Improving Health Care For Ontarians
McGuinty Government's Proposed Act Would Put Patients First
Ontario is proposing comprehensive new initiatives to improve the quality and accountability of the province's health care system and ensure the needs of patients come first.
Later today, the province will introduce the Excellent Care for All Act that would, if passed, make health care providers and executives accountable for improving patient care and enhance the patient experience. The legislation would require health care organizations, starting with hospitals to:
- Develop and post annual quality improvement plans
- Create quality committees to report to each hospital board on quality related issues, including the public annual quality improvement plan
- Link executive compensation to achievement of quality plan performance improvement targets
- Implement patient and employee satisfaction surveys and a patient complaints process
The proposed legislation would also expand the mandate of the Ontario Health Quality Council to recommend evidence-based guidelines that health care providers should adopt.
To ensure patients can access the best quality treatment, Ontario will also move towards a patient-based payment system of hospital funding where large hospitals are reimbursed based on the types and volumes of patients they treat.
The province will also be developing ways to make better use of health care resources, such as reducing avoidable hospital admissions and readmissions, and the unnecessary use of diagnostic equipment.
Today's announcement is a key part of the government's Open Ontario Plan to improve quality and accountability in health care by ensuring health care professionals work together in the best interests of the patient.
- 20 years ago, 32 cents of every dollar spent on government programs were spent on health care. Today, it is 46 cents. In 12 years, it could be 70 cents if appropriate action is not taken.
- Last year, there were 140,000 cases of patients readmitted to hospital within 30 days of original discharge.
- The proposed legislation builds on the province's ongoing efforts to improve quality and patient safety in the health care system. For instance, in 2008, the government launched a patient safety indicator initiative that has helped improve hand hygiene compliance and reduce C. difficile rates by 13 per cent.
“The government is improving the quality of our health care system while making it more accountable to patients. We want our health care system to be focused on patient needs with health services supported by the best evidence and highest standards. Improving quality of care not only means better patient care, it improves the value of our health care investment.”