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New North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team to Provide Better Connected Care for Patients

News Release

New North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team to Provide Better Connected Care for Patients

Ontario Health Teams Part of Province’s Plan to End Hallway Health Care

Ministry of Health

TORONTO — Ontario is delivering on its commitment to end hallway health care and build a connected and sustainable health care system centred around the needs of patients. The province is introducing Ontario Health Teams, a new model of care that brings together health care providers to work as one team.

Today, Robin Martin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health, was at Black Creek Community Health Centre on behalf of Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, to announce the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team as one of the first 24 teams in the province to implement a new model of organizing and delivering health care that better connects patients and providers in their communities to improve patient outcomes. Through an Ontario Health Team, patients will experience easier transitions from one provider to another, including, for example, between hospitals and home care providers, with one patient story, one patient record and one care plan.

"This is an exciting time for health care in Ontario as we finally break down the long-standing barriers that have prevented care providers from working directly with each other to support patients throughout their health care journey," said Elliott. "Together with our health care partners, the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team will play an essential role in delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care and building a connected and sustainable public health care system centred around the needs of patients."

The North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team will create a more connected system of care for patients with improved coordination and navigation across services, for better access, reduced wait times, and seamless transitions to improve health outcomes for patients. Patients and families can expect to receive all their care, including primary care, hospital services, mental health and addiction services, long-term care and home and community care, from one team.

"With our new North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team, patients will benefit from better integrated health care, with a seamless experience when moving between different health care services, providers and settings," said Elliott. "I would like to thank all the health care providers and organizations that helped plan the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team; there is lots of work to be done, but with their dedication and hard work, we will continue to improve health care in our communities and ensure Ontarians get the care they deserve."

As it continues its work to integrate care, the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team will put in place 24/7 navigation and care coordination services for patients and families. A focused group of patients will receive these services through their integrated care teams and the broader Ontario Health Team partners. This work will be implemented in phases and over time will provide care for everyone within the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team's population.

"Ontario Health Teams present a promising opportunity to deliver seamless care to our patients across all care settings as an integrated team," said Barbara Collins, Co-Chair of the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team Steering Committee and the President and CEO of Humber River Hospital. "We look forward to collaborating with our 12 partners, along with the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) program, as we work together to implement the Ontario Health Team model and to enhance health outcomes for patients in our community and beyond. We are delighted to join the 23 other Ontario Health Teams being announced as part of this first cohort."

"Family physicians in our community have been involved in planning the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team from the very beginning," said Dr. Art Kushner, Chief, Department of Family and Community Medicine at Humber River Hospital and Lead Physician at Humber River Family Health Team.  "We are looking forward to working with our partners to improve coordinated care for our patients, so they receive the care they need when and where they need it."

The North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team will begin implementing some of their proposed programs and services in 2020 and will communicate with patients and families about the changes and improvements they can expect in their community.

Ontario has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, which includes making investments and advancing new initiatives across four pillars:

  1. Prevention and health promotion: keeping patients as healthy as possible in their communities and out of hospitals.
  2. Providing the right care in the right place: when patients need care, ensure that they receive it in the most appropriate setting, not always the hospital.
  3. Integration and improved patient flow: better integrate care providers to ensure patients spend less time waiting in hospitals when they are ready to be discharged. Ontario Health Teams will play a critical role in connecting care providers and, in doing so, helping to end hallway health care.
  4. Building capacity: build new hospital and long-term care beds while increasing community-based services across Ontario.

Quick Facts

  • An Ontario Health Team will be responsible for delivering care for their patients, understanding their health care history, directly connecting them to the different types of care they need, and providing 24/7 help in navigating the health care system.
  • 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.
  • The first wave of Ontario Health Teams is being approved after an extensive readiness assessment process, which involved significant time, collaboration, research and effort from partners across the health care sector.
  • The government will continue working with its partners to review their applications to become an Ontario Health Team.

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