Ontario Health Team (OHT) Announcements
In July 2019, 150 applications were received from groups hoping to form potential OHTs. Out of those 150 applications, 31 applicants were invited to submit a full application. As of December 9, 2019, Health Minister Christine Elliott has announced the first set of successful OHTs. The 24 successful OHTs include:
The next invitation for full application submissions will occur in March 2020.
What is an Ontario Health Team (OHT)?
The Ministry defines an OHT as a group of providers and organizations that are clinically and fiscally accountable for delivering a full and coordinated continuum of care to a defined geographic population. The intent of the Ontario Health Team model is to allow providers to deliver better, faster, more coordinated and patient-centred care. The overall goal is for patients to receive all their care from one team – including primary care, hospital services, mental health and addictions services, long-term care and home and community care.
Under this model, providers are expected to leverage existing strengths and partnerships and work together towards common goals related to improved health outcomes, patient and provider experience. The model will fundamentally redesign relationships and accountabilities in the sector, and provide incentives for OHTs to scale, and spread quickly.
What will an OHT look like at maturity?
The Ministry states that at its mature state, each Ontario Health Team will:
- Provide a full and coordinated continuum of care for a defined population within a geographic region.
- Offer patients 24/7 access to coordination of care and system navigation services and work to ensure patients experience seamless transitions throughout their care journey.
- Improve performance across a range of outcomes linked to the ‘Quadruple Aim’: better patient and population health outcomes; better patient, family and caregiver experience; better provider experience; and better value.
- Be measured and reported against a standardized performance framework aligned to the Quadruple Aim.
- Operate within a single, clear accountability framework.
- Be funded through an integrated funding envelope.
- Reinvest into front line care.
- Take a digital first approach, in alignment with provincial digital health policies and standards, including the provision of digital choices for patients to access care and health information and the use of digital tools to communicate and share information among providers.
The first OHTs will be monitored and evaluated by a third-party to generate learnings that will enable and guide other groups on the path to becoming an OHT.
The Ministry notes that the process to establish and support the development of Ontario Health Teams will contribute to the identification of further policy, regulatory and legislative reforms. The Ministry commits to minimizing barriers for the early adopters and those that come after.