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Let’s Make Our Health System Healthier

New strategic plan launched by Health Quality Ontario.

Today we launch our strategic plan, Better Has No Limit: Partnering For a Quality Health System, and I’m reminded of the following words from leadership expert Jim Collins.

“The real path to greatness, it turns out, requires simplicity and diligence. It requires clarity, not instant illumination. It demands each of us to focus on what is vital and to eliminate all of the extraneous distraction.”

Health Quality Ontario is firmly on that path. Our new strategic plan reflects our ongoing commitment to better health for every Ontarian and a healthier health system. It takes the work we’ve already done and evolves it – clarifying and focusing it for our organization.

Over the next three years, we will concentrate our efforts on the following five priorities:

  1. Empowering system-level leadership for health care quality
  2. Enabling better decisions by increasing the availability of important information
  3. Evaluating promising innovations and practices, and supporting the broad uptake of those that provide good value for money
  4. Engaging patients in improving care
  5. Enhancing quality for patients as they transition between different types or settings of care

We will also expand our field of vision beyond acute, home, long-term and community care to include a focus on three areas mental health and addictions, palliative and end-of-life care, and primary care.

Admittedly words like “strategic plan” and “areas of focus” feel a bit distant from my medical school training and ongoing clinical practice. For patients and family members they also likely sound disconnected from their urgent needs and concerns. But I believe that patients appreciate a care plan that is jointly developed, one that considers the evidence, balances the risks and provides a path forward that is clear. My hope is that this strategic plan is a care plan for Health Quality Ontario as we advise and advocate for better quality in Ontario.

You can watch our strategic plan come to life in this video.

We consulted and worked with many partners across the health system, including patients and caregivers, to ensure that we really got this strategic plan right. As we put our plan into action, we will continue to work with health care leaders, providers, researchers, academics, associations, colleges and government agencies, just as we will continue to involve patients, families and caregivers in all we do.

The strategic plan is very much HQO-specific and will inform the work we undertake as an organization that advises on health care quality. It’s not to be confused with our recently launched initiative Quality Matters. Although also playbook, Quality Matters pushes for the spread of a common language for health care quality across Ontario. Both the strategic plan and Quality Matters are closely related and serve to redirect a focus on quality – one for our organization and the other for our province.

Simplicity, diligence, clarity and focus free from distraction – these are the elements that Collins identified as laying the groundwork for a path to greatness. Please read our strategic plan and share what you think about the direction we’re heading in. Together we will make our health system healthier.

See for yourself. Check out Better Has No Limit: Partnering For a Quality Health System and learn more about how we intend to execute on each one of the priorities. Then let me know what you think by sending an email to info@hqontario.ca.

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