How the project lines up the government’s plan for changing and improving Ontario’s health system

Innovations such as Project ECHO work in alignment with system priorities. The Project ECHO Skin and Wound Care team took a look at how we align with three major government health care initiatives.

Question 1

Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care has been in place since 2012 and centres on the commitment to put people and patients at the centre of the system by focusing on putting patients’ needs first. How are you doing that?

Answer: Improved access to co-ordinated, interprofessional chronic wound care will heal Ontarians faster, lowering the number of related emergency room visits, hospitalizations and amputations. The project will increase capacity among regional primary care providers and newly established interprofessional teams and sub-HUBs to improve access to the most appropriate care in the most appropriate place while decreasing costs.

Additionally, the ECHO model will help build regional expertise. The Hub, along with the expertise of the International Interprofessional Wound Care Course (IIWCC) faculty, will facilitate the development of distributed expertise that may potentially lead to SPOKES that can become regional Hubs.

Question 2

Health Quality Ontario is the go-to for advice and data and has the mandate to define health quality and health system improvement. How are you working with them?

Answer: Health Quality Ontario (HQO) recently developed Quality Standards for diabetic foot ulcers, pressure injuries and venous leg ulcers, as part of an Ontario-wide expert panel I co-chaired. This project will help the province-wide implementation of these Quality Standards.

Question 3

What about the Ministry-LHIN Wound Care Quality Standards Implementation Project?

Answer: The activities of the Project will inform this group and vice-versa. In partnership with the LHINs, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is working to engage with stakeholders on wound care, in system capacity review and planning, and to identity and fund training and education resources and fund new wound care devices. There’s also work being done to develop a performance monitoring and data/analytic framework.

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