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Maintaining Critical Capacity: WInter Surge Initiative

What’s the challenge?

Emergency departments continue to be a common point of entry for individuals wishing to access the health care system. Hospitals struggle to maintain timely access to services and to manage the flow of patients, due to a variety of complex factors. These challenges are exacerbated with increased demands during the winter flu season, and it can be difficult for one organization to achieve the temporary workforce expansion required to meet the increased demand. Michael Garron Hospital and the East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP OHT) have taken a unique approach to this situation by inviting local community health care organizations to work together to create health system solutions that extended beyond the emergency department.  A participatory, collaborative approach was used to identify and fund homecare, primary care, and community-led initiatives. VHA Home HealthCare is a member of the ETHP OHT and has co-led the evaluation of these surge initiatives.

What have we found?

Emergency departments continue to be a common point of entry for individuals wishing to access the health care system. Hospitals struggle to maintain timely access to services and to manage the flow of patients, due to a variety of complex factors. These challenges are exacerbated with increased demands during the winter flu season, and it can be difficult for one organization to achieve the temporary workforce expansion required to meet the increased demand. Michael Garron Hospital and the East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP OHT) have taken a unique approach to this situation by inviting local community health care organizations to work together to create health system solutions that extended beyond the emergency department.  A participatory, collaborative approach was used to identify and fund homecare, primary care, and community-led initiatives. VHA Home HealthCare is a member of the ETHP OHT and has co-led the evaluation of these surge initiatives.

Evaluation Report 2018-2019

Evaluation Report 2019-2020

Research Feature
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Healthcare Papers

Towards Value in an Integrated Care Environment: Early Lessons from an Ontario Health Team

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Project Contact

Sandra McKay
Director of Research
VHA Home Healthcare
smckay@vha.ca