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Ontarians experience better health care than in other provinces: report


April 19, 2015
By Canadian Chiropractor Staff

A new report released by Health Quality Ontario (HQO) indicates older patients in Ontario have better health-care experience compared to people in other provinces and in other countries.

Ontarians aged 55 and older often experience top-rated coordination of their health care, as well as communication with their health-care providers, according to Experiencing Integrated Care, the latest report from HQO, the provincial advisor on health-care quality.

The report is based on the 2014 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults. It found that 82 per cent of Ontario respondents said their regular care provider helps coordinate their health care by making appointments with other providers. This result ranks Ontario among the best in Canada and on par with other top-performing countries.

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The report also uncovered areas where Ontario could improve. For example, 75 per cent of respondents in Ontario who had been hospitalized said they received written information about what to do and what symptoms to watch for when they got home, compared to 89 per cent in the U.S. and 87 per cent in New Zealand – the top-performing countries.

Experiencing Integrated Care offers patients’ perspectives on key touch-points where patients are in transition from one health-care provider to another and therefore, where care coordination and communication is needed, such as during a health-care visit, between appointments or after a stay in hospital. These aspects of integrated care are important measures of how well our health system is performing, HQO stated in a press release.

Other report highlights about how Ontarians experience well-coordinated care include:
• 81 per cent of respondents in Ontario said that after a hospital stay, the hospital made sure they had follow-up care when they got home – on par with other provinces and top-performing countries.

• 90 per cent of Ontario respondents knew whom to contact when they left hospital if they had a question about their treatment, a result that ranked the province on par with most other provinces on this measure, and better than four countries in the survey and on par with the rest.

The HQO reported cited other areas that Ontario could improve upon.
Ten per cent of respondents in Ontario said there was a time in the past two years when a specialist doctor did not have basic medical information or test results at an appointment. In France, three per cent of respondents said that was the case and in the Netherlands five per cent reported that challenge.

Among Ontario respondents aged 55 and older with chronic conditions, 63 per cent said they have access to someone who can help with medical questions between visits. In the United States and the Netherlands, 79 per cent said there is a health-care professional they can easily contact for information or advice between visits to the doctor.

“Some of the highest risks to quality care occur during the hand-offs as patients move from one care provider to another,” said Dr. Joshua Tepper, president and CEO of HQO. “When the various parts of the health system work well together, patients and their care providers have the information they need to make informed decisions. Better transitions lead to a higher quality of care.”

To access the full report, visit hqontario.ca.

The 2014 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults was conducted among a random sample of the general population aged 55 years and older in 11 countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. For the Canadian portion of the survey, interviews were conducted between March 4 and May 28, 2014, in both official languages. A total of 25,530 people participated in the survey, including 1,502 in Ontario. The Canadian sample was 5,269.


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