High-Performing Health Care System

We will collaborate with our members and partners to build a reliable, high-performing health care system with enough health services capacity to serve all Ontarians.

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the limits of our health care system, exacerbating its longstanding gaps, especially for marginalized and vulnerable populations. At the same time, it motivated hospitals and other providers to work together across siloes to put the needs of patients and communities first. This collaboration highlights the importance of a new way forward, one that recognizes our system’s shortfalls and leverages its strengths, welcoming innovation and purposeful change.

In late 2019, the OHA released our landmark report showing that the system was already reaching its limits. While investments since then have begun to build capacity, there is much more to do. Ontario’s health system does not have sufficient capacity to meet the needs of our population, inside or outside of hospitals. As thousands wait in hospital beds for more appropriate care elsewhere, and with our population aged 75+ expected to double in the next 20 years, we must urgently plan to meet growing demand.

Only by improving access to primary care, home and community care, and mental health supports, among others - as well as truly addressing the social determinants of health – can we reduce over-reliance on institutionalization and give patients the care they deserve. The OHA will advance a vision in which the hospital sector serves as an anchor and ally to system partners as we pivot away from an exclusive focus on efficiency and toward increasing capacity across the continuum. We are also committed to enhancing our work in hospital and health system governance, funding and performance, hospital-physician relationships, and other areas where the OHA has specialized knowledge.

Guided by the attributes of a high-performing health care system, we will support the development of a needs-based capacity plan and play a key role in creating a better- connected system for our patients, health workforce, and communities.
Southlake Regional Health Centre staff transports patient in a wheelchair.
PICTURED: Southlake Regional Health Centre staff transports patient.
An indigenous woman holds a feather and stone while performing a smudging ceremony.
PICTURED: Smudging ceremony for staff and attendees during a National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

Indigenous Health

We will work to become a trusted ally of Indigenous communities to address inequities in the health system and foster improved health access and outcomes for Indigenous Peoples.

Implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action is central to reconciliation in health care. The OHA will respond to the calls to address health disparities and support the wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples. We are committed to confronting biases and barriers experienced by Indigenous Peoples. With urgency and compassion, we will invite other organizations across our health system to also do their part toward reconciliation.

We will listen, learn, and reflect as we work to establish respectful relationships with Indigenous communities and leaders.

Through collaboration, the OHA is ready to act, holding ourselves accountable in support of concrete efforts to recognize Indigenous sovereignty over health care and opportunities to improve access, delivery, and outcomes.

We are also committed to building the capacity of our own team, enriching their knowledge and awareness, while encouraging thoughtful engagement in Indigenous health matters. For our members, we will leverage our core services to foster collaboration and learning among hospitals as they pursue their own journeys in Indigenous Health.

Hospital-Enabled Research and Education

We will elevate Ontario’s health system by more deeply integrating hospital-enabled research and education.

Hospital-enabled research and education positively impact health outcomes and health system improvement. Hospitals undertake research that will enable new, life-changing innovations in patient care and prepare us for the future by training and cultivating the next generation of health care professionals.

In 2020, the OHA embedded a focus on academic matters into its core functions to support members in a new way – sector-wide collaboration in health research and education. Over the next few years, this important work will be grounded in forward-thinking, actionable visions:


A fully integrated health research and care delivery system across Ontario that drives sustainable and transformational science, clinical excellence, health equity, and an agile, diverse workforce of scientists and innovators.


Collaborate inside and outside hospital walls to educate and train health professionals that Ontario needs to deliver exceptional patient care and build a high-performing health care system.

Well-integrated and networked research and learning environments across Ontario’s hospitals will support the development of globally influential science and transformative health outcomes. They will also help future health care professionals acquire the knowledge, skills and experiences required to work within new models of care.

A woman swabs a petri dish in a medical laboratory.
PICTURED: Post-doctoral research fellow in a Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower lab at University Health Network.
A student and staff member, wearing masks, collaborate over a laptop.
PICTURED: Staff and student collaboration. Photo courtesy of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

IDS is uniquely positioned to provide curated analysis and insights by collecting and linking standardized data sets in settings such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Home and Community Care
  • Primary Care
  • Community Health Centres
  • Community Mental Health
  • Long-Term Care
  • Emergency Management Services

Integrated Health Data

We will optimize the ways in which health data is shared and used by the health provider community to enable collaboration in support of integrated care solutions for patients.

Building a healthier Ontario requires that health care providers have access to reliable, timely health data across the care continuum. Integrated Decision Support (IDS) is Ontario’s leading collaborative solution for sharing integrated health partner data. Governed by its user community, this highly responsive platform enables informed, system-level collaboration and shared-care analytics in pursuit of improving patient care journeys.

Enabling providers to proactively share data, collaborate, and plan for local community health needs moves us another step closer to building a high-performing, integrated health care system for Ontarians. We will optimize efficiencies for users, channeling our efforts into service delivery and maximizing value by building impactful solutions once, for many.