Community Hospital Transformation

More than 53% of our population lives in small and rural population centres.

Health care is changing everywhere to be more patient-focused, and especially with our community hospitals here in Northeastern Ontario.  The NE LHIN is assisting the region’s 21 community hospitals as they transform to meet the changing needs of their aging and often decreasing population base.

In October 2014, the North East LHIN collaborated with hospitals on a publication that chronicled the changing role of community hospitals, as well as the shifting economic landscape and demographics of the region. 

Community Hospitals and Health Care in Northeastern Ontario: Transforming the Patient Experience detailed how many hospitals in Northeastern Ontario were created at a time when a resource-based economy meant treating the acute care needs of injured loggers and miners. 

The publication highlighted innovations that are helping hospitals overcome the challenges that are associated with being in remote or rural communities. 

In support of Ontario's Action Plan goal of creating a better coordinated health care system, a four-year/$180 million fund for small and rural hospitals has been provided every year since fiscal 2012-13. The North East LHIN’s past and current strategic plans (IHSP) priorities for 2013-2016 to increase access to care, enhance care coordination, and support a sustainable system of care, reflect the overarching goals of the Transformation Fund. 

The Transformation Fund supports collaboration between small and rural hospital care and community care to create integrated networks that support:
  • Better patient access to core acute services, including emergency, surgical, medical and obstetrical care;
  • More collaboration with community services, including family health care, home care, mental health and addiction services, and community support services;
  • Greater response to community needs for post-acute and palliative services, as appropriate; and
  • Improved quality and safety of services for patients, and ensure good value for money.
The NE LHIN received a $5.2 million investment in 2012-13, as well as a $5.7 million dollar investment in in 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16. Please see the links below for a listing of the projects that have been funded through this initiative.  

Review of the Small and Rural Hospital Transformation Fund

Click here to read the report.

Report Appendices

Relevant Links

Additional LHIN Work to Support a Sustainable Approach to Community Hospitals

  • Undertaking analysis of community hospitals to provide them with data that helps them move forward with solutions. 
  • Investing in technology to better meet patient care:  Electronic Patient Order Sets, Patient Care System, Physician Office Integration, Resource Matching and Referral.
  • Supporting hospitals in developing innovative service models that allow small hospitals to provide home care services. Work is underway in Smooth Rock Falls, Hearst, Kapuskasing, and Chapleau.
  • Developing partnerships with ministries such as Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Ministry of Community and Social Services, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Northern Ontario Service Deliverers Association.
  • Supporting service redesign efforts through the NE LHIN Clinical Services Review, expansion of telemedicine, regional pharmacy initiative and the development of a non-urgent transportation system.
  • Facilitating system realignment work.
  • Examining examples of successful community hospital transformation that have taken place, such as with the Markdale Rural Ambulatory Hospital.

Communiqués on Hospital Pharmacy Peer Group