The future is bright for our hospital and our patients. HGMH strives to be a leader in providing quality primary care using all available technology. We work with our community and regional partners to integrate services by sharing services, reducing costs, and improving the coordination of care to our patients. To achieve these goals, we have several projects underway that will benefit our patients and our community into the future.
We continue to work on the implementation of our shared electronic medical record and anticipate it being complete by the end of 2017. This project is a partnership of six hospitals throughout the region. It incorporates the latest technologies to provide secure access to patient information for health care providers. When this project is fully implemented, patients will receive better and safer care, as the staff treating them will be able to access the patient's history at all of the partner hospitals. This integration project shares information, reduces overall costs, and ultimately improves the quality care we provide to our patients.
Five percent of patients account for two-thirds of health care costs. These are most often patients with multiple, complex conditions. Health Links involves many health providers, including primary, home, community care, specialists, and hospitals, in coordinating care plans for these individuals. Compared with the rest of the Champlain LHIN, our region is generally older, with higher rates of heart disease, lung cancer, dementia and Alzheimer Disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes. These patients have high needs and see many physicians and specialists.
Through Health Links, providers will design a care plan for each patient and work together with patients and their families to ensure they receive the care they need. For patients, this means they will:
- Have an individualized, coordinated plan;
- Have care providers who ensure the plan is being followed;
- Have support to ensure they are taking the right medications; and
- Have a care provider they can call who knows them, is familiar with their situation, and can help.
One of the major challenges facing patients in our region is a need for family physicians. A renovation of the hospital is currently in the process of being reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care that would add two family physician offices to the hospital. This renovation will improve local access to primary care physicians, coordinate patient care, and reduce unnecessary visits to the Emergency Room. It is hoped that this project will receive final approval within the next year so that construction can begin.
HGMH has taken the lead on another significant project - the Carrefour Glengarry Hub. By building on existing partnerships, HGMH and regional service providers will share services and expertise, reduce duplication of services, and improve cost efficiency. This project will integrate health and social services in the region into a single site on the hospital property, potentially including emergency services such as fire and ambulance, health services such as the Community Care Access Centre, a nursing home, and more.
The feasibility study completed in 2014 indicated a positive outcome and divided the project into three main phases. An implementation plan for the first phase, a Cloud-based virtual hub, was completed this year. This phase involves sharing of Information Technology infrastructure between partners, including email and telephone services. The next steps are to secure funding to move forward with the Virtual Hub phase of this project.