Health Quality Ontario is the provincial lead on the quality of health care. We help nurses, doctors and others working hard on the frontlines be more effective in what they do – by providing objective advice and by supporting them and government in improving health care for the people of Ontario.
Our focus is making health care more effective, efficient and affordable which we do through a legislative mandate of:
Reporting to the public, organizations and health care providers on how the health system is performing,
Finding the best evidence of what works, and
Translating this evidence into concrete standards, recommendations and tools that health care providers can easily put into practice to make improvements.
Health Quality Ontario is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors appointed by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and with representation from the medical and nursing professions, patients and other segments of health care.
In everything it does, Health Quality Ontario brings together those with first-hand experience – doctors, nurses, other health care providers, patients and families – to hear their experiences and how to make them better. Health Quality Ontario also works collaboratively with organizations across the province to encourage the spread of innovative and proven programs to support high quality, while also saving money and eliminating redundancy. And, we partner with patients to be full participants in designing our programs – another part of our work we take very seriously.
Examples of what we do include providing ways for clinicians to use their collective wisdom and experience to bring about positive change. Last year, 29 Ontario hospitals participated in a pilot program that reduced infections due to surgery by 18%. This program enabled surgeons to see their surgical data and how they perform in relation to each other and to 700 other hospitals worldwide. We then helped them identify and action improvement practices. Forty-six hospitals across Ontario are now part of this program.
We also develop quality standards that are based on the best evidence, to guide on caring for health conditions where there are gaps in care. Each quality standard provides recommendations to government, organizations and clinicians, and is accompanied by a guide for patients to help them ask informed questions about their care.
In addition, Health Quality Ontario’s health technology assessments use evidence to assess the value for money and safety of new technologies and procedures and make recommendations to government on whether or not they should be funded.
And each year, we help organizations across the system create Quality Improvement Plans, for improving health care quality.
Health Quality Ontario is committed to supporting the development of a quality health care system based on six fundamental dimensions: efficient, timely, safe, effective, patient-centred and equitable.
Our goal is to challenge the status quo and to focus on long-lasting pragmatic solutions that improve the health of Ontarians, enhance their experience of care, reduce health care costs, and support the well-being of health care providers – because we believe a quality health system results in Ontarians leading healthier and more productive lives, and a vibrant society in which everyone benefits.