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Improving Care in the Long Term

Health Quality Ontario has just updated the information available on its website showing how well long-term care is being delivered in the province. It puts a fresh face on the largest, longest-running data collection and reporting system in Canada for quality of care information on long-term care homes.

With these homes having a resident population with increasingly complex care needs, the evidence suggests the quality of care provided to those residents is improving in many respects, but that more can be done.

Wait Times: A Metric to Watch

Dr. Joshua Tepper

Earlier this summer, Health Quality Ontario revamped its public reporting on wait times to make it more user-friendly. We also added reporting on the wait time between a specialist receiving the referral from the patient's family doctor, to the patient's first surgical or specialist appointment, to gain a fuller picture of the patient experience.

Since then, the data has been used on numerous occasions to document how well or badly one hospital is doing compared to the rest of the province. There have also been almost 100,000 page views of the wait times pages on the Health Quality Ontario website since their launch. Interest in the information remains strong and there were more than 13,000 page views of the nine wait times measures pages between mid-November and mid-December.

Measuring the System’s Fault Lines

Dr. Joshua Tepper

A quality health care system seamlessly delivers care across a broad spectrum of care settings and patient populations. Unfortunately, even a good health care system can have fault lines into which patients can fall and where quality care is deficient.

Measuring Up, Health Quality Ontario’s newly released 11th annual report on the performance of the province’s health system and on the health of Ontarians, documents those fault lines as well as other areas where the provincial system can improve. It takes the pulse of the system through measurement and through narratives from people like Gordon, Lilac and Elgin who share their experiences as patients and that of Shawn Dookie, a nurse practitioner.

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