HealthcarePapers

HealthcarePapers 16(1) July 2016 : 34-52.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2016.24767
Commentary

Transforming Regions into High-Performing Health Systems Toward the Triple Aim of Better Health, Better Care and Better Value for Canadians

Yves Bergevin, Bettina Habib, Keesa Elicksen-Jensen, Stephen Samis, Jean Rochon, Jean-Louis Denis and Denis Roy

Abstract

A study on the impact of regionalization on the Triple Aim of Better Health, Better Care and Better Value across Canada in 2015 identified major findings including: (a) with regard to the Triple Aim, the Canadian situation is better than before but variable and partial, and Canada continues to underperform compared with other industrialized countries, especially in primary healthcare where it matters most; (b) provinces are converging toward a two-level health system (provincial/regional); (c) optimal size of regions is probably around 350,000–500,000 population; d) citizen and physician engagement remains weak. A realistic and attainable vision for high-performing regional health systems is presented together with a way forward, including seven areas for improvement: 1. Manage the integrated regionalized health systems as results-driven health programs; 2. Strengthen wellness promotion, public health and intersectoral action for health; 3. Ensure timely access to personalized primary healthcare/family health and to proximity services; 4. Involve physicians in clinical governance and leadership, and partner with them in accountability for results including the required changes in physician remuneration; 5. Engage citizens in shaping their own health destiny and their health system; 6. Strengthen health information systems, accelerate the deployment of electronic health records and ensure their interoperability with health information systems; 7. Foster a culture of excellence and continuous quality improvement. We propose a turning point for Canada, from Paradigm Freeze to Paradigm Shift: from hospital-centric episodic care toward evidence-informed population-based primary and community care with modern family health teams, ensuring integrated and coordinated care along the continuum, especially for high users. We suggest goals and targets for 2020 and time-bound federal/provincial/regional working groups toward reaching the identified goals and targets and placing Canada on a rapid path toward the Triple Aim.

 

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