Concurrent Sessions

F6 – Primary Care Health Link Coordination / System Navigation Experiences

Theme 6. The future of the regional approach to healthcare

  • Date: Thursday, October 25, 2018
  • Concurrent Session F
  • Time: 12:00-12:45pm
  • Room: Pier 4
  • Style: Presentation (information provided to audience, with opportunity for audience to ask question)
  • Focus: Balance between both (e.g. Presentation of a best-practice guideline that combines research evidence, policy issues and practical steps for implementation)
  • Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.), Clinical providers, Representatives of stakeholder/partner organizations

Learning Objectives

  • Identify successes, commonalities, as well as barriers and challenges and obtain ideas of how to “spread and grow” the Health Link (HL) best practice approach.
  • Apply an Experience Based Co-design and qualitative method approach in primary care to gather input from front line providers to move care coordination/ system navigation forward in the South East LHIN.
  • Compare and contrast the results of an urban HL to a rural HL, which were both early adopters of the best practice approach.


A collaborative quality improvement project between two primary care led HL’s was an opportunity to gather perspectives and feedback directly from primary care providers as it relates to the quadruple aim.  Combined, 18 participants were interviewed across both HL’s, which included 1 large urban FHT, 3 rural FHT’s and 1 rural CHC.

A validated semi-structured interview tool was used and the interviews were recorded, typed and played back for data accuracy. To eliminate bias, interviews were conducted by someone outside of the HL program.

Results were analyzed using two approaches:

1)         NVivo software which generated themes that have been shared with FHT/CHC teams and quality improvement committees as well as respective HL tables and regional HL committees.   2)            Experience based Co-Design (EBD) is an emerging method used to capture the emotional content of patient/provider experiences, and can serve as the foundation for identifying opportunities for improvement. The emotions, both positive and negative plus associated processes were mapped to the HL Coordinated Care Management Framework designed by HQO.   Literature on care coordination/ system navigation in primary care was also reviewed and findings were consistent with our results. The outcomes of our project have provided the foundation for primary care organizations across our respective HL’s as well as other HL’s across the province with concepts on how to support care coordinators/ system navigators within primary care who are working with individuals living with multiple chronic conditions and/or complex needs.


  • Laura Cassidy, BComm, QIDSS, Maple FHT
  • Alicia McCullum, Project Manager, Rural Hastings Health Link


  • Laura Cassidy, BComm, QIDSS, Maple FHT
  • Linda Robb Blenderman, RN, BScN, MSc. Project Manager, Kingston Health Link
  • Alicia McCullum, Project Manager, Rural Hastings Health Link