Since receiving the go ahead from the Ministry of Health (MOH) to submit a full application to become an Ontario Health Team (OHT) in July 2019, the 16-member Durham OHT has been working intensively to create a detailed proposal for improving access to health care in Durham Region.
The full OHT application focuses on how the OHT partners will make decisions and collaborate in year one to transform services for local populations including sharing patient information and data. It will also demonstrate how the OHT’s work will improve access to health services and outcomes for people including reducing hospital readmissions in the Emergency Department.
In the first year, the Durham OHT proposes to focus on improving service delivery and care for two high needs groups: older adults living with frailty and individuals living with complex conditions including mental health and addictions The submission will also include a special focus on home and community care and digital health. As the Durham OHT evolves a Patient Experience Office will be established.
An Oversight Committee of 16 organizations including primary care, acute care, and home and community care providers, along with regional government, community providers and patient, family and caregiver representatives will be signatories of the Durham OHT submission. In addition, four expert working groups with broader membership from across Durham Region including patients and caregiver representatives are supporting the development of a year one plan for a connected health care system:
- A Clinical Working Group will develop initiatives to provide integrated care to the populations of need.
- A Digital Working Group is focused on how to use digital health information and technology to enhance of care delivery, including virtual health options.
- A Governance Working Group is developing an interim framework under which the OHT will operate in its first year.
- A Home and Community Care Working Group is focused on the design of innovative service delivery, increasing accountability for performance and support efficient and integrated service delivery.
“It is exciting to see the tremendous commitment that partners, patients and caregivers have to creating a strong, integrated regional health system in Durham,” said Matthew Anderson, Lakeridge Health President and CEO. “Through the OHT partnerships we will be collectively better able to meet the community’s growing and diverse health care needs.”
The Durham OHT will submit a full application by October 9. 2019, and the MOH is expected to announce the province’s first OHTs in late Fall 2019.
For more information on the OHT process, visit the MOH website at www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/connectedcare/oht/.