Time to act: Ontario report will highlight the need for better use of digitized health data

June 16, 2015

The Ontario Personalized Medicine Network (OPMN) is nearing the final stages of preparing the report “Data for Healthcare, Research, Policy and Innovation.” The report highlights the fact that Ontario is at an important juncture in its ability to exploit the rapidly expanding pool of digitized health and other types of information for better care of its citizens. Since our most recent OPMN communication a draft report has been completed highlighting the need for access to high quality health and health-related data by a spectrum of stakeholders. This report is a consensus vision for action based on input from the Data for Health Advisory Group as well as broad stakeholder consultations held over the past year. The advisory group is now reviewing the draft report.

This report is intended for stakeholders in the Ontario health landscape including but not limited to patient representatives, data custodians and data stewards, clinicians, researchers, policy makers, funders and technology developers. The purpose of this document is to initiate a process to develop a comprehensive plan for coordination of data-related efforts across the Ontario health system. The ultimate goal is to enable the province to deliver the best healthcare to its citizens, be a globally-recognized leader in medical research and derive maximal economic benefits from its data assets.

This report:

  • Catalogs important health and health-related data assets and challenges to their use across the realms of care, policy, research and innovation
  • Presents a consensus vision for use of data in the health system to benefit all stakeholders
  • Identifies Ontario stakeholders and various initiatives that are working (often in isolation) to bring this vision to life
  • Recommends next steps for aligning these activities

The final report will be released by Fall, 2015.

By: Kathryn Deuchars, Director, Ontario Personalized Medicine Network