On July 1, 2009, all acute and post-acute hospitals in Ontario will begin using the standardized Provincial Alternate Level of Care (ALC) Definition to designate patients as ALC. Achieving this critical step towards collecting consistent ALC data was made possible only through the collaboration and support of healthcare stakeholders from across the province. Starting in July, the Wait Time Information Program (WTIP) at Cancer Care Ontario will begin planning activities to support the capture of ALC data. These activities will occur in a number of phases, with initial data being reported by the end of the calendar year. Soon, high quality and timely ALC data, which is comparable across the province, will be available to support ongoing efforts to improve patient flow, reduce Emergency Room wait times, and inform decisions regarding the allocation of resources to hospitals and communities. Additional information regarding the collection and reporting of ALC data will be available in the very near future.

At this time, all acute and post-acute hospitals are encouraged to continue refining their existing processes to ensure the consistent application of the definition. For any questions regarding the definition and its application, please email ALCDefinition@cancercare.on.ca.