Ontario Health Teams
A new integrated health-care delivery system.
Ontario doctors are critical to the success of Ontario Health Teams. The OMA believes that for Ontario Health Teams to be successful, they must be physician-led and recommends physicians get involved in the early stages of development. Evidence shows that physician leadership helps foster broader physician engagement and support for change.
The OMA has collaborated with system stakeholders to create tools and resources to support physician engagement and leadership in this new health-care model.
Physician leadership is key to the success of Ontario Health Teams. While physician participation is voluntary, the OMA encourages both primary care physicians and specialists to contribute to the development of this new integrated health-care system in their regions.
Ontario Health Teams have the potential to significantly ease the administrative burden on physicians allowing for more time with patients. Ontario Health Teams can strengthen relationships among other physicians and providers in a specific geographic area.
This can lead to:
- Seamless co-ordination of care
- Improved work experience
- Stronger relationships and improved communication
- Unified physician voice
- Learning opportunities
- Access to patients’ Electronic Health Records (EHR)
OHTs will improve your work experience through better integration among care providers, leading to stronger connections and more co-ordinated care. Read about the benefits of OHTs for family doctors.
Watch family doctors discuss the benefits of Ontario Health Teams
OHTs will support more accurate referrals the first time, with the right information and more seamless co-ordination, which leads to shorter wait times. Read about the benefits of OHTs for specialists.
Family doctors and specialists
OHTs will help you develop stronger relationships with your peers. The built-in physician networks ensure physicians have a unified voice in the delivery of care. Read about the benefits of OHTs for family doctors and specialists.
“It’s a great opportunity to get the people around the table—family doctors and other specialists—and talk about how we could better serve the patients in our community and how we could better interact together.” —Dr. Robert McKelvie, cardiologist Western OHT
The OMA provides support to local physician leaders or non-physician leaders in Ontario Health Teams to help guide engagement with physicians in your region. You have access to a suite of practical tools, tactics and strategies on furthering physician engagement as well as resources to support digital health planning.
The following resources will help you create plans and find effective ways to foster meaningful participation from family doctors and other specialists in your OHT, as early in its development as possible:
Read about the lessons learned from local physician leaders:
- Dr. Kim Morrison shares her vision for a successful OHT
- The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative with Dr. Amy Catania
- North York Toronto Health Partners with Dr. Rebecca Stoller
The OMA recommends local physicians form physician associations or networks. Physician associations establish a unified voice that influences local decision-making and represent physicians’ perspectives at leadership tables. They enhance information sharing and foster strong relationships among physicians in the region to support changes in health-care delivery.
The following resources will help guide you on how to form a physician association:
- Overview of physician associations (PDF)
- Why sign an OHT physician association agreement (PDF)
- Annotated physician association agreement (PDF)
- Formatted physician association agreement template (docx)
- Terms of reference OHT interim physician working group (PDF)
Many Ontario Health Teams will have a governance model that includes representation from providers, administrators and other partners. Governance members influence how Ontario Health Teams develop and operate, which have a direct impact on local health care delivery.
Including physicians at the leadership table is important for the success of Ontario Health Teams. Use these templates to guide your Ontario Health Team to ensure appropriate physician (or partner) representation:
The Ontario government introduced one of the largest reforms to the provincial health system through the Connecting Care Act, 2019. Through Ontario Health Teams, care will be delivered in a more connected way by integrating interprofessional health-care providers (including primary care, acute care and mental health). This will lead to more seamless and co-ordinated patient-centred care.
The development of Ontario Health Teams is aligned with the ‘Quadruple Aim’ which improves:
- Patient and caregiver experience
- Patient and population health outcomes
- Provider work-life experience
- Value (reducing the per capita cost of health care)
OntarioMD supports clinicians working in Ontario Health Teams using certified electronic medical records (EMRs), virtual care tools, and digital health tools identified in the Digital First for Health playbook.