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Ontario Ministry of Health: Ontario Investing to Reduce Surgical Wait Times in Eastern Ontario


This news release was written by the Ontario Ministry of Health. Published November 25, 2022. To access the original article, click here.

Made-in-Ontario innovation will help reduce surgical backlog, meaning shorter wait times for patients.

OTTAWA — The Ontario government is funding the implementation of a new, innovative software across hospitals in Eastern Ontario that will help reduce surgical backlogs in the region.

This innovative first-in-Ontario surgical waitlist HUB, built by Novari Health, consolidates patients waiting for surgery into a real-time regional wait list system using interactive mapping and analytics tools. The HUB, which will improve the coordination of surgical services between hospitals in Eastern Ontario, means patients may be able to receive their surgery sooner at a different hospital. In addition to this regional HUB, technology built by Ontario Health will also improve waitlist management across the province.

“Integrating this made-in-Ontario software in hospitals across Eastern Ontario will mean shorter wait times for patients awaiting surgery and a more efficient use of hospital resources,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This is an excellent example of the innovation we are calling for, all with the goal of improving our health system and creating a better experience for the patient.”

The software, in collaboration with hospitals across the region – will integrate with existing hospital IT systems to gain an overall picture of backlogs, speed up wait times and help identify bottlenecks at various stages of the surgical process.

Quick Facts

All region hospitals that perform adult surgeries will be included in the Champlain Centralized Regional Surgical Waitlist Management “HUB” initiative. Hospitals and their individual surgical wait lists are being onboarded in phases.

The initial phase included Hôpital Montfort, Queensway Carleton Hospital and Cornwall Community Hospital.

In the coming weeks, The Ottawa Hospital and Hawkesbury & District General Hospital will be onboarded. Once these hospitals are live on the system, they will be joined by:

  • Almonte General Hospital
  • Arnprior and District Memorial Hospital
  • Carleton Place and District Memorial
  • Deep River and District Hospital
  • Glengarry Memorial Hospital
  • Kemptville District Hospital
  • Ottawa Heart Institute
  • Pembroke Regional Hospital
  • Renfrew Victoria Hospital
  • Winchester District Memorial Hospital

Through the provincial Centralized Waitlist Management (CWM) program, Ontario has provided funding to hospitals across the Ottawa region since 2020-21 to support a complex, multiyear transformation initiative aimed at establishing a regional central intake, with an initial focus on endoscopy. The region’s implementation of the Novari platform is one component of that broader regional initiative.

The CWM program was established in 2020-21 as part of provincial surgical recovery efforts arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Investments in the CWM program are providing funding for regionally led projects across the province that support enhanced load balancing of surgical cases and reductions in patient wait times, as well as for Ontario Health’s development of the technical infrastructure required to support centralized waitlist management at the provincial level.

The HUB enabling technology is being provided by Kingston Ontario based Novari Health, a digital health company focusing on systems that improve access to care.
Ontario is investing over $300 million in 2022–23 as part of the province’s surgical recovery strategy, bringing the total investment to approximately $880 million over the last three fiscal years.

“The Novari Health team is tremendously proud to launch the Centralized Regional Surgical Wait List Management HUB today in Eastern Ontario. This ground-breaking technology provides the hospitals with the tools they need to coordinate surgical services in real time within the region, all while supporting better patient outcomes while tackling the surgical backlog. Novari Health thanks the Ontario Government for funding this made-in-Ontario technology. ” – John Sinclair, President, Novari Health

“QCH took a lead in this project because we recognize how important it is to create a complete, real-time view of surgical demand – and capacity – across the region. By working together and using real-time data, we can improve patients’ access to surgeries and procedures. Surgical backlogs grew during the pandemic, so we need to look towards new tools and processes to tackle the challenge.” – Dr. Andrew Falconer, President & CEO, Queensway Carleton Hospital

“Montfort has worked tirelessly at maximizing patient access to much needed surgical procedures. Working with Novari and other care providers, the Hub will create better outcomes for patients waiting for surgeries, better use of hospital resources, and a smarter, data-driven, and coordinated approach to address the surgical backlog in our region.” – Dr. Bernard Leduc, President & CEO, Hôpital Montfort

“The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) is always thinking about the advancement of health care and how to improve patient care. We are committed to providing each patient with the care, service and compassion they would want for their loved ones, and are always looking for opportunities to collaborate with regional health partners. The Centralized Regional Surgical Wait List Management HUB will allow us to deliver surgical services to patients and address ongoing pandemic pressures. This system of partnerships will facilitate seamless communication between hospitals while we continue to deliver high-quality patient care.” Suzanne Madore Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Executive, The Ottawa Hospital

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