Ontario's Wait Time Information System Garners Top Award in Innovation Management



    TORONTO, Sept. 7 /CNW/ - Cancer Care Ontario has received the prestigious
gold award for Innovation Management from the Institute of Public
Administration of Canada (IPAC) for developing and deploying a Wait Time
Information System (WTIS), a critical component of Ontario's Wait Time
Strategy.
    "Ontario has moved from being a laggard to being a leader in the field of
wait time information management," said Dr. Alan Hudson, Lead, Wait Time
Strategy and Access to Services. "The Wait Time Information System is a
critical part of Ontario's strategy to reduce wait times and more than
250,000 Ontarians will benefit annually from its ability to track and share
the most timely and accurate information."
    The 2007 IPAC awards focused on New Service Breakthroughs with Technology
and celebrated and encouraged innovative managerial initiatives in public
administration. The Wait Time Information System was selected from
53 nominations from across the country for exceptional management in public
administration.
    "It is extremely rewarding to be recognized on a national scale for the
Wait Time Information System," said Sarah Kramer, Lead for the Wait Time
Information Management Strategy and VP and CIO for Cancer Care Ontario. "This
award acknowledges the Ontario government's steadfast commitment to report to
the public on the performance of the health care system and reflects the
combined efforts of hospitals, health care professionals and various public
and private sector partners across the province."
    In less than two years, Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) has delivered two
province-wide systems that are now transforming Ontario's health system. The
WTIS is the first provincial system to capture accurate and timely wait time
data. CCO also concurrently implemented Ontario's Client Registry/Enterprise
Master Patient Index (EMPI) to support the WTIS in accurately identifying
patients within and across hospitals. Ontario's Client Registry/EMPI sets a
foundation for an electronic health record and will be used for other local
and provincial e-Health initiatives in the future.
    As of June 2007, staff from 81 Ontario hospitals and 1,700 surgeons'
offices, are using the WTIS and Ontario's Client Registry/EMPI to improve
access to care. Today in Ontario wait time data for cancer surgery, cataract
surgery, cardiac surgery, hip and knee replacement surgery, and MRI and CT
scans are being captured in near real-time and reported publicly through the
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's website www.ontariowaittimes.com.
    Clinicians and patients now have better information for decision-making
and the public has access to information to hold government and other health
care leaders accountable for wait times. Initially developed to capture
information in five key areas, CCO has been mandated by the government to lead
the expansion of the WTIS. Beginning spring 2008, the WTIS will be expanded to
include all surgical procedures for adults and paediatrics by end of March
2009.

    Wait Time Information System (WTIS) and Ontario's Client Registry/
    Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI)

    The WTIS is a provincial, patient-centred system that provides timely and
accurate reporting of wait times to the public from hospitals. The WTIS helps
clinicians, administrators and health system managers better monitor and
manage access to health care services. Ontario's Client Registry/EMPI is the
largest patient/client registry in Canada, containing more than 48 million
records and information from 62 sources including hospitals, other health care
organizations and the WTIS.

    The Wait Time Strategy

    Ontario's Wait Time Strategy is designed to reduce wait times by
improving access to health care services for adult Ontarians in five key
areas. The Strategy will result in a comprehensive, patient-centred surgical
care system that monitors and manages wait times, and makes wait time
information available to the public and providers.

    Cancer Care Ontario

    Cancer Care Ontario is the provincial agency that steers and coordinates
Ontario's cancer services and prevention efforts so that fewer people get
cancer and patients receive the highest quality of care. As a recognized
leader in provincial systems implementation, CCO, under the direction of Sarah
Kramer, was asked by Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in 2004
to manage the development and deployment of the provincial Wait Time
Information System.




For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Lisa West, Cancer Care Ontario,
(416) 971-9800 ext. 3130 or email at lisa.west@cancercare.on.ca


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