Health Bulletins

Clinical Leadership at the LHINs

February 9, 2018

Transforming any complex system requires strong leadership at all levels. Ontario has world-class leaders in the areas of health system research, in quality and safety, in population and public health, community and social services, and in a variety of clinical domains. Our health care system would not be what it is today without strong leadership working every day to improve the health of Ontarians and the health care they receive now and in the future.

Enabled through the Patients First Act, 2016, Ontario’s LHINs are well positioned to leverage their expertise, partnerships, and understanding of the unique needs of their regions to better integrate local health care services and coordinate care in a way that better serves patients. One example is cultivating local clinical leadership. Clinical leadership, embedded within the LHIN structure, will help ensure clinical expertise is integrated into local planning and priority setting activities, alongside the voices of patients, caregivers and local health care partners. Clinical leaders can share the realities of clinical practice and provide advice on quality and safety and change management needs to develop improvement initiatives.

Over the past several months, Ontario’s LHINs have been actively developing teams to help them achieve their expanded mandate, including the recruitment of LHIN Clinical Leads. A LHIN Clinical Lead could be a physician or nurse practitioner who maintains clinical practice in Ontario and who, during their time with the LHIN, works with health care planners and decision-makers to ensure the clinical perspective is captured in local planning. Their role is to engage with other clinicians to help to advance local improvement initiatives and to ensure these initiatives are grounded in the realities of clinical practice and quality patient care.

To date, more than 120 LHIN Clinical Leads have been recruited and are working at the sub-region, LHIN and provincial levels to spearhead system and practice level improvement activities. It is an impressive and diverse group with backgrounds in leading provincial organizations, hospitals or hospital departments, academia and research; all of whom are practicing physicians or nurse practitioners. Already we are seeing the benefits of broadened clinical leadership capacity regionally and locally, including:

Executive-level clinical leaders are integrating clinical engagement activities into cohesive engagement plans and strategies to improve the coordination of local palliative care, primary care, home care and others.



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