Position Statement on the Role of Nurse Practitioners in the development of Ontario Health Teams
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Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) represent a significant opportunity to re-design Ontario’s health care system. OHTs enable health professionals across sectors to work collectively within their local community to ensure patients receive seamless and coordinated care, with information shared across the network.
As the first wave of OHTs begin, focus has shifted to the development of governance and leadership structures. Teams are provided autonomy to self-organize, consider what governance structure(s) works best for them, their patients, and their communities. At maturity, OHT’s will work under an integrated funding envelope with a single accountability framework.
It is the position of the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO) that Nurse Practitioners (NPs) play an integral part as a member of the OHT leadership and/or governance team. Each Board requires professionally diverse Board members, one that represents the professional workforce. This provides a rich effective Board, showcasing to the community, the positive influence of a collection of provider voices. NPs providing care in communities are leaders with expertise working in team-based environments and will provide a different lens to Board governance work.
NPAO recommends that:
1/ Organizations applying to be part of an OHT seek input from the NP employees;
2/ NPs participate as active members on steering committees which an organization may form as part of the OHT application process;
3/ Data, shared from the Ministry of Health with OHT applicants, such as geographic population attributes, or other relevant data, be shared with the NP colleagues;
4/ OHT Board governance should encourage NP representation, as well representation from other providers, community partners, and patients, in order to create the foundation for building transparent, trusting relationships.