Adapting to changes in our environment

As we extended our strategic plan, we asked our KHSC community to consider important changes in our environment to which our strategy must respond.

Here’s what we discussed:

Today’s patients are getting older and sicker

People are living with more complex conditions. Their care often comes from multiple providers in different settings. Unlike in more urban regions of Ontario, the more than 500,000 members of our regional community are spread out over a large geographic and mostly rural area, which can make access to care challenging.

To improve the health of our communities, we must partner in new ways with health and social service providers to build strong partnerships that focus on quality and innovation. This will ensure that the patient journey, through our regional health-care system, feels as smooth and supportive as possible.

We know that many of our patients do not travel outside of the East Region for care. As a top research and teaching facility brimming with inquisitive minds, we have the capacity to take a close look at our unique health demographics and identify long-term solutions to address the health issues we see in our communities. Our large rural population also forces us to think creatively about partnering with other providers to make care more widely available, and how to make it easier to access that care.

The health-care system is rapidly transforming

Through the development of Ontario Health Teams (OHTs), all health-care providers will one-day work together to offer integrated, team-based care that delivers better outcomes for the people we serve, at the most reasonable cost. The Frontenac Lennox and Addington OHT (FLA OHT), of which KHSC is a founding partner, has been singled out as one of only 12 (out of more than 50 plus) in the province whose leadership and high performance has positioned them for accelerated development.

KHSC is a key partner in many OHT initiatives such as the development of chronic disease pathways and the leading home care project that will create a more advanced home-care model based on the work already underway with our Transitional Care Unit and KHSC@Home program.

KHSC will continue to be an active participant in health system transformation and the initiatives of the FLA OHT to maintain our leadership and position the organization well for the care delivery, performance management and funding models of the future.

People-centred care is more important than ever

Patients’ desire to participate in their own, or in their loved ones’ care is stronger than ever. People are more vocal when their needs are not being met and they expect to be engaged in all facets of their health care journey, the options available to them, and the very design of the health-care system. Patients expect to be treated as individuals, holistically and inclusively in respect of their full diversity.

With people-centred care at the core of our mission, we will continue to be guided by the voices of all the people whom we serve as we continue on our journey to transform care, together.

The pandemic challenged us to grow, innovate and enhance our capacity

The ways in which we responded to the pandemic and stepped up to help regions across the province has allowed KHSC to develop new capacity and shine as a leader and a trusted team player in the delivery of complex, acute and highly specialized health care. KHSC has emerged as a safety net for the province and has kept care accessible during times of exceptional stress as we did during the pandemic and in recent pediatric patient surges. Today, we are leveraging KHSC's enhanced capacity, growth, and overall importance to the health-care system to build community awareness, understanding and support for investing in our future.  

We are grappling with unprecedented challenges

Like all Ontario hospitals, we are trying to deliver excellent care to growing volumes of increasingly complex patients. We’re doing it with fewer resources, inside aging facilities and within a dis-integrated system, all while competing to hire people to deliver care during a global shortage of health -care workers.

The current system is simply unsustainable. We need to quickly start moving in a different direction, which means we must remain focused on the initiatives that are critical to enabling a major shift: redevelopment, digital and health system transformation, integrated care pathways, along with innovations in care like genomics, imaging and robotics, all while positioning KHSC as a great place to work, in order to create a different, more sustainable future for KHSC and the communities we serve.

We can't solve these challenges alone. We will continue to work with our Ministry and local communities on new facilities, while at the same time working with our health system partners to change the ways health care is delivered and funded.

Education and research are part of the fabric of KHSC

Health-care education in Ontario is rapidly expanding and transforming to meet the growing demand for health- care workers, while ensuring we prepare the health-care workforce of tomorrow. At the same time, it remains vitally important that we keep doing the kind of transformational, ground-breaking research that will transform peoples' lives. 

As an academic health-sciences, teaching and research hospital, KHSC is positioning itself for provincial investment in health education and research to maintain and grow our position at the leading edge of care, cultivate our future workforce and be a destination where students, researchers and staff are inspired to learn, discover, and grow.

Our strategy positions us for a bold future where a steady focus on quality, innovation and partnership helps us to transform our regional health-care system.