3. Working with partners towards the achievement of an accountable, high performing health care system

    The key notion here is innovation. If we want a high performing and sustainable health care system, we must learn to do things differently. We must embrace new ideas. We must identify needs and take an innovative approach to meeting them. We also know that if we're going to be successful, we must work as a team. We share our mission of planning integrated health services for the residents of the South East LHIN with a wide variety of health service providers, stakeholders and communities. Because we know that better health depends on many factors outside the health care sector, such as housing, employment and food, we are casting our net wide. Our work is to foster a collaborative culture where all partners are involved and have a voice in the decisions that will affect the health care system in our region. We need to learn and understand more about each other’s roles and how we can mutually support each other in an integrated system.

To Read the South East LHIN IHSP4, click the English or French link below: