Health Quality Ontario to Promote Evidence-Based Health Care
McGuinty Government Saving Money While Improving Quality of Care
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Ontario is focusing on quality care for patients by consolidating the former Ontario Health Quality Council and five other health care improvement organizations and programs into one organization called Health Quality Ontario (HQO).
Under the Excellent Care for All Act (ECFAA), the Ontario Health Quality Council is now Health Quality Ontario, with an expanded mandate to:
- Recommend and help health care providers adopt evidence-based standards of care and best practices;
- Monitor and report on quality improvement efforts across health care sectors; and
- Lead provincial efforts to improve safety, quality, efficiency and the patient experience across all health care sectors.
The amalgamation will save $2 million over the next three years that will be reinvested into frontline health care. HQO will ensure that all health care investments are based on the best evidence.
The five other organizations being merged into HQO are: the Medical Advisory Secretariat of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, the Ontario Health Technology Evaluation Fund, the Centre for Healthcare Quality Improvement and the Quality Improvement and Innovation Partnership.
As reaffirmed in the 2011 Budget, this consolidation is part of the government's continued commitment to eliminate waste and find savings by reducing duplication and overlap, scaling back the number of agencies in Ontario and ensuring the best value for public money.
- As one of its first initiatives, HQO will work with hospitals to provide an update on their Quality Improvement Plans.
- In 2010, Ontario made evidence-based changes to various diagnostic tests shown to have no value to patients. This included restricting the routine use of Vitamin D testing for otherwise healthy people, with an expected savings of $22 million in 2011.
- Overall, the province is reducing agencies by five per cent - including merging Infrastructure Ontario and Ontario Realty Corporation, a move that will save Ontarians about $5 million annually.
Health Quality Ontario will bring together organizations with the same goal - to drive quality improvement in Ontario's health care system - under one roof and help to make Ontario's health care system more transparent, accountable and focused on patient-driven care. Ultimately the work of this organization will help Ontarians by improving access to high quality, evidence-based health care."
Health Quality Ontario will leverage some of the most talented experts in the province under the umbrella of one organization. Our mandate will support the health care system in achieving high standards in the quality of care for the benefit of all Ontario patients."
Dr. Ben Chan
Health Quality Ontario will provide the opportunity for cross-sector quality improvement achievements that represent the patient health journey and lead to whole system transformation. In particular, advancing quality improvement in primary care positively impacts the entire health system accentuating the pivotal role the sector plays for everyone in the province."