Emergency Departments at Horizon’s regional hospitals are extremely short staffed this weekend and priority will be given to trauma and critical care patients. Patients with non-urgent medical issues may experience long wait times.

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Our Strategic Plan: Building a Healthier Future

Horizon Health Network (Horizon) provides health care services for New Brunswickers and this strategic plan is our outline for how we intend to enhance the way we provide services to our patients, clients and their families from now until 2026.

Horizon is a big part of New Brunswick’s health care system, and this is our plan to improve the system and enhance how we deliver care, thereby improving health outcomes for New Brunswickers.

Guided by three strategic priorities, this plan builds upon our previous work to provide safe and quality care to our patients, clients and their families.

EFFICIENT AND APPROPRIATE CARE

SYSTEM WRAPPED AROUND PATIENT/CLIENT NEEDS

SUSTAINABILITY

Each of the 12 objectives within this plan helps us to realize our potential and positions us for success in addressing the health care challenges our province is currently facing, which we know will persist in the coming decade.

Cooperation across Horizon and with our health care partners and communities is vital to our future success and a healthier New Brunswick.

This plan was developed in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders and this plan is reflective of their input.

Horizon is using its best asset to implement its new Strategic Plan – our people! Horizon has selected a team of leaders from across the organization who are leading our strategic work as Objective Owners.

To learn more about our strategic objectives, their progress and objective owners, click on a strategic objective below.

Efficient and Appropriate Care

A fundamental aspect of providing quality care is ensuring patients and clients have access to the health care services they need within a reasonable timeframe.

What it means: Long wait times are often experienced throughout our system including lengthy stays in the emergency department, waiting lists for surgeries, consultations with specialists, mental health and addiction services, therapeutic services, and waiting for diagnostic tests.

Why it matters: We understand that regardless of what kind of waiting you’re doing, it can impact your physical and mental health, be extremely frustrating and, in some cases, prevent you from getting back to your regular activities.

Patients, clients, and their families expect and deserve high quality and safe patient care.

What it means: Horizon is committed to providing safe and high quality care and services. We want our patients and clients to experience exceptional care and we want their families to feel confident in knowing their loved ones are being well cared for in accordance with national safety and quality standards.

Why it matters: Your health care needs matter, and it is our duty as a health care provider to ensure you receive safe and high quality care.

Quality health care includes an easy transition from one care provider or service to the next with confidence that all relevant information has been shared as required. This requires coordination between many care providers and support systems. Horizon understands that positive health outcomes for our patients and clients are dependent on clear communication between care providers.

What it means: The health system in New Brunswick includes various groups of health care providers who deliver and manage health care services, such as Vitalité Health Network, Ambulance New Brunswick and Extra Mural Program, Tele-Care 811, long-term care, family practitioners, the Department of Social Development and many more. To improve the overall care experience for our patients, clients and families, we need to collaborate with these groups to improve communication and collaboration between health care providers and remove barriers to sharing information and resources.

Why it matters: Our patients, clients and their families will have greater confidence that their health condition and situation is understood and being well-managed when they are dealing with multiple service providers who are working together towards the betterment of their health. By collaborating and information sharing with our health care delivery partners we will be able to provide seamless care and ensure information is clear and complete. We will be able to ensure patients and clients are served by the most appropriate care providers.

To address long wait times and provide appropriate care, Horizon’s care delivery models must be designed to deliver health care services when and where it best meets the needs of our patients and clients.

What it means: Primary care, specialized care and support services such as ambulatory care must be accessible to patients and clients.

Why it matters: New Brunswickers need to have certainty their health care needs are being addressed. A significant factor of this is ensuring New Brunswick communities have the services they need (as identified by Horizon’s Community Health Needs Assessments), to help their citizens be healthy – including having access to mental health supports in community settings. This will also avoid the necessity of visits to emergency departments when services can be provided in a more appropriate manner.

