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Report updates LHIN on public health care concerns

There were 1723 respondents who shared their perspectives on health care, priorities and experiences through the recent Health Care Tomorrow survey.

At Monday’s meeting of the Local Health Integration Network, CEO Paul Huras is to present an update of results from the consultation with stakeholders and the public on the health care system and feedback for consideration in future developments.

Three themes were predominant and comparisons made between care providers and patients found slight variations – access, quality of care and system integration.

In the report update, Huras notes that in the theme related to access, responses focused on wait times and improving access to services in the emergency department.

“There were also suggestions that wait times could be lowered by improving access via 24-hour non urgent care centres,” the report states. “The patient focused comments for access, as expected, included commentary to improve their wait times in the emergency department, and more timely access to diagnostic services like MRI and CT scans.”

The report notes quality of care comments varied between care providers and patients as providers focused on staffing, interpersonal relationships and communication issues. Patients spoke of staff skills related to compassion and respect toward patients, with a request to include the patient and family in discussions concerning their care.

The more significant variation in themes between the two groupings was in the system integration theme.

“Providers indicated a desire for more system integration, including better linkages with primary care and improved communication across services.

“Patient responses focused on improved communication between providers but also reflected concerns that should services integrate, they may not be as available to their community. Other impacts on patient impressions related to recent hospital stays and included items such as food quality and cleanliness.”

Open house session items brought forward were collected into preliminary theming for concerns such as: access to doctors or care providers; retaining 24-hour emergency services close to home; need for beds close to home; willingness to travel for specialized procedures; community support needs in rural areas.

The report states many voiced concern over changes in community supports offered by the Community Care Access Centre.

“In general,” Huras’ report states, “there appears to be a lack of understanding or clarity about the types of services available in their local community or hospital.”

Huras noted the update is a compilation of the most frequently mentioned feedback. Other areas will be included in a more comprehensive analysis still under way.

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