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Quality Improvement

The Emergency Department Return Visit Quality Program

The Emergency Department Return Visit Quality Program is a new initiative focused on improving the quality of care in Ontario’s emergency departments.

Research has shown that monitoring return visits to the emergency department is an efficient way to identify adverse events and quality issues. Through this program, Ontario’s hospitals will be asked to review data on return visits to their emergency department, conduct audits to identify the underlying causes of these return visits and take steps to address these underlying causes.

The program is mandatory for all 73 high-volume emergency departments (with over 30,000 annual visits) participating in the Pay for Results program, which receive nearly 80% of all visits to emergency departments in Ontario. However, all hospitals are encouraged to participate.

Guidance for this program is provided by the ED Return Visit Working Group, which includes representatives from Health Quality Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Access to Care (Cancer Care Ontario), LHIN Leads for Emergency Medicine, and ED physicians. Members of this group are listed in the ED Return Visit Working Group Terms of Reference. The program launched April 1, 2016.

If you have any questions about the Emergency Department Return Visit Quality Program, please contact us at EDQuality@HQOntario.ca.

Guidance Material for the Emergency Department Return Visit Quality Program

Health Quality Ontario has prepared the following resources for participants in this program.

  • Introductory Guidance: Read this guidance document for an overview of the program, including a timeline for program implementation
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Find the answers to common questions about the Emergency Department Return Visit Quality Program
  • How to Conduct an Audit: Read this companion document to the Audit Template for step-by-step instructions on how to conduct an audit
  • Audit Template: Download this template to record your audit results. You will submit the completed template as part of your annual submission to Health Quality Ontario
  • Narrative Template: Download this template to describe your site’s experience with this program. You will submit the completed template as part of your annual submission to Health Quality Ontario
  • Memo on submission requirements: Read this memo for instructions on the first annual submission of results on January 31, 2017
  • Webcast Event: Watch the webcast held to support hospitals in their efforts to implement the Emergency Department Return Visit Quality Program, hosted by Health Quality Ontario and the Ontario Hospital Association on April 28, 2016
  • Webcast Follow-Up: Find answers to the questions that were submitted by participants of the webcast

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