2022-23 Annual report
Finding better ways to deliver care
Jurisdictions across Canada are looking for new models of care – that is, new ways to care for patients – that will improve access, quality and outcomes for everyone, no matter their socio-economic status, race, ethnicity or other factors.
But coming up with new models and ensuring provinces and territories can choose the most promising ones for their local contexts in ways that optimize health resources requires a high level of coordination from healthcare professionals, administrators, policymakers and patients.
Furthermore, at a time when the pandemic has increased the inequities faced by those who have been marginalized and presented new challenges for an already overburdened health system, more focus is needed on achieving health equity as an overarching goal of new models of care.
How partners are solving the challenge
The Partnership is investing $13 million in new models of care in Canada to respond to three common challenges health system leaders in the provinces and territories have expressed:
- Improving the coordination of cancer care to better support people with cancer
- Optimizing scopes of practice, which means making the most of cancer team members’ skills and expertise to create a more resilient system and provide excellent care closer to home
- Help care providers work better together to expand access to specialized services, such as cancer services, and person-centred care
Our partners, who are committed to working in new ways, are collaborating with First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and equity-denied communities to identify and implement models of care that align with the communities’ values and priorities. This co-design approach will help promote equitable access to high-quality cancer care for people in Canada.
We also funded two projects – in Alberta and Quebec – to improve survivorship care. After cancer treatment, people often return to their primary care provider for ongoing care, but these providers can lack the information, knowledge, time or resources to connect survivors to networks in the community or provide psychosocial support. These projects are working to change that.
What we achieved this year
A push toward implementation
- invested in new models of care
The Partnership launched the new models of care initiative by hosting a virtual open house, then met with partners to discuss their ideas for new models of care projects. We have also brought in clinical and expert advisors with a health equity focus to support partners in designing projects that improve health outcomes for all.
To date, 22 projects from eight provinces and territories are being developed to introduce innovative models of care in Canada.
Updates to our toolkit
This year, the Partnership updated the Models of Care Toolkit, launched in 2022, which shares examples of innovative care models and best practices that address provincial and territorial needs. We did this in three ways:
- Engaged with Indigenous communities
The Partnership worked alongside First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners to refine the toolkit. The updates include ideas for how communities can build strength-based community partnerships and ensure respectful engagement and consultation when adopting new models of care. The update also provides guidance on respectful community engagement when working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners.
- Highlighted network models
Organized by region, cancer network models provide access to specialist care closer to home. We added the Ottawa Health Services Network Inc. as an example of a unique, inter-jurisdictional network that connects care teams in Nunavut and Ottawa to streamline care delivery for patients living in the territory. The Network also incorporates cultural competency training for Ottawa care teams, helping to further a collective understanding of the healthcare needs of northern populations.
- Added new navigation models for patients
The COVID-19 pandemic showed us how hard it can be to align and coordinate health care. To offer patients better support as they navigate the system, we added three new patient navigation models to the toolkit:
Better care for survivors
Eight in 10 cancer survivors continue to have unmet needs after reporting emotional, physical or practical concerns. And six in 10 survivors who sought help either waited more than six months for help or received no help at all.
Two projects to improve care for people who have survived cancer – one in Quebec and another in Alberta – showed significant results this year. Both projects used “transfer of care letters” to support better communication between patients and their primary care providers at the end of cancer treatment and the transition to post-treatment care.
- In Alberta, transfer of care letters are now available for 14 different types of cancer. A website designed for primary care providers offers a one-stop shop for cancer-specific information, including the post-treatment and survivorship phase of a patient’s care trajectory.
- In Quebec, in addition to transfer of care letters, cancer survivors in select regions are assessed according to their capacity to care for themselves. They and their primary care providers are given a personalized support guide that matches the survivor’s needs. A survey following the project found that 84% of survivors felt safe at the end of treatment because of the new supports.