Health Quality Ontario is the provincial lead on the quality of health care. We help nurses, doctors and other health care professionals working hard on the frontlines be more effective in what they do – by providing objective advice and data, and by supporting them and government in improving health care for the people of Ontario.
We focus on making health care more effective, efficient and affordable through a legislative mandate of:
Reporting to the public, organizations, government and health care providers on how the health system is performing,
Finding the best evidence of what works, and
Translating this evidence into clinical standards; recommendations to health care professionals and funders; and tools that health care providers can easily put into practice to make improvements.
Health Quality Ontario is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors with a broad range of expertise –doctors, nurses, patients and from other segments of health care – and appointed by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
In everything it does, Health Quality Ontario brings together those with first-hand experience to hear their experiences and views of how to make them better. We partner with patients, residents, families and caregivers to be full participants in designing our programs and services, to ensure they are aligned to their needs and priorities. We work collaboratively with organizations across the province to encourage the spread of innovative and proven programs to support high quality care, while also saving money and eliminating redundancy. And, we work with clinicians on the frontlines to use their collective wisdom and experience to bring about positive change in areas important to Ontario – such as addressing the challenges of hallway health care and mental health.
For example, 29 Ontario hospitals participated in a pilot program last year that reduced infections due to surgery by 18% - which in turn reduces the number of patients returning to hospital after surgery and alleviating some of the challenges faced in hallway health care. This program enabled surgeons to see their surgical data and how they perform in relation to each other and to 700 other hospitals worldwide. We then helped them identify and action improvements to care. Forty-six hospitals across Ontario are now part of this program, covering 80% of hospital surgeries.
Health Quality Ontario also develops quality standards for health conditions that demonstrate unnecessary gaps and variations in care across the province, such as in major depression or schizophrenia. Quality standards are based on the best evidence and provide recommendations to government, organizations and clinicians. They also include a guide for patients to help them ask informed questions about their care.
In addition, Health Quality Ontario’s health technology assessments use evidence to assess the effectiveness and value for money of new technologies and procedures, and incorporate the views and preferences of patients, to make recommendations to government on whether they should be funded.
Each year, we also help hospitals, long-term care homes, home care and primary care organizations across the system create and report on the progress of their annual Quality Improvement Plans, which is their public commitment on their priorities to improve health care quality.
Health Quality Ontario is committed to supporting the development of a quality health care system based on six fundamental dimensions: efficient, timely, safe, effective, patient-centred and equitable.
Our goal is to challenge the status quo and to focus on long-lasting pragmatic solutions that improve the health of Ontarians, enhance their experience of care, reduce health care costs, and support the well-being of health care providers. A quality health system results in Ontarians leading healthier and more productive lives, and a vibrant society in which everyone benefits.