What are Ontario Health Teams?
Ontario Health Teams are groups of health care providers and organizations that are clinically and fiscally accountable for delivering a full and coordinated continuum of care to a defined geographic population.
Will patients continue to have a choice in their care provider?
Yes. When Ontario Health Teams are established, people’s choice of providers would continue.
Patients who are supported by providers who would become part of an Ontario Health Team would not need to sign up or undertake any administrative processes. What they would experience is greater access to care and support from a broader network of other physicians and inter-professional providers, working together as a team to improve their care.
How does a patient become connected with an Ontario Health Team? Will a patient be able to sign up with a team and how will this happen?
Ontarians will continue to access care from their existing care providers. As Ontario Health Teams are created, Ontarians will be provided with information about the benefits of this model. Ontarians will still be able to choose who provides their care. As the province begins this work, Ontarians can be confident that they can continue to contact their health care providers as they always have to access the health care they need.
What will be different for patients?
Improvements in integrated care through Ontario Health Teams will fundamentally change how patients, families, and caregivers experience the health care system. As Ontario Health Teams are formed – and this will be an ongoing process over several years until provincial coverage is achieved – patients will be able to more easily access and navigate the system and be better supported as they transition from one health care provider or setting to another.
For each component of the model, Ontario Health Teams will be expected to meet certain commitments and service delivery expectations for their population after their first year of operations through to maturity.
What does an OHT look like at maturity?
As set out in the Ministry’s guidance document, at mature state, each Ontario Health Team will:
1. Provide a full and coordinated continuum of care for a defined population within a geographic region including primary care, hospital care, community and home care, long-term care, mental health and addictions services, and palliative care services.
2. Offer patients 24/7 access to coordination of care and system navigation services and work to ensure patients experience seamless transitions throughout their care journey. This does not mean that physicians are expected to be available 24/7, rather there is a patient navigator/care coordinator function required.
3. Improve performance across a range of outcomes linked to the ‘Quadruple Aim’: better patient and population health outcomes; better patient, family and caregiver experience; better provider experience; and better value.
4. Be measured and reported against a standardized performance framework aligned to the Quadruple Aim.
5. Operate within a single, clear accountability framework. Updated September 17, 2019 7 6. Be funded through an integrated funding envelope.
7. Reinvest into front line care. 8. Focus on digital health, in alignment with provincial digital health policies and standards, including the provision of digital choices for patients to access care and health information and the use of digital tools to communicate and share information among providers. Greater detail on the stages and expectations at maturity is outlined in the Ministry’s guidance document.