Interim President and CEO: Joanne Flewwelling
Headquarters: Ontario, Canada
CANADIAN HEALTH SYSTEM ENHANCING EQUITABLE ACCESS TO CARE BY LEVERAGING CLINICAL AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
William Osler Health System (Osler) serves one of the most diverse and fastest-growing communities in Canada. As one of the largest health systems in Ontario, it serves approximately 1.3 million residents of Brampton, Etobicoke, and surrounding communities within the Central West Local Health Integration Network.
Committed to providing patient-inspired care without boundaries, Osler’s Health Equity and Inclusion team leverages clinical and community partnerships to provide more equitable, quality care across the health care continuum. In fact, the team’s initiatives have been recognized as a national leading practice in 2016 by Accreditation Canada.
Formal agreements have been developed collaboratively with various community organizations that serve newcomers, low-income populations, seniors, individuals with hearing or vision difficulties, as well as organizations that provide language and culturally- appropriate day programs for those with chronic disabilities. These partnerships have enabled Osler’s discharge planners, social workers, and recreational and occupational therapists to facilitate positive patient experiences and provide appropriate patient discharges into the community.
Dedicated staff from external community organizations are present and accessible on a weekly basis at two of Osler’s hospital sites, Brampton Civic Hospital and Etobicoke General Hospital, and provide services to vulnerable patients and families as well as physicians, staff and volunteers.
Activities and services provided on-site at both hospitals include:
- Supporting Staff Serving Newcomers via Settlement Workers: Settlement staff from Brampton Multicultural Centre and Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services are on-site providing support, advice and referrals to newcomer patients, families and staff.
- Linking Patients to Community Programs: India Rainbow Community Services of Peel provides on-site information including language and culturally-appropriate services.
- Building Bridges with Community Health Centres: Community Health Centres provide health services to those who may have difficulty navigating the Canadian health system, such as refugees, newcomers, and individuals with low-income or no insurance.
- Post-Discharge Partnership for Isolated Seniors and Newcomers: This partnership, in collaboration with Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services, aims to provide additional care for patients who are ready discharged and have complex health, language or cultural needs.
The impact of all partnerships has been substantial. Regular monthly monitoring and evaluation have demonstrated increased patient satisfaction, faster discharges, better access to services across the continuum and reduced readmissions to the hospital.