Evolving Ontario Health Teams

Recommendations for successful development and implementation of Ontario Health Teams.

The move to integrated care by way of Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) represents some of the most rapidly evolving health-system reform that Ontario has experienced in more than a decade. As COVID-19 continues to place pressure on the health-care system, the OMA is recommending that lessons learned from the pandemic should influence the ongoing development of OHTs.

The white paper, Early Learnings and Recommendations for the Evolution of OHTs, prepared by the OMA, focuses on what is required for OHTs to succeed and how COVID-19 should inform their future development. The recommendations are based on evidence and experiences from other jurisdictions and lessons learned.

The OMA paper says that COVID-19 highlighted:

  • the popularity of virtual health-care, which should be expanded permanently; however, virtual care cannot replace in-person care, which is required for such services as immunizations
  • the importance of real-time access to a sharing of patient information across primary, acute and long-term care and community and social services to increase efficiency in the delivery of care
  • the need for OHTs to be supported with appropriate infrastructure, digital health tools,  administration and funding
  • the importance of physician leadership to the success of OHTs