Abstract

[This article was originally published in HealthcarePapers, Volume 7, Number 1.]

The Ontario Wait Time Strategy is a focused initiative to reduce wait times in five key areas. The plan includes key components of successful change management including targets, funding and driving a culture of accountability. Successfully "redesigning" this slice of the healthcare system will, it is anticipated, act as a catalyst for sustainable change throughout the system. In the mind of this observer "from the trenches," the Wait Time Strategy must quickly be followed by a framework that addresses demand pressures from other parts of the system, but more importantly must be clearly aligned with the overall goals of the system - to improve health outcomes and support healthy lives - across the entire continuum of health services, including prevention, primary, community, long-term and acute care. Accountability for appropriateness and evidence-based care must be as significant as accountability for efficiency and volumes.