The Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is proud to announce our second Integrated Health Service Plan (IHSP). This plan captures our vision for health care over the next three years. It speaks to what patients continue to tell us, that health care is difficult to navigate when trying to find services they need.

Consider someone receiving care for an addictionin one of our residential treatment programs. Imagine how difficult it is to try and find the right support in re-establishing themselves in the community for that fresh start. We need to create better linkages to take the guess work out of health care.

The plan speaks to fact that there are detours that often take patients on confusing and difficult journeys. Perhaps it’s a person with diabeteswho doesn’t have a family doctor. Without one they are forced to use services such as walk-in clinics or emergency departments, but that path never leads to an end. It only results in long-waits without the comprehensive treatment they need for the variety of issues that comes with diabetes. We need to provide better alternatives, more comprehensive care and fewer detours to get there.

It also speaks to the fact the sometimes the roads of health care take you to the wrong destination. It could be a patient waiting in a hospital bedfor a new home in long-term care. Maybe that new home never would have been needed if the right care was provided at the right time, either in the home or in a hospital. We need the journey to continue towards the destination patients and their families choose.

These are just some of the stories we hear about patients navigating our system.

Our health care system is a lot like our automobiles. Right now the system is a cumbersome SUV quickly burning through fuel, our tax dollars. What we need is to get better mileage by switching to a more nimble and efficient vehicle. By making the right changes we’ll use the same amount of fuel, but get more and better health care.

I invite you to read our plan and learn about the actions we are taking for the betterment of patient’s health and their experience traveling through this system. Let us know what you think by sending us an e-mailor stop by our Facebook page.

The following are a series of resources, information and tools which are available for you to access: