Municipalities Build Back Better With Whole Person Care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a lot of talk about a Build Back Better approach in our communities during the Covid 19 pandemic.  One strategy that helps address those in need is a Whole Person Care approach using a digital platform to collect and measure outcomes for wrap around programs which can be fully funded under the new Canada Healthy Communities Initiative.

With the arrival of Covid 19, the amount spent on healthcare is increasing in every community. While the amount invested in healthcare is increasing, municipalities are spending up to 25% of their healthcare costs to support non-value add aspects in their healthcare system. Value-based care models help optimize what is spent to get the best outcomes. How do communities do more with less as Covid 19 increases health and economic risk? In the short term we will need to work together with what we have and find ways to get better outcomes for less.

We know that Covid 19 is accelerating value-based healthcare approach in communities. Whole-person care is not far behind.

Whole person care describes a wrap around approach that addresses complete physical health, behavioral health and social wellbeing. Communities that work together as a team to provide care for individuals with poorly managed conditions including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and COPD are better equipped to improve health outcomes for less. Helping to manage care for this population most at risk relies on seamless information exchange, tele-health, care co-ordination and consumer engagement. All of these conditions are closely related to the social determinants of health.

Post acute care including home health, hospice and senior living facilities and human service including community mental health centers, addiction treatment centers and social service agencies in every community need to have the technology and skills to work as equal partners. Every community now has a chance to build back better with whole person care. 

Whole person care gets even better when amplified with data science and analytics that are driven with a prescriptive approach to patient care. To prepare our communities to deliver better outcomes during the pandemic, municipalities need to look at systems that offer interoperability – a framework that supports bidirectional exchange of data across systems and providers of care, a network to network bridge, policy agreements, discrete data and support for client consent and sharing that consent with others.

Consumer engagement with a patient portal makes it easier for hospitals and physicians to work with clients. Automated referrals, tele-health and patient information integration create a public care eco-system that serves the public in Covid 19 times. Building Back Better with the help of funding from the Canada Healthy Community Initiative makes it possible to accelerate the care you need in every community. Let us know if you need help with your digital transformation as you build back better in your community.

 

Learn more: Contact Athena Software

 

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Covid 19 – Federal Funding for Municipal Solutions

The Covid 19 pandemic is creating a massive strain on resources in communities across Canada. Human service solutions in education, justice, social and health were never designed to take on this much for so long. Canadian municipalities are making adjustments to accommodate the surge in demand and the ever changing needs of their community. 

 

Some of our communities are now in the red zone creating the need for further restrictions. Federal, provincial and municipal governments are responding with additional funding and co-operation to help reduce the damage and improve the outcomes in less time. 

 

On August 13 2020, The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities announced the creation of the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative with up to $31 million ($19M 2020-21 & $12M 2021-22) in federal funding to support community-led solutions that respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19 over the next two years.The demands placed on families and individuals by COVID-19 have exposed a real need for low-cost, locally-driven ideas to help communities adapt and thrive. The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative will help breathe life into these small projects that can have a big impact as local governments, Indigenous communities and their non-profit partners rethink public spaces and how they deliver services to people.”

 

While Infrastructure Canada (INFC) is providing the funding, there is another organization yet to be announced that will organize, evaluate and distribute funding based on your proposal. This announcement will be made shortly. Your municipality will be able to submit a Covid 19 related infrastructure proposal that is between $5,000-$250,000. Three focus areas are: digital solutions, improved mobility solutions and safe and vibrant public spaces. 

 

A community project that develops infrastructure -related solutions to address changing community needs through the use of data and connected technologies starts with the ability to understand who is affected, what is being delivered and what needs to be done with priority. Measuring outcomes and sharing this information in a secure way becomes the source of truth for social service, health, justice and education partners that are focused on helping those most affected by Covid 19. Any municipality working to solve these complex and rapidly evolving stress points without a case management solution will have overlapping solutions that cost more than required and fail to see the gaps, reducing the outcomes. When you have time and budget, municipalities will continue to manage human services in a way that offers a path with least resistance. 

 

Covid 19 has exhausted both time and budget. Human services in your community need to work together efficiently. Working to save lives today and preparing for the future depends on it. Athena Software is a Canadian company that has experience working with every level of government in 15 countries around the world helping them find a way to do more with less and get better outcomes. Let me know if you would like to see how this can work for your community. 

Learn more: Athena Software

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COVID-19 Pandemic – What’s next.

girl looking at a piece of paper

The pandemic continues to rapidly expand in communities across Canada. At the time of this article over 267,000 Canadians have contracted the disease, 217,000 are recovered and 10,552 died. The number of cases each day is accelerating.

The effects of this highly contagious disease are catastrophic when left unchecked. Health systems are at risk of collapse affecting all other health issues. Covid 19 is not just affecting health care. Municipalities are being asked to address the surge in demand in every human service sector – education, justice, social and healthcare.

Primary care and wait times are measured with traditional outcomes in most communities. The wave we do not see coming as easily is just outside of the range of a 911 call. Mental health issues, loss of income, housing, food, education, relationships are all affected with Covid 19. The cold dark days of winter are coming. The risks associated with Covid 19 and issues associated with the disease are going to increase over the winter months.

While a vaccine may be available early 2021, it’s unlikely every Canadian will have access to the vaccine when it is approved.

Municipalities need to proactively seek strategies that wrap programming around individuals and families at risk. Traditional models of care that involve home visits or appointments are shifting to tele-health.

The federal government in co-operation with the provincial and territorial governments announced funding and extension to funding as the need requires.

It’s time to consider the short and long term requirements of your community during and after the pandemic and make use of the funding currently available to enable your municipality to not just survive but build its way out to a better future.

Contact us to learn more about Athena Software!

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Does Insurance Need to be Publicly Tendered?

We recently heard about a debate among certain public sector organizations on whether the trade agreements apply to the procurement of insurance. To help clarify things, we decided to answer this question.

In this blog post we only examine whether the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA) apply as they are trade agreements that apply to most Canadian municipalities. To be 100% sure about whether insurance has to be tendered, municipalities should also check their local rules.

When must a procurement be publicly tendered under CFTA and CETA?

The CFTA and CETA trade agreements apply to Canadian municipalities when:

    • The municipality is included in the trade agreement
    • The good or service is included in the trade agreement
    • The dollar value of the final contract is:
      o 105,700 or greater for goods or services and 264,200 or greater for construction (CFTA)
      o 366,200 for goods/services and 9,100,000 for construction (CETA)

Must the purchase of insurance be publicly tendered under CFTA and CETA?

No. Insurance is not subject to either CFTA or CETA as of the date of this blog post.

CFTA, at Chapter 13, defines the term “financial service” to include a variety of financial services, including insurance. The CFTA, Article 504(11)(h), stipulates that the procuring of a “financial service” is exempted where it is in respect of managing government financial assets and liabilities, including any ancillary and information services. Since insurance is a tool used to manage public assets and liabilities, it is therefore exempted from the application of the CFTA.

CETA applies only to the specific services listed in Annex 19-5. Services are denoted by their Central Product Classification (CPC) code. The CPC codes for insurance and insurance services are not listed in Annex 19-5. As such, insurance is not captured by the CETA.

Regional Note for Western Canada Municipalities — Although CFTA and CETA exempt insurance and related services, entities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC may be under an obligation to tender their insurance requirements under the regional New West Trade Partnership Agreement (NWTPA), which does not explicitly exempt financial services. To be sure, we recommend municipalities consult with their legal counsel or a procurement professional.

Are the ancillary services, such as brokerage and insurance advisory services also exempt?

Yes, services ancillary to insurance are excluded.

Under CFTA, the services provided by insurance brokers, which are by their very nature services ancillary to insurance, are exempted.

As for CETA, the omission of the CPC codes for insurance and related services is sufficient to conclude that brokerage services are excluded from CETA.

Even if insurance exempted from the public tendering requirements, should municipalities tender their insurance requirements?

We think so, particularly if the municipality has never put its insurance requirements out to tender before.

In our experience, all brokers are not created equal. Some are well equipped to provide insurance and risk advisory services while others, not so much.

Municipalities are best served by brokers with experience in the municipal sector who are well-positioned to advise municipalities on available insurance products and who are well positioned to find the best coverage possible for given risks. Tendering your insurance requirements using a RFP that, among other things, evaluates broker capacity and experience, that qualitatively ensures you’re accessing the best brokers and advisors, is a great way to ensure the municipality is getting the best advice and value available for the dollars spent.  Tendering may take a bit more upfront time and effort but the dividends should pay off in the long term.

Lise Patry is a business and public procurement lawyer working out of Ottawa. She co-founded LXM LAW LLP in 2020 to help municipalities with their procurement and contracting legal needs. LXM LAW’s team includes both experienced municipal procurement consultants and lawyers. Lise can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 613-601-6333. (Special thanks to Daniel Ebady, articling student, for his assistance with this blog post.)

Readers are cautioned not to rely upon this article as legal advice nor as an exhaustive discussion of the topic or case. For any particular legal problem, seek advice directly from your lawyer or in-house counsel. All dates, contact information and website addresses were current at the time of original publication.

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Digital Solutions for Canadian Municipalities

The past few months have been challenging for everyone as we change the way we live, play and work. Many industries have been forced to pivot and find digital solutions to continue serving their customers in the “new normal”. Canadian municipalities are no different. With many municipal offices closed to the public or working at a reduced capacity, there has never been a better time to start introducing digital solutions to work safer and work smarter. Here are some great digital solutions from Canadian muniSERV members to get you started.

Citizen Engagement/Customer Service

 AccessE11 is a Municipal 311, Citizen Issue and Relationship Management platform designed to provide small to mid-sized municipalities with a simple, cost-effective means to manage citizen issues. The platform drives simplicity, reduced administration, stronger decision making and better compliance across specific areas of focus within local government operations. Citizens can report issues and monitor the status of their issue digitally, improving customer service and operational transparency.

Smart City/IoT

 Trilliant has revolutionized how municipalities, cities, energy providers and utilities manage their mission-critical operations. Trilliant connects the world of things (IoT) and incorporates Smart City functionality to new or existing networks. Municipalities can improve the efficiency of their offerings through the implementation of things like advanced metering infrastructure for water, electricity and gas, smart street lighting, smart network sensors and so much more.

Treasury

 Clik2Pay  is a customer billing payments solution that allows citizens to receive and pay their tax bills or other municipal invoices directly from their smartphone. Municipalities benefit from quicker payments and simplified bill collection, all for less than it costs to pay by debit or credit card.

Payroll Efficiency

 Mother Clock  Inc. is a fully integrated time tracking payroll platform that is modernizing payroll technology. This tablet-based time tracking service is the solution for businesses that want to abandon paper-based processes.  Mobile employees can use their smartphones to clock-in/out with GPS time tracking, increasing accountability.

Cyber Security & Training

 RiskAware provides municipalities with an Information and Cyber Security advantage through governance, training, education and risk management. They can help you assess your digital risks before getting started.

Digital Transformation Consulting

 ArchITectAbility provides IT Advisory, Assurance, Architecture and Governance expert services as well as Business Process Re-engineering offerings. If you’re not sure where to start your digital transformation, here you go!

These are just a few of the great Canadian companies that are helping municipalities go digital. 

Search our  Find a  Consultant database by service, business name, province or city, for even more of our members’ innovative digital solutions, to help municipalities simplify processes and find efficiencies! 

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Risk Complacency

Why should you have a cyclical strategy to your risk and security?

Risk Complacency. You run the risk of being complacent. The one man-made hazard that is probably the easiest to avoid and the largest threat to any sized business, organization, government, event, institution, and book club. Okay, maybe not the book club.

 

So, what happened?

It was quiet. It was nice, there was a sense of security. Unfortunately, that feeling is usually supplemented with a lack of awareness. A lack of awareness of threats, dangers to your organization, those deficiencies that slowly creep up but yet can quickly hammer down all the previous work.

Plan out the work to get your organization on a cyclical strategy to address, manage and mitigate your risk and security threats.

Once planned out. Execute the plan. Do what you say you are going to do…and don’t stop.

Need help? We can Help.

It starts with a conversation.

As we say…Plan the Work. Work the Plan.

Should your Municipality need assistance, contact Michael White Group today, and we will be happy to answer your questions or provide quotations.

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Organizational Resiliency – What else is it good for?

What else does organizational resiliency do for the organization aside from being able to carry on during and after a disruptive event?

  • Reduces stress – it reduces stress in those managing and working prior to, during and after an event
  • Increase in trust and confidence – employees believe in the leadership, each other, and the plan to move through an event
  • Reduces absenteeism – people are comfortable and confident in the decision making of their peers and the responsibilities they have
  • Improvement in physical health and wellbeing – with strong mental health comes stronger and maintained physical health
  • Productivity increases – a happy workforce wants to produce
  • An alert workforce – reduction in accident and workplace injuries
  • Learning power – with overall personal health and wellbeing comes the drive, adaptability to learn and the willingness to be flexible in the event of change

There are other benefits to making your organization resilient that are not just about the bottom line.

We can help your organization in building your risk and security management program resiliency.

It starts with a conversation.

We can Help.

Plan the Work. Work the Plan.

Should your Municipality need assistance, contact Michael White Group today, and we will be happy to answer your questions or provide quotations.

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Pandemic/Epidemic Business toolKIT

We are deeply focused on keeping your employees, customers, and suppliers safe while working, visiting, or conducting business at your facilities and supporting your business operations.

The Michael White Group International and Hilt International Security have partnered together in order to create a dynamic resource that is continuously growing, developing, and being  revised to keep you informed of the latest requirements, new best practices, and procedures.

As we all continue to navigate our  ‘new normal’, we have tapped into our global resources to develop a toolKIT that lays out processes to raise awareness of new health and well-being protocols and potentially helpful practices for cross-functional teamwork, operating discipline, and training for employees.

While it is not a one-size-fits-all approach, the Pandemic/Epidemic Business toolKIT includes practical recommendations, based on guidelines from Health Canada and World Health Organization, that could be tailored for different  businesses (when required) to address various scenarios they may face when returning to work. Regular updates will be made to the toolKIT based on real-time feedback. The toolkit covers a wide range of topics, including:

•      Step-by-step guides for setting up a pandemic response team

•      Cleaning and disinfection procedures

•      Staggering shifts and lunch breaks and other physical distancing strategies

•      On-site health screening

•      Protocols for isolating employees who become ill at work

•      & more.

This has been a difficult time for everyone, and re-establishing a workplace where employees feel comfortable performing their jobs safely is a multi-faceted challenge. It is our hope that by developing and providing this resource we can help your organization accomplish and adapt to the new operating protocols in today’s still ever challenging conditions.

Should your Municipality be open to exploring the need, whilst accessing our  toolKIT to assist you during  the re-opening, and re-populating of your facilities, contact Michael White Group International today, and in partnership with Hilt International Security we will be happy to assist.

 

 

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Even the Best Technology Needs Good Process

We know that technology is the backbone of any successful organization and, as a company grows, it must constantly add and change the internal tools that will enable it to stay competitive and profitable.

 

This applies as much to Procurement as to any other department within an organization.

 

But new technology on its own can’t overcome gaps in a broken or non-existent Procurement process.

 

In fact, some Procurement groups will actually create redundant steps when forced to incorporate new technology solutions into an overly complicated, inefficient procurement process

 

Case Study: Procurement Process Redundancy

 

Many years ago I worked for an organization that was using:

 

        i.         A home grown Purchase Requisition system to create and track internal requests for goods and services

       ii.         An add-on document management module from the corporate Print solution for Contract Management

     iii.         An add-on module from the corporate ERP system for Purchase Orders; and

      iv.         An add-on module from the corporate help desk ticketing system for Asset Management.

 

Since none of these disparate systems were integrated, the Procurement team had created a series of processes to manually input information into each of the systems for every purchase.

 

The overall process was incredibly redundant and full of vulnerabilities.

 

Purchasing agents would print out fully approved Purchase Requisitions and manually input the information in the ERP systems to generate Purchase Orders.

 

Contracts would go through several redundant approvals before final approval and signature, only to be stored in a standalone document repository with limited search capabilities.

 

Assets were received and tracked in a separate Asset Management system that required manual receipt of products and a 3-step invoice approval process.

 

Having failed several audits, the organization purchased very expensive Purchasing Requisitioning and Contract Management add-on modules from their ERP supplier, who assured them that their solution would provide an airtight Procure-to-Pay solution for the company.

 

What the supplier failed to highlight, and the organization failed to address, was cost and effort to redevelop processes, retrain employees and re-input years of historical data across 4 different legacy platforms.

 

So several years, and millions of dollars later, the add-on modules are collecting dust and the organization continues to limp along with even more redundant process bandages to stop the bleeding.

 

There have been exponential advances in Procurement technology over the past 20 years. And in the hands of skilled Procurement professionals the results have been amazing.

 

But Procurement tools are very closely integrated with Procurement processes.

 

Before investing in new technology an organization should evaluate the processes that are in place and then determine what, if any, new technology can be easily integrated into organization without creating redundancies or complexities that will increase costs.

 

Is the Procurement technology in your company an asset or a crutch? How has Procurement process, or a lack of it, affected your organization?

 

Please download our free report on Procurement Process Innovation here -> http://oneviewnow.com/report and see if there are potential cost savings opportunities hiding in your Procurement process

 

by: OneView

 

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Canadian Government Entities Under Scrutiny for Lax Cybersecurity

Canada’s government sector is increasingly coming under scrutiny for both lagging privacy and security both in legislation and in practice

 

In a sign of the times, figures released in February to the House of Commons reveal that the personal information of at least 144,000 Canadians was mishandled by Federal department and agencies, including the Security Intelligence Service and Department of National Defense.  The breaches were widespread, impacting over 10 separate departments and agencies, with evidence indicating that these figures are being underreported due to inadequate reporting requirements.  The Canada Revenue Agency led the pack with 3,020 identified breaches over the last two years impacting at least 59,065 Canadians. 

 

Helical’s offerings meet the “Baseline Cyber Security Controls for Small and Medium Organizations” published by the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and can be scaled up according to need.  You can learn more about how we meet these requirements here or for more information about Helical, visit our website.  

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