CFHI supports Canadian improvement projects targeting better population health, healthcare and value

Ottawa, ON - October 24, 2013 - The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) today announced the nine Canadian healthcare delivery organizations from Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, and Alberta it will support in Triple Aim improvement initiatives with the U.S. based Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Since it was first introduced in 2007, the IHI's Triple Aim initiatives have enabled organizations from around the world to achieve better care for individuals, better health for populations and lower per capita costs of care. 

In conjunction with IHI Triple Aim staff and faculty, CFHI will provide expert guidance-adapted for the Canadian context and aligned with provincial priorities-to the Canadian teams. 

“Our Government is committed to supporting innovations that improve healthcare for Canadians,” says Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose. “We are pleased that the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement is bringing together teams from across the country and supporting them to implement projects that enhance patient care, reduce health costs, and improve the health of Canadians.”

“IHI's Triple Aim is a great program," says Maureen O’Neil, O.C., President, CFHI. "CFHI is supporting the participation of nine Canadian teams, providing them with access to Canadian experts and coaches and creating opportunities for Canadians to connect and learn from each other and, ultimately, to share their work with health systems across the country.”

Based on six phases of pilot testing with over 130 organizations around the world since 2006, IHI recommends a change process that includes: identification of target populations; definition of system aims and measures; development of a portfolio of project work that is sufficiently strong to move system-level results, and rapid testing and scale up that is adapted to local needs and conditions. IHI believes the organizations and communities that do this work effectively incorporate a range of community determinants of health, empower individuals and families, substantially broaden the role and impact of primary care and other community based services, and assure a seamless journey through the system of care throughout a person's life. This can lead to less complex and much more coordinated care, decreased burden of illness, and integration to allow independent stakeholders to align around the needs of the population.

"We need to build capacity to support our community," says Donna Ouellette, Director of Clinical Quality Improvement, North Zone, Alberta Health Services and program lead for her team. "Apart from having unprecedented access to a Canadian and international network of senior leaders, the IHI Triple Aim program will give us a whole new tool kit for tackling our goals. We're grateful for the opportunity."

Participating Canadian Organizations


Over the course of 10 months, teams will focus on getting results in all three dimensions of the Triple Aim. Canadian teams and their population focus include: 

  • Alberta Health Services, North Zone - Top Users from the complex high needs population with addictions and mental health diagnoses; 
  • Alberta Health Services, Edmonton Zone - High risk, high cost emergency department patients (health system users who account for the largest percentage of health expenditures); 
  • Grey Bruce Health Services, Ontario - Patients living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); 
  • Peel Public Health, Ontario - Homeless and under-housed population; 
  • Women's College Hospital, Toronto - High needs, high cost patients (1-5% high users with complex conditions) whose healthcare needs are better met outside of emergency departments and inpatient wards. 
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto Branch - High risk, high cost individuals living with serious mental illness, nicotine dependency and other substance abuse issues (18-65 years old) who are at risk for developing chronic diseases. 
  • McGill University Health Centre, Montreal - High risk, high cost stroke population; 
  • Central Health, Newfoundland - High risk, high cost residents of the Central Region of Newfoundland who have a diagnosis of one or more chronic diseases; and 
  • Eastern Health, Newfoundland - Patients occupying alternate level of care (ALC) beds including high risk, high cost individuals as well as frail elderly patients. 

All nine organizations are part of a larger international cohort participating in the 2013 IHI Triple Aim Improvement Community, which includes organizations from the United States, Denmark, Sweden and United Kingdom. Teams went through a vigorous selection process.  

For information, please contact:   

Eileen Melnick McCarthy 
Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement 
613.728.2238 ext. 233