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System Performance

Measuring Home Care Performance in Ontario

Ontario Health reports data on two categories of home care patients. Some quality indicators pertain only to long-stay patients, while other indicators apply to both short- and long-stay patients.

  • Long-stay patients require care over a long period of time (more than 60 days), and account for 46 percent of home care patients.

  • Short-stay patients require short-term services when recovering from surgery or an injury. They account for 54 percent of home care patients.

The Resident Assessment Instrument – Home Care is a standardized tool used to assess a long-stay patient’s health status. Quality indicators derived from the tool primarily measure changes in a patient’s health status (e.g. daily pain). Reassessment is recommended every six months, or earlier if there is significant clinical change, which makes it possible to measure changes in these patients’ health. Measuring this change in short-stay patients is generally not possible, as by definition, they only require short-term services.

Read The Home Care Indicator Review Report

Data Sources

Ontario Health receives quality indicator results from several sources, including the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), ICES, and the Ministry of Health.

Parts of these online indicators are based on data and information compiled and provided by CIHI.

However, the analyses, conclusions, opinions and statements expressed on this website are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of CIHI.

Data included here is provided by ICES, which is funded by an annual grant from the Ministry of Health. The opinions, results and conclusions reported here are those of the authors and are independent from the funding sources. No endorsement by ICES or the Ministry of Health is intended or should be inferred. These datasets were linked using unique encoded identifiers and analyzed at ICES.

Registered Persons Database

This database provides basic demographic information about anyone who has ever received an Ontario health card number. It is maintained by the Ministry of Health and used and enriched by ICES with information from other data sets.

Discharge Abstract Database

The Discharge Abstract Database is maintained by the Canadian Institute for Health Information and houses information on patients treated in acute care hospitals. Every time an acute care hospital discharges a patient, the hospital submits an electronic record to the institute that contains the patient’s demographic information as well as diagnostic and treatment data.

Home Care Database

The Home Care Database is maintained by Ontario Health and is a clinical, client-centered database that captures all home care services provided or coordinated by local Home and Community Care Support Services (HCCSS) organizations.

Home Care Reporting System

This system is maintained by the Canadian Institute for Health Information and contains demographic, clinical, functional and resource usage information on patients served by publicly funded home care programs in Ontario. Data in the Home Care Reporting System are collected using the Resident Assessment Instrument - Home Care (RAI-HC), a standardized, multi-dimensional assessment system for determining client needs. It includes clinical assessment protocols, outcome measurement scales and a case mix system.

National Ambulatory Care Reporting System

The National Ambulatory Care Reporting System is maintained by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and contains data for hospital- and community-based emergency and ambulatory care (e.g., day surgery, outpatient clinics). CIHI receives data directly from participating facilities, their respective regional health authorities or the Ministry of Health.

Risk Adjustments

Risk-adjusted quality indicators allow fairer comparisons across Home and Community Care Support Services (HCCSS) organizations and over time as patient characteristics change. Risk adjustment helps Home and Community Care Support Services organizations identify priority areas for quality improvement efforts and makes it easier for them to share information with each other. The data can also be useful for developing benchmarks and standards over time.

If you have a question about reporting on Ontario’s health system, please email us at

The Reality of Caring

Distress among caregivers of home care patients in Ontario

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Front cover of the caregiver distress report: the reality of caring

Monitoring What Matters

Our approach to measuring and reporting on the performance of Ontario’s health system

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The Common Quality Agenda

A set of indicators to measure health quality in Ontario

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Indicator Library

Technical information on quality indicators; searchable and comparable data

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