Bright Lights Award for Northern Ontario Family Health Teams
Manitoulin Central Family Health Team was recently part of a network of Family Health Teams that received a Bright Lights award at the 2018 Association of Family Health Teams (AFHTO) Conference in Toronto. Collaborations and partnerships are often the key to creating new programs. In northeastern Ontario, FHTs have taken this idea to the next level. Twenty-seven have joined as members of the Northeastern Ontario Family Health Team Network (NEOFHTN) to implement a large-scale quality improvement program tailored to the specific requirements of their communities. The program recognizes the importance of the standardization of program measures in order to facilitate a shift in focus from measurement and reporting to quality improvement. Our network has committed to this approach and has agreed on a common set of indicators to track performance for the nine most common programs across the region. These indicators will yield information that will help improve patient experiences and care. Standardizing these measures will allow the teams to make comparisons, share lessons and collaborate. Thanks to this initiative, patients of all 27 network FHTs have better access and engagement to smoking cessation, falls prevention and mental health screening programs.