Ontario has launched a new online tool to help people find wait times information for surgeries and procedures at hospitals across the province, and is providing more digital tools to help improve the patient experience.
The ministers of Health and Long-Term Care, and the Chief Digital Officer has announced several digital tools for patients, including:
- Enhanced wait times information: developed in collaboration with Health Quality Ontario (HQO), the new, easy-to-use wait times tool now includes the length of time between a referral received from a family physician or nurse practitioner and the patient's first appointment with a specialist or surgeon, in addition to the time between the decision on a procedure and the date the procedure is performed. Data is available down to the hospital-level, and will help patients better understand what to expect and allow them to make more informed choices about their health care needs, including being able to talk with the referring physician about options to reduce their wait times.
- Ontario.ca/health: a user-focused, mobile-friendly and trusted source for information about a wide variety of health services in Ontario, including how to renew health cards, find health services in your community and get dental care for children. The website will be continually refined based on users' experience and feedback. People are invited to complete the first user survey before Sept. 1, 2017.
- Expansion of the online eReferral system in Waterloo-Wellington Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and seven more LHINs. eReferral helps reduce wait times by connecting patients and primary care providers to specialists and other health care services in their community faster.
The province is continuing to develop other electronic tools that are increasing access to care for people, such as an electronic version of the immunization card and digital self-care and virtual home visits.