Bringing care home

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Population health and Canada’s health systems

Health system leaders have become increasingly interested in adopting a population health approach to the delivery of care. So much so that CIHI’s Canadian Population Health Initiative released a study to encourage a dialogue — one that would enhance the capacity and interest of health system leaders to apply a population health perspective to health system planning and decision-making.

Highlighted in the study are a number of programs that have demonstrated success by reconsidering traditional models of health care. One such program was initiated by the health care leaders at NorWest Community Health Centres who responded to the unique challenges faced by rural communities in Northern Ontario.

The NorWest Community Health Centres’ Mobile Health Services is an interdisciplinary primary care team equipped with a van to bring health care and social services to 10 rural communities north of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The mobile health services team delivers a range of primary and preventive health services and has been successful in reducing costs, keeping seniors in their homes and improving the lives and health of underserved residents in the area.

To highlight this effort on applying a population health perspective, CIHI, together with OpenLab, produced 2 videos, which premiered earlier this month at the Ontario Hospital Association’s HealthAchieve 2015 conference in Toronto.

Take a look at Primary Care in the North: Meeting the Challenge and see how NorWest’s mobile health units are able to serve priority populations in Northern Ontario — seniors, families and many others who have difficulty accessing primary care. 

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