What is ConnectingOntario?
ConnectingOntario is integrating electronic patient information from across the care continuum and making it available at the point-of-care to improve the patient and clinician experience. The program leverages and builds on existing local, regional and provincial investments. It also delivers robust, scalable and re-usable building blocks to exchange clinical data across the region and accelerate the delivery.
What organizations are currently using the viewer and what information is available?
Who will benefit from the program?
The program, when fully implemented, will provide better access to information for approximately 750 health care organizations and associated clinicians, resulting in better care for 6.75 million residents in the region or 50 per cent of Ontario’s population*. With reliable and secure access to patient health information at the point-of-care:
- Patients will receive better, more timely and more coordinated care
- Clinicians will be able to initiate more timely treatment, improve productivity and better collaborate with peers
- Health care organizations will be able to make the best use of their investments and resources to improve efficiency and capacity
- Our health care system and the public will see improvements in coordination of services and capacity
*Ontario Populations Projections Update, Ministry of Finance
What are the program milestones?
ConnectingOntario is a multi-year program with the following key milestones:
- Early adopter limited production release – clinicians selected to test key functionality and assess workflow prior to full clinical rollout
- Early adopter full go-live in 2015– all early adopter sites implemented; sharing data across the region and identifying lessons learned for future expansion
- Expansion – expand to include additional health care organizations and their associated clinicians, incrementally increase the volume and type of data available
What does the program deliver?
The program supports eHealth Ontario’s clinical priorities and provides the foundation to securely and seamlessly exchange clinical data throughout the region. It delivers robust, scalable and re-usable components, while advancing the development of electronic health records. The program:
- Identifies and collects priority data – clinical data repository (CDR) stores data from existing databases and registries
- Provides the ability to exchange information – health integration access layer (HIAL) integrates and securely shares clinical data from multiple sources
- Provides access to information – access options, such as a provider portal or direct integration, allows clinicians to seamlessly access patient information online
As an early advocate of key ehealth concepts and technologies, the program also provides valuable lessons learned that can be leveraged by other integration initiatives.
How does the program align with local, regional and provincial initiatives?
Central Ontario Electronic Health Systems Council is facilitating the coordination and alignment of ehealth projects and activities across the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). It also ensures program alignment with LHIN integrated health service plans. This advisory group is comprised of Central Ontario LHIN CEOs, eHealth leads and representatives from eHealth Ontario.
How does the program support the broader eHealth Ontario strategy?
Working with LHINs and health service providers, eHealth Ontario is responsible for implementing the province’s ehealth agenda and delivering solutions to enable Ontario’s electronic health records.
Jointly funded by eHealth Ontario, through eHealth Ontario’s integration services program and Canada Health Infoway, the program is delivering the following robust, scalable and re-usable components:
- Clinical data repository
- Health information access layer
- Provider portal
These components align with Ontario’s ehealth blueprint. They provide the foundation to securely and seamlessly exchange clinical data in the region, as well as advance the development of electronic health records. As an early advocate of key ehealth concepts and technologies, the program will also provide valuable lessons learned that can be leveraged by other integration initiatives.
What organizations are in scope for the program?
The program will eventually benefit all health care service providers and their clinicians in central Ontario. The approximately 750 health care providers can be broken down as follows:
- Six community care access centres
- 295 community support services
- 31 community health centres
- 52 hospitals (acute, complex continuing care and rehabilitation)
- 229 long-term care facilities
- 172 mental health and addiction service providers
- Individual practitioners
What does the program mean for investments made in local information sources (e.g., hospital information system and electronic medical records)?
The program provides options for clinicians to access health information that complements existing workflows. Acting as a central hub for electronic patient data, it links and broadens the reach of the numerous ehealth initiatives or point-of-care applications currently being used or in development. The ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer leverages existing investments rather than replacing them.
What is the program's role in the Ontario laboratories information system (OLIS)?
The ConnectingOntario solution does not store the OLIS data in its data repository; it provides a connection to the OLIS data to enable users to view the information.
What is a health information access layer?
The health information access layer is the EHR’s connected backbone. It links the applications, integration engines and data repositories from across the region to form an integrated system. It provides a set of communication and integration services, as well as business process orchestration and rules.
What is the clinical viewer?
The viewer is a browser-based tool that will allow authorized individuals to access data online. The viewer provides a single point of access to clinicians across the continuum of care in the region, as well as provides the ability for clinicians to communicate and collaborate with one another.
How can my organization get involved?
For more information, contact Connecting.Ontario@ehealthontario.on.ca.