The current home care system in Ontario “fails to meet the needs of clients and families.” This is according to a new report released earlier this month by a group of experts commissioned by the Ontario government. Bringing Care Home, contains 16 recommendations to improve the patient experience, promote equal access to services in communities across the province, and identify innovative opportunities to support a sustainable and accountable health care system. The report is based on an extensive literature review and consultations with more than 3,600 patients, caregivers and health care providers. More than one million Ontarians and their families currently receive home and community care. Yet, the demand for this type of care is growing and so is the complexity of care needed over longer periods of time. As the government-appointed expert group for this report points out, with no coordinated system strategy for home and community care, these pressures are creating challenges that need urgent attention.
The expert group, led by Dr. Gail Donner, provided the recommendations as a starting point for beginning the “cultural change” needed to create a truly client and family-centered home and community care sector. The 16 recommendations focus on making it easier for patients and their caregivers to:
- Navigate the health care system with services that are better coordinated and integrated
- Understand what to expect and how to access care
- Receive integrated home and community care after leaving the hospital
- Access more services that support patients and their caregivers
To build on this work, Ontario will fund health care organizations that apply to develop new payment models that focus on enhancing coordination of care, as recommended by the expert group. These “integrated funding models” are aimed at helping patients transition more smoothly out of hospital and into their home.
This report will help inform the next steps in Ontario’s home care strategy which will be announced in the coming months.
Download the full report.