Ontario Health Teams are being introduced to provide a new way of organizing and delivering care that is more connected to patients in their local communities.

Under Ontario Health Teams, health care providers (including hospitals, doctors and home and community care providers) work as one coordinated team—no matter where they provide care.

Ontario Health Teams are groups of providers and organizations that are clinically and fiscally accountable for delivering a full and coordinated continuum of care to a defined geographic population.

Providers and organizations eligible to become an Ontario Health Team include, but are not limited to, those that provide:
  • Primary care (including inter-professional primary care and physicians)
  • Secondary care (e.g., in-patient and ambulatory medical and surgical services (including specialist services)
  • Home care
  • Community support services
  • Mental health and addictions services
  • Health promotion and disease prevention services
  • Rehabilitation and complex care
  • Palliative care (e.g., hospice)
  • Residential care and short-term transitional care (e.g., in supportive housing, long-term care homes, retirement homes)
  • Long-term care home placement
  • Emergency health services
  • Laboratory and diagnostic services
  • Midwifery services, and
  • Other social and community services and other services, as needed by the population.

Integrated care, also known as integrated health, coordinated care, comprehensive care, or seamless care is a worldwide trend toward more coordinated care.

WHO gives the following definition: “Integrated care is a concept bringing together inputs, delivery, management and organization of services related to diagnosis, treatment, care, rehabilitation and health promotion. Integration is a means to improve services in relation to access, quality, user satisfaction and efficiency.”

The Ontario Health Team model will encourage providers to improve the health of an entire population, reducing disparities among different population groups.

As part of this approach, Ontario Health Teams will be enabled to locally redesign care in ways that best meet the needs of the diverse communities they serve.

This includes creating opportunities to improve care for Indigenous populations, Francophones, and other population groups in Ontario which may have distinct health service needs, such as inner-city urban areas and northern and rural communities.

There are many benefits to joining the OHT. Some of the benefits include:

  • Work Experience: OHTs will help improve your work experience.
  • Patient Care: OHTs will help you deliver enhanced patient care.
  • Relationship Building: OHTs will help you develop stronger relationships.
  • Quality Control: OHTs will allow you to influence how care is delivered in your region.
  • Opportunity To Grow: OHTs will give you more opportunities for learning and leadership development.

Please visit our Providers & Ontario Health Teams page for more info.

Under the Ontario Health Team model, we envision that patients, families, caregivers, and health care providers will more actively shape how local health care services are delivered and managed.

The approach will make it easier for local health care providers to partner and deliver high-quality, coordinated care for their patients and their communities.

Integrated funding and accountability will create the optimal conditions for Ontario Health Teams to innovate, be more aware of their own performance to drive quality improvement, and be fully accountable for the health care dollars they spend.

Improvements in integrated care through Ontario Health Teams will fundamentally change how patients, families, and caregivers experience the health care system.

As Ontario Health Teams are formed – which will be an ongoing process over several years until provincial coverage is achieved – patients will be able to more easily access and navigate the system and be better supported as they transition from one health care provider or setting to another.

For each component of the model, Ontario Health Teams are expected to meet certain commitments and service delivery expectations for their population after their first year of operations through to maturity.

Patients of early Ontario Health Teams will begin to experience better coordinated, integrated health care that is easier to navigate.

For providers, Ontario Health Teams foster local collaboration and enables greater communication and coordination. Providers will be supported to work as one coordinated team—focusing on patients and specific local needs, so people can more easily navigate the system and experience easy and coordinated transitions from one health care provider to another.

These teams will have the flexibility to redesign how they deliver care to meet the needs of their patients in the most effective way.

Teams selected to move forward as Ontario Health Team Candidates are required to have a confirmed commitment to put in place 24/7 coordination of care and system navigation services for targeted patients and provide navigation supports in place for some segments of the patients they are serving.

With 51 Ontario Health Teams across the province that will cover 95% of Ontarians at maturity, the Ministry of Health (“ministry”) is taking a targeted approach to the intake and assessment process, focusing on parts of the province that don’t already have teams in place.

The goal is to ensure that everyone in Ontario can benefit from better coordinated, more integrated care. Teams are being invited to complete full applications to become an approved Ontario Health Team on a case-by-case basis. At the same time, the ministry is continuing to support the expansion of provider partnerships in existing Ontario Health Teams.

At maturity, Ontario Health Teams will have:

  • The ability to provide patients with digital choices such as virtual care (e.g., telephone, email, virtual visits) and timely digital access to patient health records;
  • The ability to communicate and share information across the network; and
  • The ability to drive performance improvements within and across the network through clinical and data standardization, and advanced analytics and strong information management practices to enable population health management, quality improvement, and outcomes measurement.

No. Teams will determine for themselves how to self-organize and what governance structure(s) work best for them, their patients, and their communities. At maturity, Ontario Health Teams will work under a single accountability framework and an integrated funding envelope.

To learn more, please visit our Partners page.

If you have questions about Ontario Health Teams or the Intake and Assessment process, please email ontariohealthteams@ontario.ca.

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