A Brief Review of Session 12: Designing and Planning a Healthcare System for Ontario: The Future of Healthcare

OntarioHealthcare

During the final lecture of the year, the three guest speakers shared their insight on the future of health care in Ontario.

Dr. Myrna Francis is an Independent Consultant and provides strategic advisory services in the public sector and to multi-national private sector companies regarding health IT, business transformation, system change, business and product growth strategies and governance. Dr. Francis discussed how information technology is critical to healthcare and reshapes healthcare delivery, including the importance of:

  1. Patient-Centricity: focus on patient outcomes, quality comparisons, patient-centred orientation;

  2. Real-Time Access: anytime, anywhere health information and delivery of care, remote monitor, diagnosis and treatment;

  3. Interactivity: self-service, home services, customized products; and

  4. Choice of Channels: understanding how to communicate with patients through face-to-face alternatives, text messaging, email, online, etc.

Mr. Hy Eliasoph is currently a Core Associate at Health Innovations Group. Mr. Eliasoph is a widely known and well-respected healthcare leader having worked in several senior roles and in virtually all jurisdictions across Canada. Mr. Eliasoph discussed that however healthcare is redesigned, we still have not facilitated the healthcare consumer to be enabled by technology. Technology is currently viewed in Canada as a cost, not as an investment although it is integral to the future of healthcare in Ontario. Mr. Eliasoph suggested eight steps to integrating technology into healthcare:

  1. Align financial incentives with desired performance/outcomes;

  2. Focus on change management- it’s about changing behaviours;

  3. Allocate resources at the margins;

  4. Fund disruptive technologies;

  5. Foster/promote inter-organization, interdisciplinary and intergenerational activities;

  6. Integrate physician reimbursement with system funding;

  7. Engage the private sector; and

  8. Think globally, act locally.

Mr. William MacLeod joined the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (“LHIN”) in 2007 as CEO and has enjoyed a distinguished career as a health service executive in many roles and capacities. The majority of his career has been devoted to a number of hospital CEO roles including developmental roles at Hamilton Health Sciences. The LHIN is a community based, non-profit organization funded by the Ontario Government through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Mr. MacLeod discussed some of the issues he is facing as a LHIN CEO, including, but not limited to, the increasing cost of building and operating hospitals and the increasing average life expectancy age. Mr. MacLeod briefly examined the necessity of designing a healthcare system for the 5% of the population that utilizes it the most.

All three speakers emphasized the need to integrate technology to improve the Ontario healthcare system.

Nisha Kumar

Associate Editor