It’s back to school time and I’m spending the day whipping up multiple batches of muffins, granola bars and other snacks for the freezer. I’ve been making school lunches for more years than I care to remember and still have a few to go. Years ago, as a busy mom, I resented the “litterless” lunch day. I will freely admit to cheating by taking pre-packaged snacks out of their individual wrapping and then putting them in some empty sour cream container. With age and experience comes wisdom. I am now committed to embracing healthier options that are also better for our environment. Today’s lunches look more like works of art with bento boxes and beeswax wraps. They take a bit more work initially but, in the end, they are more nutritious, more economical and produce less waste.
This got me thinking about our health care system and what we hope to achieve with the Ontario Heath Teams.
Each one of our health care providers is committed to serving patients and families in the best way they can and in the most cost effective manner. Still, when patients transition from hospital to home or some other level of care, they can fall through the cracks. We all have different computer systems, assessment forms, policies, processes and vocabularies. I often hear frustration from patients about the number of times they are asked the same questions at each step of their health care journey. More often than not, those repeat questions are the result of different systems that just don’t talk to one another. These differences add risk and waste in the system.
Let’s imagine a new future. One where different parts of our system are more connected with common systems and processes. One where a patient or family member can expect that when they reach out, day or night, there will be someone there to navigate. One where when patients share their story, we all will have access to it. Most importantly, one where patients can access their own information and drive their care based on their goals – not the system’s.
This is what the partners engaged in the creation of the Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team (CKOHT) are working towards. The CKOHT is one of 31 applicants from across the province that have been invited to move forward on a full application phase of becoming an OHT. Our vision is “Achieving the best health and well-being together.” It will be a future that enhances our current connections, makes it easier to access care and transition from one part of the system to the next and removes some of the non-value added processes for patients and families.
Just like the commitment to a healthier litterless lunch, the move to the Ontario Health Teams will take some time and effort. This is a community where relationships matter and where different providers are enthusiastically coming together to plan for the future. It’s a future that we’re all committed to.
For more information on the CKOHT and its partner organizations click here.
Stay tuned for CKOHT’s official website launch.