31 Teams Invited to Submit Full Applications to Become Ontario Health Teams

In February 2019, Ontario's Minister of Health announced a broad health system transformation and the development of Ontario Health Teams.  Health service providers (organizations) were invited to partner in collaboration to create local/regional teams called Ontario Health Teams to work together to provide coordinated, integrated care or, to address a specific patient population or focus of care, across the continuum of care.  This will enable providers to work as a coordinated Team as one unit, breaking down siloed boundaries and delivering “connected care” that best manages transitions in a patient’s health care journey.

Expressions of interest and initial applications were invited by May 15, 2019.  150 applications were received from across the province.  Of these 31 Teams have been identified to progress to the submission of full applications to become Ontario Health Teams and 41 were identified to be in development.  View listing of Teams identified to progress.

For more background on Ontario Health Teams and implications for occupational therapists view OSOT posting and monitor the Ministry of Health's Connected Care webpages.

Implications for Occupational Therapists
OSOT encourages members to actively monitor their organization's participation in an Ontario Health Team.

  • OSOT and occupational therapists have long advocated for better integrated care across siloed systems (primary care, hospitals, home care, long-term care, etc.).  A truly integrated system without funding silos would more effectively enable professions/professionals to work across transitions…..a space where OTs have a great deal to offer!
  • We believe the proposed new structure will provide incentive and opportunity for occupational therapists to think about the journey of their patients across the system and to think about how  occupational therapists could/should support them throughout that journey
  • Hospitals, home care providers, long-term care homes, etc. in which OTs are engaged may already be mobilizing to complete self assessments with a goal to proposing partnerships.  OTs should engage with their organization administration to ascertain any plans.  Being aware can support opportunities for input, engagement and promoting the important roles that occupational therapists can play across a system of care.
  • This will be a time of real transition and innovative thinking – opportunity to consider new ways of delivering service, proposing new program models, etc.

5 things every OT working in the public health care system should do…..
  1. Familiarize yourself with information about Ontario Health and proposed Ontario Health Teams – OSOT can help!  View the Ministry webcasts, sign up to receive ongoing MOHLTC updates.  Watch for OSOT updates in emails and on the website.  We can all participate best and contribute to a change agenda when we are well informed!

  2. Talk to your program leads, managers, PPLs, administrators to learn about how your organization is reacting/organizing around this system restructuring - what might be the opportunities for Ontario Health Teams in your region for your organization?  Keeping apprised of your organization's strategic direction and interests enables you and your OT colleagues to best position OT services to complement desired directions.

  3. Think outside the box – chat with colleagues….how could OT services contribute to best management of your clients’ needs across a more integrated system.  This can help you be ready, inspired… to contribute to discussions/proposal development, etc in your organization.  Have fun thinking about what you or the profession could do if not fettered by the walls of existing organizational structures.  How can OT contribute to the Ministry's vision for "Connected Care"?

  4. Look to the evidence…are  you aware of initiatives in other jurisdictions that are impacting outcomes, efficiencies, etc. – let us know your questions, we’ll share what we have!

  5. Promote Occupational Therapy!  This is a terrific time to be underlining the tremendous value an OT can bring to managing transitions across components of the health system.  What better time to have your organization and the stakeholders who may become Ontario Health Team partners understand what OT is and the value we can bring to the clients you serve!  This is our opportunity!  Need resources?  Check out the professional promotion resources on website.

How about one more thing?!  Send your questions and updates of issues and developments in your region to OSOT….understanding what you are hearing, not hearing, being asked to address, etc. helps OSOT to better support you and OTs across the province.