Progress on CorHealth Ontario’s Information and Digital Strategy
In the June issue of CorHealth Quality, CorHealth Ontario introduced its Information and Digital Strategy.
The goals of the strategy are to transform our approach to how we collect, manage, report and make
accessible health care data to drive system improvement. Through the implementation of the strategy,
stakeholders should experience a reduction in data collection burden and an enhanced value in CorHealth
Ontario data and reporting on performance and patient outcomes.
A key priority in 2018/19 was to further define CorHealth Ontario’s baseline data and reporting needs across
the cardiac, stroke and vascular clinical domains, and to make recommendations on how CorHealth Ontario can
reduce its data burden on hospitals. Three Measurement and Reporting Task Groups were formed across the
cardiac surgery, stroke and vascular clinical domains, and Dr. Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Dean of the Dalla
Lana School of Public Health, was formally engaged to provide leadership and advice throughout the process.
Summary of Key Findings and Recommendations
In the current Ontario landscape, there is a strong recognition around the value and importance of reporting
on clinical outcomes and performance to drive health system improvement. There is however, also the
recognition that the volume of current reporting at the hospital and system level has led to confusion, lack
of focus, and data overload. As shown in Figure 1, the current state of reporting by
across cardiac surgery, stroke and vascular care presents clear opportunities to enhance the value of our
reporting and decrease the data burden on hospitals.
Through the work of the Task Groups and advice from Dr. Steini Brown, CorHealth Ontario further refined its
purpose and focus for reporting. As presented in Figure 2, CorHealth Ontario’s focus will
be on publicly
reporting on a small number of key outcome and performance metrics across our clinical areas to monitor
health system performance. Additional metrics will also be reported, as needed, directly to health service
providers and regions. These metrics will focus on key driver and process indicators that should be measured
consistently across the province to enable quality improvement efforts. CorHealth Ontario will not directly
collect or report on additional data or metrics to support clinical operations or locally driven quality
improvement initiatives within regions or health service providers.
After thoughtful discussion and input from the three Task Groups, specific reporting recommendations were
developed for cardiac surgery, stroke and vascular care (specifically aortic aneurysm and lower extremity
occlusive disease). These recommendations are summarized in Figure 3. It can be noted that,
fewer indicators have been selected for provincial-level monitoring, and it is recommended that a more
robust and formalized reporting and review cycle will be established to support the use and interpretation
of the reports in all three clinical domains.
The Task Groups also had robust discussions around the importance of sound risk adjustment, data quality and
possible data sources. After careful evaluation and thoughtful discussion with the Task Groups, CorHealth
has decided to discontinue the provincial data collection highlighted in Figure 4. Two
in CorHealth Ontario’s Information and Digital Strategy guided this decision:
CorHealth Ontario’s commitment to understand the purpose of the data it collects and to stop
collecting data that is not aligned with CorHealth Ontario’s purpose and mandate
CorHealth Ontario’s commitment to not duplicate data collection when another source can reasonably be
used to support its data and reporting needs
Next Steps: Implementation
The above recommendations were approved by CorHealth Ontario’s Clinical Advisory Committee and Board. They
were also endorsed by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. CorHealth Ontario is in the process of
planning and initiating the implementation of these recommendations and expect that most of them will be in
place by the end of 2019/20.