LHIN news release



    TORONTO, May 22 /CNW/ - The Toronto Central Local Health Integration
Network (LHIN) is receiving funding through the province's ER Strategy for a
number of initiatives to reduce emergency room wait times and improve patient
satisfaction.
    Of the $82 million province-wide investment for 2009/10, Toronto Central
LHIN will benefit through:

    
    -   $7.9 Million to provide funding incentives to 7 hospitals which are
        facing significant ER challenges. The hospitals will receive the
        funding if they can meet specific targets and reduce the time
        patients spend in the ER.
    -   3 physician assistants to work in local ERs.
    -   Funding for municipalities for dedicated nurses to care for patients,
        who arrive at ERs by ambulance, to ease ambulance offload delays.
    -   Investments in community projects to help patients with chronic or
        palliative conditions receive care in the community and avoid
        frequent ER visits.
    -   An emergency room process improvement program that will deliver
        coaching teams and tools to help select hospitals improve processes
        and patient access in ERs.
    -   Continued investments for helping Ontarians identify the health care
        options in their communities - such as walk in clinics or family
        health teams - that are appropriate alternatives to ERs.
    

    Today's announcement builds on the initiatives announced earlier this
week to expand access to home and community-based services which will help
some patients avoid unnecessary ER visits and lengthy hospital stays.

    QUOTE

    "Hospitals and community agencies are working together like never before
to ensure people receive the services they need and in the best available
setting," said Matt Anderson, CEO of the Toronto Central LHIN. "ER Pay for
Results together with other provincial programs are assisting people to safely
transition from hospital to home and other care settings and to prevent
unnecessary ER visits."

    QUICK FACTS

    In February, the government began publicly reporting the time people
spend in ERs while setting targets of four hours for patients with minor or
uncomplicated (90 per cent of patients) conditions and eight hours for
patients with complex conditions (90 per cent of patients).

    
                                                                     Website
                                                www.torontocentrallhin.on.ca


             LHIN EMERGENCY ROOM WAIT TIME STRATEGY BACKGROUNDER
             ---------------------------------------------------

             TORONTO CENTRAL INVESTING IN INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE
                         EMERGENCY ROOM PERFORMANCE
    

    The Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is helping
hospitals reduce the amount of time people spend in emergency rooms (ERs)
through initiatives funded through the government's ER Strategy:

    INVESTING IN HOSPITALS TO IMPROVE ER PERFORMANCE

    The Toronto Central LHIN will provide more than $7.9 million in Pay for
Results funding to help hospitals reduce ER wait times and improve patient
satisfaction.
    The Pay for Results program rewards hospitals for meeting specific ER
wait time reduction targets. It also provides them with opportunities and
funding to meet these targets. Hospitals can use the money in a variety of
ways - for example, they could expand emergency department teams, reorganize
how these teams interact to encourage more collaboration, or renovate an
emergency room to improve patient flow.
    The figures below represent the Toronto Central LHIN hospital's planning
amounts. Performance data is being collected from participating hospitals and
funding allocations will be based on hospital performance to the greatest
extent possible. Final performance data and resulting funding information will
be available in July 2009.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UNIVERSITY HEALTH NETWORK-WESTERN SITE                          $915,300
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UNIVERSITY HEALTH NETWORK-GENERAL SITE                          $567,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TORONTO EAST GENERAL HOSPITAL (THE)                           $1,071,500
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ST JOSEPH'S HEALTH CENTRE                                     $2,491,900
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MOUNT SINAI HOSPITAL                                            $797,900
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ST MICHAEL'S HOSPITAL                                         $1,150,700
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SUNNYBROOK HEALTH SCIENCES-SUNNYBROOK                           $907,900
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS IN HOSPITAL ERS

    The Toronto Central LHIN is providing funding to place 1 physician
assistant in the ER at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, St. Michael's
Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital.
    Physician assistants support physicians in a range of health care
settings. Physician assistants might:

    
    -   Conduct patient interviews and take medical histories
    -   Perform physical examinations
    -   Perform certain controlled acts delegated by a physician
    -   Provide counseling on preventive health care
    

    Having highly-trained physician assistants on-hand to perform some of
these duties frees up emergency room doctors, allowing them to see more
patients.

    NURSES DEDICATED TO AMBULANCE PATIENTS

    Emergency medical service providers in 14 municipalities in Ontario will
receive nearly $5 million from the province to provide nurses dedicated to
helping patients who arrive to ERs via ambulance. The Toronto Central LHIN and
hospitals will benefit from this provincial initiative.
    By taking care of patients when they arrive, the ambulance offload nurses
free up paramedics to respond to other calls. In 2008/09, the Ontario
government provided $4.5 million to support this initiative.
    The chosen municipalities enter into agreements with specific hospitals
to purchase the services of nurses dedicated to receiving ambulance patients.
The nurses are employed by the hospital.
    Ambulance patients with life-threatening conditions will continue to be
given priority by hospital staff. Other ambulance patients, who do not require
resuscitation or immediate care, will receive timely care from a dedicated
nurse.
    The City of Toronto is receiving funding through this initiative.

    IMPROVING PATIENT ACCESS IN EMERGENCY ROOMS

    Ontario is investing $7.5 million for process improvement programs to
help hospitals better manage patient flow in ERs. The Toronto Central LHIN
will benefit from this provincial initiative as it rolls out across the
province.
    The programs provide hospitals with things like specialized coaching
teams and toolkits to help them quickly identify ways they can improve the
operation of their ERs.
    Through this initiative, hospitals will focus on: shortening the amount
of time patients spend waiting in ERs, lowering the time required to admit a
patient to a hospital bed and reducing ambulance offload delays.
    Process improvement programs are currently operating as pilot projects at
hospitals located in the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network
(LHIN). Later this year, process improvement programs will be expanded to more
hospitals in other areas of the province.

    COMMUNITY PROJECTS TO IMPROVE ER PERFORMANCE

    Ontario is devoting $6.5 million to community projects that will help
patients with chronic or palliative conditions receive care in the community
and avoid frequent ER visits. The Toronto Central LHIN will benefit from this
provincial initiative as it rolls out across the province.
    This initiative will begin as a number of pilot projects in a few Local
Health Integration Networks. It will focus on cancer patients in palliative
stages, patients with chronic conditions like asthma, and cardiac patients.

    
                                                                     Website
                                                www.torontocentrallhin.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Janine DeVito, Communications
and Community Engagement Coordinator, Office: (416) 969-3281, Cell: (647)
267-7987, janine.devito@lhins.on.ca

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Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network

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