System Wrapped Around Patient/Client Needs

To meet the differing needs of a diverse population, health care must be provided equitably.

What it means: Equity does not mean the same service for everyone, but services should be provided in a way to meet the unique needs of our individual patients, clients and communities.

Why it matters: Fundamentally, everyone deserves to be provided the health care services they need, when they need them. This includes populations which have been traditionally underserved such as Indigenous people, rural New Brunswickers, 2SLGBTQIA+, homeless and others. These underserved groups must receive safe, equitable and timely health care.

Patient/client and family-centered care at Horizon is the philosophy that health care is a partnership between the patient/client, their family, and health care professionals.

What it means: At Horizon we strive to ensure the needs and choices of our patients, clients and families are being met. We understand no two patients are alike and that by working together we try to meet the needs of each individual patient, client and family. We want our patients to feel they are heard, respected and cared for during every interaction with Horizon services.

Why it matters: Some of our most successful and meaningful patient/client and family-centered care initiatives have come directly from our patients, clients and their families. Patient/client and family-centered health care has been proven to improve the effective delivery of appropriate health care services. Horizon has benefited from our commitment to this approach and it has improved our approach to program and service development and the overall health care experience for our patients and clients.

Develop programs to prevent poor and worsening health to reduce the need for a hospital stay and reduce the time spent in hospital.

What it means: Health care must extend beyond care in a hospital. By being proactive and developing programs to prevent poor and worsening health, many hospital stays can be shortened or avoided entirely. An overall reduction in hospitalization means a decrease in the likelihood of our hospitals running at overcapacity, thereby improving the flow of the entire acute care system, resulting in shorter wait times for surgeries and in the emergency department, as bed allocation is less of an issue. During a hospital stay, care should be provided as efficiently as possible to allow our patients to return home to their families.

Why it matters: We believe better health care access in a community-setting reduces hospitalization. No one wants to be in the hospital. When it is necessary, hospital stays should be as short as safely possible.

Provide patients / clients with options for access to their own health information and health service information and enable self-serve transactions.

What it means: Patients want to have easy access to health information, including their own, in understandable formats. Patient health information can be securely shared between patients / clients, providers, facilities and health authorities.

Why it matters: From banking to shopping and personal services, society is quickly moving to a self-serve model where people have access to information and systems that enable them to manage their own transactions at their fingertips. Today, people expect to have more options available to manage their health care.

Sustainability

Improved accountability includes clear authority and responsibility for decisions and a better understanding of priorities.

What it means: Ensure Horizon programs and services are delivered uniformly across the region and responsibility for programs are clearly defined with regular reporting of progress on initiatives.

Why it matters: This will help to ensure health services are delivered as expected by breaking down silos, reducing duplication in administration, and improving overall collaboration, communication and transparency.

A human resources strategy will make sure Horizon’s employee capability and capacity is aligned to corporate needs while also ensuring a positive employee experience and a safe and respectful workplace.

What it means: A qualified, diverse and engaged workforce is appropriately aligned to productively deliver quality and safe patient/client care.

Why it matters: With an aging workforce and increasing competition for limited resources, a skilled workforce is difficult to attract and retain. As the demands on health care services shift, Horizon’s workforce must be flexible to adjust to New Brunswick’s changing population and patient needs.

Horizon strives to continuously improve productivity and leverage technology to improve efficiency.

What it means: Innovation will be encouraged and supported across the organization. Research will be employed to inform policy and program development, and cost savings will be redeployed to areas of most need.

Why it matters: Embracing innovation will enable Horizon employees to work smarter, increase productivity and improve treatment options for our patients and clients.

Horizon must ensure the security of clinical information and technologies from cyber threats.

What it means: As the use of technology in health care increases, so does the risk of cyber threats such as hacking and privacy breaches.

Why it matters: The integrity of our technology infrastructure is critical to Horizon’s daily operations. Information and systems must be accurate, complete and secure.