TORONTO, ON, May 6, 2019 -- From 2017-2019, CorHealth Ontario partnered with Health Quality Ontario and three (3) Early Adopter Teams, to begin the Integrating Heart Failure Care Initiative (IHFCI), a model that integrates heart failure care delivery with quality standards for a localized population of persons suffering from heart failure. For Canada’s inaugural Heart Failure Awareness Week (May 6-12), CorHealth Ontario is launching the Roadmap for Improving Integrated Heart Failure Care in Ontario and supporting resources online. CorHealth has translated the experiences gained from the IHFCI into resources that begin to integrate care more broadly – an approach that can be expanded beyond cardiac disease into other chronic illnesses and population health management overall.
The learnings from the three (3) Early Adopter Teams, as well as input from a Provincial Heart Failure Roadmap Task Group, including clinical, administrative and patient representation, informed the Roadmap and a Toolkit for use by other care teams to provide more integrated heart failure care to their patients. According to Dr. Robert McKelvie, Cardiologist, St. Joseph’s Health Care London and London Health Sciences Centre, and member of the Provincial Heart Failure Roadmap Task Group, “common and recurring issues, such as readmission and patient care gaps, often result from a lack of organization and communication among health care providers, caregivers and supports – better integrated care across all care levels is a strong, patient-centred solution.” The Roadmap provides guidance and critical considerations to care providers across Ontario, who are also interested in better heart failure care and outcomes for their patients. “The use of the integrated heart failure care model advances patient care by improving access to evidence-based care and patient experience through seamless transitions in care, including between specialty and primary care providers or between hospital and home,” says Dr. McKelvie.
In the current landscape, as care teams work towards better connected care and look to the future of Ontario Health Teams, the learnings from the IHFCI “provide a base from which to grow a more comprehensive population based model,” says Debbie Korzeniowski, Executive Director, Prince Edward Family Health Team and member of the Provincial Heart Failure Roadmap Task Group. “Integrating heart failure care can help keep patients out of hospitals and improve their quality of life at home. Success hinges on a person with heart failure being part of the comprehensive care team - understanding their condition, what to do to help feel better, and when to seek supports when conditions change.”
“We continue to champion and steward provincial and local efforts to integrate heart failure care,” says Karen Harkness, Clinical Strategist, Heart Failure, CorHealth Ontario. “The launch of the Roadmap and supporting resources is an important step towards a more integrated health care system, starting with heart failure care,” Karen continues. The new IHFC resources can be found on the CorHealth Ontario website www.corhealthontario.ca/ihfc.
For anyone interested in implementing this model in their region or would like additional information, guidance, and/or the opportunity to connect with the Early Adopter Teams, please contact CorHealth Ontario at firstname.lastname@example.org.