The Government of Ontario has introduced an online tool intended to improve patient’s experiences.

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins and Chief Digital Officer Hillary Hartley announced the changes today in Toronto. The newly created wait times tool includes; the length of time between a referral received from a family physician or nurse practitioner and the patient’s first appointment with a specialist or surgeon, and the time between the decision on a procedure and the date the procedure is performed. Data is available at a hospital level and the Ontario government believe it will help patients better understand what to expect, which in turn allows them to make more informed decisions about their health care needs. The tool was developed in collaboration with Health Quality Ontario.

During the same press conference the introduction of a new mobile friendly website for medical information was announced. The website has information about a variety of Ontario health services including how to renew health cards, find health services in your community and get dental care for children. Government officials say the website will be altered based on user feedback. They encourage the public to complete their first user survey before September 1st.

The last announcement made by the Minister of Health was that there will be an expansion of the online eReferral system of eight Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN). The Ontario government says eReferral helps reduce wait times because it connects patients to specialists and other health care services in their community faster. The South East LHIN, which covers Brighton to Prescott along the 401 and also stretches North, was selected for expansion.

More information can be found at http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/.