It’s time for health and care leaders to hit the reset button and come together as one system, one team

May 22, 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity to reset Canada’s fragmented health-care system and co-create an integrated system, according to a global report with contributions from Professors Jodeme Goldhar and Walter Wodchis. “Working as one integrated system has never been more important,” said Jodeme Goldhar, adjunct professor at IHPME. Jodeme Goldhar“Integrated care is about co-designing a system together with patients, families, caregivers, citizens and communities alongside the people who provide health and social care,” said Goldhar, who is also Co-Founder of IFIC Canada (the International Foundation for Integrated Care), and Executive Lead of Strategy and Innovation at The Change Foundation. The report, Realising the True Value of Integrated Care: Beyond COVID-19, proposes nine building blocks to help steer health system leaders towards a radically different future in which a “one team, one system” approach can support a stronger and more resilient society. “This report is a powerful call to action globally for a ‘one-system’ response and it demonstrates why integrated care must be accelerated, especially during and post-pandemic,” said Goldhar. IFIC Canada was co-founded by Goldhar and Wodchis and is the first North American arm of a 20,000-member not-for-profit network that aims to advance the science, knowledge and adoption of integrated care policy and practice. IFIC Canada is a partnership between The Change Foundation, Health System Performance Research Network and IHPME. Walter Wodchis“By seizing the opportunity to transform health system design, we can improve population health and well-being, while ensuring we are better equipped to respond to future crises,” said Wodchis, Professor at IHPME and Research Chair of Implementation and Evaluation Science at Trillium Health Partners’ Institute for Better Health. The nine key pillars underpinning the report’s vision for a resilient global integrated care system are:
  1. Shared values and vision: Improving population health and well-being requires collective action to address the social determinants of health and reduce health inequalities.
  2. Population health and local context: Shifting focus from disease-specific approaches to assuming accountability towards a territorially defined population and addressing the root causes of disease.
  3. People as partners in care: There is a growing imperative to place people and communities — and what matter to them — at the centre of health and care services.
  4. Resilient communities and new alliances: Empowering local communities is essential for citizens’ well-being and for the care system to function effectively.
  5. Workforce capacity and capability: We have a unique opportunity to test integrated workforce solutions that will strengthen health systems and lead to better health, better care and better value.
  6. System-wide governance and leadership: The pandemic presents an opportunity to create more global, collective and coordinated governance mechanisms, including a global health security system.
  7. Digital solutions: There is evidence of how digital solutions can help deliver care with greater scale, flexibility and sustainability and leaders must act now to ensure all people can benefit.
  8. Aligned payment systems: Many countries have started moving to value-based rather than volume-based care, recognizing the need for integration of health and social services to ensure the overall well-being of the population.
  9. Transparency of progress, results and impact: Each integrated care initiative needs to define what success will look like and when for the many different stakeholders involved as many outcomes and benefits will only be realised in the medium to long-term.
To learn more, Professors Goldhar and Wodchis are co-chairing a webinar on May 27, 2020 at noon: Driving and Accelerating a ‘One System’ Response: Why COVID-19 has Shone a Spotlight on Integrated Care. Click here for more information.

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