Health Links and LHIN sub-regions
In December 2012, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care released its Action Plan for Health Care. Complementing the release of the Action Plan in 2012, and in an effort to highlight the need for more patient-focused, coordinated care for the highest cost and most complex users of health care resources, the Ministry launched the province-wide Health Links initiative.
On December 17, 2015, the ministry released Patients First: A Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care in Ontario, a discussion paper that outlined proposed changes for the health system. Approved in December 2016, the Patients First Act will result in structural changes that will see Local Health Integration Networks assume responsibility for home and community care and system integration, and have greater involvement with primary care, and improved linkages with population health planning.
This includes the formalization of LHIN sub-regions. In the Central East LHIN, seven (7) sub-regions have been providing a geographic foundation for the development of local integrated systems of care.
Sub-Regions in the Central East LHIN - posted January 17, 2017
A sub-region is a smaller geographic planning region within the Central East LHIN that will help the LHIN to better understand and address patient needs at the local level. Sub-regions have been in place informally in Central East LHIN for many years and they are now being formalized. By looking at care patterns through a smaller, more local lens, the Central East LHIN will be able to better identify and respond to community needs and ensure that patients across the entire LHIN have
access to the care they need, when and where they need it. This includes the needs of Francophone Ontarians, Indigenous communities, newcomers and other individuals and groups within the Central East LHIN whose health care needs are unique and who often experience challenges accessing and navigating the health care system.
The approach will not restrict Ontarians as they make their health care decisions. Sub-regions are not an additional layer of bureaucracy. They will not be separate organizations or administrations, and will not have their own staff or boards.
Central East LHIN sub-regions were established based on existing care patterns in order to achieve a more local approach that will better serve Ontarians by ensuring that services reflect the unique needs of patients and their communities. In formalizing our sub-regions, the Central East LHIN used the best available evidence - including patient referral patterns and insights gleaned from local engagement with patients, providers and community members - to ensure that sub-regions align with local needs.
Physicians, nurses, and other clinicians, as well as patients, caregivers and their families will continue to play a role in planning, priority setting and implementing improvement activities at the Central East LHIN sub-region level to ensure the needs of patients and their communities are being met.
Health Links in the Central East LHIN
In the Central East LHIN, Health Links - networks and communities - are integral to the achievement of the strategic aims contained in the LHIN's 2016-2019 Integrated Health Service Plan (IHSP 4).
A Health Link community is comprised of the patients, family caregivers, providers, and broader system partners who reside or work within the Health Link geography who are committed to working better together to improve health outcomes for patients.
A Health Link is a local health care network consisting of patients, caregivers, health care providers and community support agencies that are committed to working better together to effectively identify every patient with complex health care needs and improve their health outcomes.
Over time, the Health Link approach aims to achieve the best possible health outcomes and enrich the patient’s experience of the health care system by reducing wait times, eliminating unnecessary visits to the emergency department and repeat hospital readmissions.
Central East LHIN Health Link Community Profiles - posted January 23, 2017
With the overarching goal of Living Healthier at Home - Advancing integrated systems of care to help Central East LHIN residents live healthier at home, the Central East Local Health Integration Network (Central East LHIN) has released its 2016-2019 Integrated Health Service Plan (IHSP 4) to guide, direct and inspire health system change. Embedded throughout IHSP 4 is the continuing evolution of Health Link Communities (LHIN sub-regions) and Health Link networks and the foundational importance they provide in advancing integrated systems of care.
To support enhanced collaboration amongst the network of health service providers within a Health Link Community and other stakeholders, an environmental scan of demographics, population health, social determinants of health and health system information at the LHIN sub-region level has been developed to support decision-making. The environmental scan consists of eight chapters which describe the Central East LHIN and the seven LHIN sub-regions also known as Health Link Communities. In the Central East LHIN, the seven Health Link Communities provide a geographic foundation for the development of local integrated systems of care at the sub-regional level.
Central East Health Links Network Stories
Please click on the links below to see how the Health Links initiative is improving patient experience.
Central East CCAC - Health Links Coordinated Care Plan for Don 2017 - NEW!
TransCare CSS - Coordinated Care Planning 2016
Tell a Story - CMHA Durham Patient Journey through Coordinated Care 2016
CMHA Durham - Coordinated Care Planning 2016
GAIN – Coordinated Care Planning 2016
Ontario Shores – Coordinated Care Planning 2016
Brain Injury Association Peterborough Region – Coordinated Care Conference 2016
New Primary Care Physician Leads in local communities
The Central East Local Health Integration Network (Central East LHIN) is pleased to announce the appointment of seven local Primary Care Physician Leads as the Central East LHIN continues to lead the advancement of an integrated sustainable health care system that ensures better health, better care and better value. Working in partnership with Dr. Paul Caulford, Central East LHIN Primary Care Physician Lead, the local Primary Care Physician Leads are supporting the implementation of Health Links and the design of systems of care as described in the LHIN’s 2016-2019 Integrated Health Service Plan (IHSP). To view the biographies of these and other clinical leads, please click HERE.
Working Better Together to Coordinate Care for Patients - Health Links brochure - posted May 2016
Local Health Link networks are perfectly positioned to implement the action steps and directions articulated in the Patients First action plan and achieve the Central East LHIN IHSP4 Strategic Aims. For more information, please click here to download this brochure.
Guide to the Advanced Health Links Model – Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, November 2015
The Guide to the Advanced Health Links Model outlines the direction of the Health Links program, its objectives over the course of the 2015/16 fiscal year and details the work the ministry, LHINs and Health Links will undertake to transition operations and processes to the Advanced Health Links Model across all Health Links in the 2016/17 fiscal year.
Central East Health Links Toolkit – Updated January 2016
The Central East Health Links Toolkit is for any individual/organization who will be participating in coordinated care planning. The Central East Health Links Toolkit describes the Coordinated Care Planning Framework and provides front line staff with the tools and resources available to support the creation and maintenance of Coordinated Care Plans. The Toolkit can be downloaded here.
For additional information on Health Links, including videos and tools on Coordinated Care Planning, please visit the Central East Community Care Access Centre Health Links page.