Health Links are an innovative service delivery model focused on the five per cent of patients with the highest needs, often with multiple, complex conditions, and who account for two-thirds of Ontario’s health care dollars.
Through better collaboration with providers of care, patients gain quicker access to the services they need through individual care plans and coordinated support from a tightly knit team that could include doctors, nurses, specialists, hospitals, home care, long-term care and community agencies. The goals of Health Links are to improve the health care experience for those with complex needs, reduce unnecessary visits to hospital emergency departments and decrease overall health care costs.
There are now three Health Links in Renfrew County – North Renfrew, South Renfrew and Arnprior Region and Ottawa West.
“People with many complex chronic medical problems often have to deal with other issues that affect their wellbeing including financial strains, social isolation, and housing insecurity,” said Dr. Declan Rowan of the Petawawa Centennial Family Health Centre.
“The benefit of Health Links is that it is there to support people with all these issues as well as the medical problems. This person-centered approach is a shift in the usual way of providing care but it is really needed. It means different groups are having to learn different ways to work together with the singular aim being to improve the lives and wellbeing of Health Links patients,” Dr. Rowan said.
Eric Hanna, President and CEO of Arnprior Regional Health speaks about the need for boards to make Health Links a matter of strategic importance, recognizing that change has become a constant in the health care sector and it is in the best interest of all boards to look at their role as part of the whole system.
Health Links is funded by the Champlain LHIN (Local Health Integration Network) and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
For more information, visit the Champlain LHIN’s Health Links pages.