A Focus on Innovation

Value is created in the health care system when innovative change is introduced. This value is leveraged when it is shared. Promoting and recognizing innovations in health care continues to be a focus for Ontario, in particular with respect to the provincial Aging at Home Strategy. As part of the strategy, a minimum of 20% of funds allocated regionally for local implementation has been earmarked for innovative approaches that include the addition of non-traditional service providers. The South East LHIN’s SMILE program, the outcome of the aging at home planning effort in this region, is 100% innovative. At its introduction, the program will be unique in the province of Ontario in its focus on assisting the frail elderly to live at home, and in giving them options in modalities of service delivery that include the use of existing and non traditional service providers.

Provincially, LHINs have partnered with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in hosting three forums for exchange on aging at home. The first forum, which was arranged by the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat, was held in November 2007. The views and opinions of provincial seniors’ groups, provider associations and special interest groups have been captured in two summary reports that are available below.

The second forum was held on February 20, 2007, and involved a full-day videoconference, simultaneously broadcast to multiple sites across the province. More than 900 participants took part in this event, which was designed to stimulate ideas and discussion. The South East LHIN’s new SMILE program was among five approaches selected provincially to be showcased at the exchange as examples of innovative approaches. To view the webcast, click here. A brief synopsis of the afternoon breakout session with representatives from the community support service sector is also available below.

The third opportunity to showcase and celebrate innovations for aging at home took place in Toronto on Wednesday, April 23, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, as part of the annual Celebrating Innovations in Health Care Expo. Providence Care’s Mobile Inter-Professional Coaching Team initiative was selected as an exhibitor from among 400 applicants. This initiative is part of several initiatives that are underway in the South East, targeted to frail and elderly residents. For more information, see Initiatives Targeting the Frail Elderly.

At the expo, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman announced a new strategy for health care aimed at reducing emergency room (ER) wait times and connecting patients to family health care. For more information, click here.

Updates and Information

Feedback from February 20th Breakout Session (community support service agencies)
Summary Report of the November 2nd Provincial Forum (Seniors’ Groups)
Summary Report of the November 2nd Provincial Forum (Provider Associations)