Ministry/LHIN Accountability Agreement (MLAA)
One of the ways the success of our LHIN performance is measured is through our accountability agreement with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, now known as our Ministry-LHIN Accountability Agreement, or MLAA. The most significant change in system performance indicators in this agreement is that targets have shifted from MOHLTC-LHIN negotiated targets to provincial targets for each LHIN’s local health system. Embedded in our MLAA are 14 performance indicators, seven monitoring indicators, and two indicators which are under development.
In the spirit of transparency and accountability, the NE LHIN posts these provincial targets and our achievements each quarter.
For patients, improved performance by health care providers as measured by the new MLAA equates to improved access to surgeries, diagnostic imaging and home care; fewer days waiting for their next destination in the health system; and access to alternatives so the ED is not their only choice for conditions best managed in another care location.
In the North East LHIN region, there is good news for people living in Northeastern Ontario further to the February 2017 health system performance report. Our three-year track to make health system improvements in targeted areas continues with performance improved in 5 of 14 MLAA indicators this past quarter.
The following are a few highlights:
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse: As a means to help people with mental health conditions avoid unnecessary trips to hospital emergency departments, the NE LHIN invests in several mental health supports for Northerners. A few of these include: housing for vulnerable population groups, a “Warm Line” which provides after-hours telephone access for people seeking assistance, harm-reduction programs, peer support workers in larger hospital ED’s, to name a few. Repeat unscheduled ED visits within 30 days for people with substance abuse issues improved from 26.5% to 25.8% this quarter, which means patients are getting quicker access to the care they need in community. The NE LHIN’s performance for repeat unscheduled ED visits within 30 days for people with mental health conditions was 18.7%, above the target of 16.3%.
- Hospital Readmissions within 30 days: This indicator monitors the rate of hospital readmissions within 30 days for seven key chronic illnesses. The NE LHIN’s performance reached 17.5%, which means targeted interventions aimed at reducing and preventing unnecessary admission to hospital decreased slightly from 16.7%. A key strategy to improve readmission rates is improving the rate at which patients have a follow-up visit with a physician within seven days of discharge from hospital. The NE LHIN works closely with ten clinical leads to help increase faster access to primary care for fellow Northerners – including lowering readmission rates in hospitals, and ensuring people get the care they need in the most appropriate setting, whether it is home, community, hospital or long-term care.
- Hip and Knee Replacements: Continued work in the NE LHIN means that Northerners requiring hip and knee replacements receive the treatment they need. Northerners now wait 167 days for hip replacements, and 184 days for knee replacements - a significant improvement from a previous high of close to 300 and 400 days respectively. 76% of hip replacements and 80% of knee replacements are now done on time; however the provincial target of 90% means there is still work to do. The NE LHIN’s approach to helping Northerners get quicker access to hip and knee care includes focusing on getting patients through one of five Joint Assessment Centres, actively monitoring the volume of completed surgeries so that any unused surgeries can be reallocated to better meet the demand, and completing a timely review of each hospital’s capacity and performance.
- Emergency Room (ER): Patients with minor uncomplicated conditions who were not admitted to hospital waited 3.85 hours on average, which is below the provincial target of 4 hours. Patients with complex conditions who waited in the ER but were not admitted to hospital improved to 8.28 hours, slightly above the target of 8 hours. The NE LHIN will continue to work with hospitals to make further improvements on this indicator.
- Home Care: The NE LHIN continues to work to improve wait times for home and community care. Through a focused approach on improving access to therapy services, there has been an overall 46% reduction in wait times in the past 16 months, from 76 to 41 days. This means that patients are waiting less for the care they need in home or in community. The percentage of home care patients with complex needs who received their first personal support visit within five days of service authorization remained stable at 85.3%. The percentage of home care patients who received their first nursing visit within five days of service authorization increased from 94.7% to 94.9%, which means patients are receiving home nursing care more quickly.
- MRI scans: The NE LHIN is among the top five performers in MRI wait times in the province, yet demand across the four hospitals providing MRI services is high and has an impact on the ability to achieve target, despite maximizing hours of operation. Performance improved from 41% to 47% of priority 2-4 (emergent, urgent, and less urgent) scans completed within access targets. The LHIN continues to support a second MRI for the region.
- CT scans: Regional performance decreased slightly from 76% to 75% of priority 2-4 (emergent, urgent, and less urgent) scans completed within access targets. This means that because of high demand for CT scans, 75% of patients receive their CT scans on time. Programs such as neurosurgery, trauma, cardiovascular surgery and advanced cancer diagnostics contribute to high demand for CT scans in Sudbury. The NE LHIN region also has CT scans in Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, and Timmins.
- Alternate Level of Care (ALC): The ALC “rate” focuses on patients who have completed their acute hospital treatment and await the availability of their next care level or “alternate level of care.” For example, some patients are waiting for long-term care beds, rehabilitative beds or assisted living services. The NE LHIN’s focus is on building community capacity to support seniors in communities through programming such as assisted living, which helps people with activities and daily living, Telehomecare, and unique programs such as PATH (Priority Assistance to Transition Home), which helps older adults transition home after they have been discharged from hospital. The current ALC rate of 23.2% is a slight increase from 22.9%. The NE LHIN has a developed a Patient Flow Strategy, that engages health providers both at the regional and sub-region levels to address common projects and priorities across the region while also addressing unique local needs.
Things You Should Know About Performance Indicators
What is a performance indicator? A performance indicator is a measure of local health system performance relative to a target. Each LHIN is held accountable to the Ministry for achieving this target.
What is a provincial target: This is an optimal performance result for an indicator.
What is the 90th percentile? The 90th percentile is the time that the ninth out of 10 patients waited. In other words, 90% waited less and 10% waited longer.