Quality standards outline for clinicians and patients what quality care looks like. Focusing on conditions or topics where there are large variations in how care is delivered, or where there are gaps between the care provided in Ontario and the care patients should receive, quality standards are grounded in the best evidence.
Developed in collaboration with patients, physicians, nurses, other clinicians, caregivers, and organizations across the province, quality standards are intended to achieve four main aims. They will help:
- Patients, residents, families and caregivers know what to discuss about their care with their health care professionals;
- Health care professionals offer the highest-quality care based on the best available evidence;
- Health care organizations and professionals measure, reflect on their practice and improve the quality of their care; and
- Health system planners create the environment for health care professionals and organizations to deliver quality care.
Quality standards clearly outline, via concise easy-to-understand statements, what quality care looks like for a condition or topic based on the evidence. Each one is accompanied by:
- A patient guide for patients, families and caregivers so they know what to discuss about their care with their health care professionals;
- An information brief with data on how care is being delivered for that condition or topic in Ontario, and the variations in care, to help people understand why a particular quality standard has been created;
- Quality indicators for health care professionals and organizations to help them with their improvement efforts; and
- Recommendations for adoption at the system, regional and practice levels to help health care professionals and organizations adopt the standards. In addition, practical tools for quality improvement are included in the Getting Started Guide.
With their associated recommendations for adoption, quality standards provide the blueprint to enable the health care system in Ontario to work better, facilitate smooth transitions, and ensure patients receive the same high-quality care, regardless of where they reside.