Integrating Equity into Person-Centred Care: Central LHIN Planning Forum
LHINs are developing their new Integrated Health Service Plans, strategic plans for the next three years. Many have consulted widely with their healthcare service provider and community partners. Central LHIN pulled together a diverse forum of providers and patient representatives to help identify key issues and opportunities, and prioritize initiatives to act.
I spoke on the connections between person-centred care and equity, arguing that one cannot be achieved without the other, and that person-centred and high quality care for all means:
- taking social and living conditions into account as care is planned;
- customizing treatment mix and quality servcies to meet the higher and generally more complex needs of poor and marginalized people;
- ensuring all care is culturally competent; and
- concentrating new primary care and other key resources in those populations and areas that need them the most.
I set out some ideas and tools that could be used to put this connection into practice:
- beginning by innovative ways to build people’s diverse needs and experience into planning;
- learning from effective practices from around the world such as patient-based design;
- aligning both equity and person-centred care with quality improvement initiatives and other key system priorities;
- embedding equity and quality indicators and targets into provider deliverables and incentives;
- thinking beyond excellent individual care to developing service models, such as that of Community Health Centres, geared to supporting the most marginalized and vulnerable populations;
- thinking beyond healthcare to partner with community groups to ensure a really effective continuum of care and support, and to pay attention to underlying social determinants of health;
- proactively building outreach and community partnerships to ensure no one is excluded; and
- developing health councils and planning forums with teeth to ensure consumer and community voices help drive priority setting.