Health Quality Ontario's - 2011 Quality Monitor
HQO’s sixth annual report on Ontario’s health system, and first as HQO, identifies significant achievements and challenges in areas such as access to healthcare, chronic disease management and keeping the population healthy. Overall, despite progress across a wide range of indicators, there is room for further improvement.
- Additional international comparisons on patient experience in primary care
- Expanded analysis of hospital infections and adverse events
- Expanded coverage of mental health, including suicide, intentional harm and depression
- Emergency department wait times have improved, but remain well above target for high complexity patients
- Long-term care wait times are still far too high, with the average applicant waiting 3.5 months for placement, but have stopped increasing for the first time since 2005
- One in six people in hospital occupy “alternative level of care” (ALC) beds (i.e., they are in hospital even though they would be better served elsewhere) — this represents a major inefficiency in the system
- A larger percentage of Ontarians have access to a primary care provider, but 6.5% of the province’s population don’t have a family doctor, 3.3% are actively seeking one and half the people who are referred to a specialist wait four weeks or longer for an appointment
- Ontario is getting better at completing a range of surgeries and other procedures within provincially mandated targets, despite increasing demand, but improvement is needed in cancer surgery and MRI wait times
- Heart attack mortality rates and readmissions have decreased, and one-third as many people per capita are admitted to hospital for angina compared to seven years ago
- Diabetes hospital admission rates have decreased by one-quarter, while serious complication rates (within a year) have decreased by nearly one-third compared to seven years ago, but just one-half of people with diabetes benefit from annual eye exams
- Congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) hospitalizations have improved only slightly, and readmission rates for these two conditions have not changed in the past four years
- Smoking and second-hand smoke exposure rates are declining steadily, but nearly one in five Ontarians continue to smoke and people with low incomes or less education are twice as likely to smoke as people with high incomes or a post-secondary education
- Obesity rates have increased and just one-half of Ontarians get enough exercise while fewer than one-half get the recommended five or more servings of fruits or vegetables every day
- Colon cancer screening has improved dramatically over the past four years, but many other types of screening can help the province detect additional diseases sooner, treat them earlier and improve people’s survival rates
- Ontario is still a long way from achieving equitable health outcomes, with the poorest Ontarians 36% more likely to experience a heart attack and 32% more likely be hospitalized as a result of injuries than the richest Ontarians
Sector and disease summaries
Chapter 1 includes a snapshot of key findings for hospitals, primary care, home care and long-term care, as well as brief summaries for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and mental health. Each summary includes questions to ask of leaders or caregivers to prompt self-reflection.
Chapter 1 also includes a new section this year that advocates for improved data in specific areas. Better data means improved reporting, and improved reporting is essential to better care.
Later in the report, in chapter 11, HQO includes LHIN analyses of key differences for each local health integration network (LHIN).
Chapter 12 provides examples of success in eight areas of critical importance to the health system:
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