Q: What is an Ontario Health Team?
A: An Ontario Health Team is a new way of delivering health care. The people responsible for giving you the health services and supports you need to stay healthy and well will start working together in a new way, as one team to serve you. This will take time to change, but in the end your primary care doctor, your home and community care provider, your hospital, your specialists, and others will share information and work together differently to better meet your health needs.
Q: How are Ontario Health Teams selected and developed?
A: All over Ontario, local health service providers with common goals have come together to form a local team and apply to become an Ontario Health Team. Many teams have included community partners, such as Municipalities or Regions, who also support the health and wellness of their communities.
The Ministry of Health developed a detailed application process to choose what teams would be selected to become the first Ontario Health Teams. Detailed information about the readiness assessment process and the readiness criteria can be found in the Ministry’s guidance document.
The assessment process to become an Ontario Health team will be repeated until full provincial coverage is reached and every Ontarian is supported by an Ontario Health Team.
Q: What is the current status of applications and timelines for the Ontario Health Team application process?
A: After the People’s Care Act (2019) was announced, the first open call for self-assessments was launched in April 2019. The Ministry received and reviewed 157 self-assessments (view our self-assessment). The Burlington Ontario Health Team was among the 31 teams invited to complete the full application. Nine teams were classified as ‘Innovative Models’ because of the unique populations and innovative approaches identified. The remaining applicants were identified as being ‘In Development’ and ‘In Discovery’. A short list of these teams is available here
The first wave of full applications was submitted in October 2019 announced by the Ministry on December 9, 2019.
The Ministry will post future opportunities to submit self-assessments and full applications on a regular cycle. To receive updates about the application process, you can sign up to receive the Ministry”s Connected Care updates.
Q: What does a future Ontario Health Team look like after it develops?
A: As set out in the Ministry’s guidance document, at mature state, each Ontario Health Team will:
- Provide a full and coordinated continuum of care for a defined population within a geographic region including primary care, hospital care, community and home care, long-term care, mental health and addictions services, and palliative care services.
- Offer patients 24 hours, 7 days per week access to coordination of care and system navigation services and work to ensure patients experience seamless transitions throughout their care journey.
- Improve performance as measured by 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.
- Operate within a single, clear accountability framework.
- Be funded through a shared, single funding envelope.
- Reinvest into front line care.
- Focus on digital health 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.
Burlington Ontario Health Team
Q: What is the size of the Burlington Ontario Health Team?
A: The Ministry has not set requirements on the size of an Ontario Health Team. Patients are assigned to Ontario Health Teams based on where patients get health care services instead of where patients live.
The Burlington Ontario Health Team proposes to serve Burlington and the surrounding communities that use Burlington-based services. Based on the data and what we know at this early stage of development, Burlington Ontario Health Team will care for approximately 230,000 people (at maturity). Most of our population live in Burlington and Hamilton however, it also includes people who live elsewhere but prefer to see a primary care physician in Burlington.
Q: How do I learn more about the Burlington Ontario Health Team?
A: You can check our website for news and developments related to the Burlington Ontario Health Team. If you have questions or suggestions, you can send an email to info@burlingtonOHT.ca.
In the coming months, we plan to add more interactive features to the website, including articles, education, community events and a place to receive feedback and suggestions.
Patients, Families, and Caregivers
Q: How are patients, families, and caregivers involved in shaping and planning the Burlington Ontario Health Team?
A: The Burlington Ontario Health Team requires the leadership of members of our community to help plan how we will deliver health care services in the future. The Community Wellness Council provides leadership from the viewpoint of the community and those receiving health care services. The Council is made up of patients, family members, and caregivers with lived experience. The Council chose the Burlington Ontario Health Team’s values and guiding principles, based on Ontario’s Patient Declaration of Values. One Community Wellness Council representative is also a voting member of the Steering Committee (the decision-making committee for the Burlington Ontario Health Team).
In addition, at least one patient family advisor representative is actively contributing to the various projects supporting efforts that are focused on the patient and family experience- for example, improving how patients move between care providers and increasing the use of virtual care tools.
Q: Will I lose my doctor?
A: No. You can be confident that you will continue to receive care from your health care providers and can get care either in or out of your Ontario Health Team.
Ontario Health Teams will be formed through an ongoing process over several years. In the future, you will have easier access to services and be better supported as you move from one health care provider or setting to another.
For more information, visit Ontario’s Ministry of Health website.