Provincial report card shows significant improvement in 12 of 16 indicators
TORONTO – JUNE 18, 2015 – Two of Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), Central East and North Simcoe Muskoka, have emerged as top performers in the provision of stroke care, according to a study released today by the Ontario Stroke Network (OSN) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).
The OSN and ICES study includes a series of report cards that compare the level of access, treatment and rehabilitation of people across the province who have suffered strokes. The OSN report cards show that the majority of indicators and benchmarks have improved since the previous three-year performance study, undertaken in 2014.
The comprehensive evaluation of the province’s stroke care system shows the Central East and North Simcoe Muskoka LHINs are top performers with each LHIN exceeding provincial benchmarks in multiple categories, including annual age- and sex-adjusted inpatient admission rates for stroke/TIA (per 1,000 population) and the proportion of ischemic stroke patients who received acute thrombolytic therapy (tPA).
According to Deborah Hammons, CEO of the Central East LHIN, the OSN stroke report cards provide valuable measurement information that is actively reviewed and acted upon by members of the local Vascular Health Coalition. “The achievements in the Central East LHIN are a testament to the hard work of our local health service providers and the ongoing partnership between the LHIN and the South East Toronto Stroke Network,” said Hammons.
Jill Tettmann, CEO of the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN, said her LHIN uses the annual OSN report card to identify opportunities for improved access and better outcomes for stroke survivors and their families. “The report card has become an important tool with which to engage health system providers, patients, and families in planning and implementing the safest and best possible evidence-based stroke care in North Simcoe Muskoka,” she said.
Additionally, the OSN report cards show the North East and Waterloo Wellington LHINs making the most positive progress on benchmarks from the previous study.
“As a LHIN, we’ve worked closely with the Northeastern Ontario Stroke Network, our hospitals, and other partners to improve stroke outcomes for northerners,” said Louise Paquette, CEO of the North East LHIN. “The scorecard has been a useful tool to measure our progress to standardize best practices across the region and improve patient care.”
Jennifer Breaton, stroke program director of the Waterloo Wellington LHIN, said the OSN stroke report cards helped lay the foundation for change in her region. “The report cards are an invaluable tool in helping us make such huge gains,” she said. “We knew we had work to do as a region and it was the stroke report cards that showed our individual hospitals that in order to provide the best care for our patients, and improve our performance, we had to work together and build a stroke system that crossed the continuum of care.”
The report cards also show that the Ontario Stroke Network has made significant progress in helping to drive improvements in stroke prevention and care. Provincially, the report cards show significant improvement in 12 of the 16 indicators measured. Additionally, 10 of 14 benchmarks have also improved, reflecting steady improvement in stroke prevention, acute stroke management and stroke rehabilitation.
“While steady progress is being made, there is still room for improvement,” said OSN Executive Director Christina O’Callaghan. “The OSN will continue its vital collaboration with Ontario’s 11 Regional Stroke Networks to align operating plans, education, knowledge translation and public awareness efforts, and implementation strategies in advancing access to best practices to continually improve the report card process and refine the outcome indicators.”
O’Callaghan also said there is a need for further regional approaches to increase access to stroke unit care, which is a key step in addressing variation in patient outcomes, particularly mortality. And while there has been improvement, there is an ongoing need for rehabilitation system change, particularly to improve access to hospital-based outpatient rehabilitation and Community Care Access Centre services.
The OSN report cards illustrate the progress being made and also demonstrate to the LHINs where further improvements are needed. This is an important achievement given how challenging it can be to implement change in health care. The OSN and the Regional Stroke Networks are well positioned to implement further innovations.
Each LHIN receives its own detailed report card, which reflects the status of stroke care within its region and will be used to review progress and opportunities and identify solutions to further advance the stroke care system. A first in Canada, the OSN stroke report cards, introduced in 2011, grade the delivery of stroke care in Ontario’s 14 LHINs, providing data on stroke care and service, both regionally and provincially.
The report cards are critical in measuring performance and driving improvements in access to best practices, resulting in improved patient and health system outcomes at the LHIN level.
ABOUT THE ONTARIO STROKE NETWORK
The Ontario Stroke Network provides provincial leadership and planning for the continuum of stroke care in Ontario—from health promotion and stroke prevention to acute care, recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR CLINICAL EVALUATIVE SCIENCES
ICES is an independent, non-profit organization that uses population-based health information to produce knowledge on a broad range of health care issues. ICES knowledge is highly regarded in Canada and abroad, and is widely used by government, hospitals, planners, and practitioners to make decisions about care delivery and to develop policy.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
Communications Manager, Ontario Stroke Network