Thursday, May 24, 2018

Game-changers that will deliver better health services in Langley

Accessing physical and mental health services can be a challenge in Langley and throughout the province. If you have a family doctor, your barriers to accessing health services are lower, but there is still a patchwork of seemingly uncoordinated services that must be navigated. For people without a family doctor, accessing these health services can almost feel impossible.

In late April, I attended a workshop hosted by the Langley Division of Family Practice called, “Team Langley goes to the Big Leagues — Primary Care Network Strategy Meeting.” The workshop was attended by people who work in health services and local government. The goal of the workshop was to create a vision of transforming the way that health care is delivered in Langley, so that everyone can have access to the right health services, when they need it, in our community.

At the beginning of the workshop, participants visualized how many health providers are required to deliver care for people with different needs. 10 health care providers are required to service the health needs of a senior in our community as an example.

People at the workshop identified the following as critical barriers for patients, providers, and the community that must be overcome to deliver better health services in Langley.

Barriers that limit access to health services in Langley. Select graphic to enlarge.

What really stood out was that limited access to home-based health services, mental health services, and addiction treatment services was a significant barriers to overcome. Another barrier was poor communication between providers for existing services. I remember one provider talking about the challenging paperwork required for something that should have been a simple request.

Most of the evening was spent visioning “game changing” ways that would deliver health services more effectively in our community. The following infographic shows the results of that exercise.

Game-changing ideas that will deliver better health services, and more positive health outcomes, for people in Langley. Select graphic to enlarge.

The big ideas were: providing a health care concierge that can help people navigate the health system, creating a better triage system, developing centralized and patient-led care plans, increasing access to mental health services, and creating neighbourhood-level health clinics where all primary health services could be accessed.

It was certainly an eye-opening night for me. It seemed to me that increasing access and improving coordination of health services will deliver the best outcome for people in Langley.

The full visual report is available for download. As a note, a provider is someone that delivers health services such as a physician.

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