To access high quality health care, you have to know what’s available and where to go to get it. Thehealthline.ca Information Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping consumers and providers access and navigate the complex healthcare system, while also helping managers and planners improve efficiency, access and quality. The Network does this in partnership with Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks, supporting their mandate by maintaining service information and sharing it with consumers and providers in a variety of ways.
For more than 15 years, thehealthline.ca Information Network has been working side by side with the LHINs and our other partners in health care. In this report you’ll read about some of the projects we completed in 2017-2018. They reflect our strengths in collaborating with partners and using technology to develop innovative solutions.
At the heart of our enterprise is thehealthline.ca, a province-wide web portal and 14 regional sites. Thehealthline.ca is accurate, up to date, and easy to use, and traffic has continued to build, reaching more than 16 million page views this year.
We wish to express our appreciation to the staff of thehealthline.ca -- women and men who are passionate, innovative, and skilled. We also thank our fellow board members, who generously provide their expertise and ideas as volunteers. It is an honor to work with such a committed group. Our future as Ontario’s digital health information network looks bright.
Glen Kearns Chair
Michael Robbins Executive Director
thehealthline.ca Information Network Board
Glen Kearns, Chair
Integrated Vice President, Diagnostic Services and Chief Information Officer for London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care, in London, Ontario.
Jane Berardini, Secretary-Treasurer
Registered Nurse who works in public health and has taught parenting and health care at the secondary school level.
Strategic consultant and founder of The Strategic Consulting Group
Dr. Indraneel Ghosh
Assistant Clinical Professor with McMaster University, an Emergency Physician with Trillium Health Partners, Chief Medical officer of WholeMed Health, and Associate Medical Director with Generali Global Health Services.
Has held leadership roles in both the private and public sector, including healthcare, financial services, and management consulting. Irene is a CPA, CMA, and CHRL.
Ontario’s digital health and community information network
Through our platforms, we work with partners to improve health and community information systems to connect people to relevant health and community services.
Access – We believe health and community information should be freely available to everyone
Collaboration – We recognize that our partners make us stronger and together we build and sustain our vision
Communication – We start by listening as we engage with others to encourage a robust dialogue of ideas and opinions
Diversity & Respect – Everyone is important and is treated fairly
Influence – We value leadership aligned with our vision, mission and values
Innovation – We pursue solutions, regardless of barriers
Integrity – We deliver on what we commit to with honesty and accountability
Quality – We are committed to identifying and following high standards
Facts and Figures 2017-2018
integrated specialty websites
health and community services
Site Visits 7.6Million 12% increase over 2016-2017
Pages Viewed 16.6Million 5.4% increase over 2016-2017
Natural Language Searches 530,568 14.7% increase over 2016-2017
Specialty Resources Visits 330,620 23% increase over 2016-2017
Visits per Day 20,930 10.9% increase over 2016-2017
Mobile Users 47% 4% increase over 2016-2017
Services Viewed 9.1Million 7.8% increase over 2016-2017
Walk-In Medical Clinics
Long-Term Care Homes
Diagnostic Imaging Clinics
Family Health Teams
In-Home Personal Support
Home Help and Homemaking
Innovating with our Partners
Throughout the year, thehealthline.ca Information Network collaborated with partners across Ontario to find creative solutions to their information needs. The projects reflect the diversity of our stakeholder group and the wide range of our contributions to the healthcare system.
Caring for a family member who is ill or disabled can be a deeply satisfying experience. It can also be isolating and exhausting. Thehealthline.ca Information Network created CaregiverExchange a decade ago to provide a space for caregivers to learn and share together. This year, the website was renewed, and new resources were added.
Thehealthline.ca is a treasure trove of high quality data, listing more than 45,000 services from more than 20,000 healthcare organizations. This year we had an opportunity to share our data through a specialized resource for primary care physicians in Toronto.
When you’re living with a chronic disease or condition, or making the transition from hospital to home, it helps to talk to someone who understands. This year, thehealthline.ca team worked with the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (HNHB) LHIN to improve the tool used by the Information and Referral professionals providing this important service.
Finding your way around the health system can be difficult, especially when you’re dealing with mental health or addiction challenges. That’s why a group of service providers in the Nipissing region worked with thehealthline.ca team to create a unique Service Navigation Guide website.
A key pillar of Ontario’s Patients First Strategy is “delivering better coordinated and integrated care in the community.” One tool that supports this goal is healthchat.ca, an online space where providers can meet and talk. This year healthchat.ca underwent a refresh, making it easier and faster to use.
Thehealthline.ca Information Network began 15 years ago as a local health services website in London and Middlesex County. Since then it has grown into a provincial resource with millions of users, and partners throughout the healthcare system. “Based on the work we’ve done and the relationships we’ve built, we believe that the Network has a lot more to offer,” says Executive Director Michael Robbins. “We embarked on this strategy process to understand more clearly our potential.”
The first step was an environmental scan that explored the Network’s place in Ontario’s health care system, comparable online resources, and emerging technologies. This was followed by interviews with senior staff, stakeholders and board members, and a full-day staff and board “Summit.”
The process uncovered some important concepts. It became clear that the Network is the most trusted source for information about health and community services in Ontario. There was also consensus that the Network must continue to innovate and introduce new technologies, and work to ensure that people understand its role and value in the health system.
Through the process, the Board developed a new vision, Ontario’s digital health and community information network, together with a renewed mission, values, and strategic directions.
Anchored by its core competencies in quality data management, partnerships, collaboration, and system navigation, the Network will pursue two major strategic directions:
Ensure we continue to be a leader in cutting-edge, emerging technologies that will enhance how people get the information they need to stay healthy and well while increasing system efficiencies and adding value
Expand our reach in health system navigation to improve people’s ability to connect to services
“The healthcare world is changing rapidly, and people expect new processes and technologies to help them to access health services,” says Jane Berardini, Secretary-Treasurer with thehealthline.ca Information Network. “We are committed to meeting those needs.” Adds Chair Glen Kearns, “At the end of the day, it’s about providing an outstanding tool for patients, caregivers and providers, and supporting the evolving needs of our health system partners.”
Funding for the operations of thehealthline.ca Information Network comes from stakeholder and client service delivery agreements. Revenue for 2017/18 was $1,795,197 with expenses of $1,699,708.*
*Extracted from audited statements. Copies of audited statements are available from the Executive Director upon request.