Health Bulletins

Transforming Home Care – Levels of Care Expert Panel Report

November 30, 2017

For this issue of Health System Integration Update, we are spotlighting the Levels of Care Framework, which is part of the ongoing transformation of our health care system to increase access, equity, integration, and improve patient experience.

The Levels of Care Framework is the foundation of our transformation of home care, a tool that will improve consistency, transparency, support a real partnership with the client and caregiver and promote coordination between home care and other sectors.

The Levels of Care Framework is one of the ten commitments of Patients First: Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care. The vision is to enable people to maximize their independence and thrive in their own homes and communities by understanding “what can I expect for me or my loved one?” Home and community care patients will be assessed into one of the Framework levels and their plans of service for personal support will be based on the client’s unmet care needs, taking into account their support from family and friends and other considerations such as medical conditions. As a patient’s and caregiver’s needs change, they may remain in a level but have their plans of service adjusted or they may be assessed into a different level with updated plans of service.

The Levels of Care Expert Panel, co-chaired by Irfan Dhalla of Health Quality Ontario and Dipti Purbhoo of the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) (formerly the Community Care Access Centre), was asked to provide evidence-informed policy recommendations and operational advice on this priority initiative. To reflect the linkages between home care and primary care, the panel included people who receive home and community care, caregivers, care coordinators, service providers, physicians and nurse practitioners. In addition, it included researchers, and experts in evaluation and quality improvement.

The panel was asked to focus on issues related to clients’ placement into particular levels of support based on need, and consistent service allocation across the province. Their report was released this fall.

Recommendations included:

Over the coming months, the ministry will work with LHINs and Health Shared Services Ontario to engage clients, caregivers and delivery partners to develop an implementation plan to roll out the Levels of Care Framework.

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