Become an Ontario Health Team


The Ontario government is building a connected health care system centred around patients, families and caregivers. These changes will strengthen local services, making it easier for patients to navigate the system and transition between providers.

Ontario Health Teams

Ontario Health Teams are being introduced to provide a new way of organizing and delivering care that is more connected to patients in their local communities. Under Ontario Health Teams, health care providers (including hospitals, doctors and home and community care providers) will work as one coordinated team - no matter where they provide care.

Providers and organizations eligible to become an Ontario Health Team include, but are not limited to, those that provide:

  • primary care (including inter-professional primary care and physicians)
  • secondary care (e.g., in-patient and ambulatory medical and surgical services (includes specialist services)
  • home care
  • community support services
  • mental health and addictions services
  • health promotion and disease prevention services
  • rehabilitation and complex care
  • palliative care (e.g., hospice)
  • residential care and short-term transitional care (e.g., in supportive housing, long-term care homes, retirement homes)
  • long-term care home placement
  • emergency health services
  • laboratory and diagnostic services
  • midwifery services, and
  • other social and community services and other services, as needed by the population.

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The 'Siloed Current State' image shows a row of icons representing different health care providers with separate links to a patient icon below portraying that these providers work independent of one another to provide patient care. Under the new 'Ontario Health Teams' image, these same icons are grouped together to represent they will work as one single team to provide care for the patient.

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Important Dates

assessment process Dates
Open call for self-assessments April 3, 2019
Deadline to submit self-assessments May 15, 2019
Selected groups will be invited to submit a full application July 17, 2019
Deadline to submit full applications October 9, 2019
Announce Ontario Health Team Candidates Fall 2019
Deadline for Second Round of Ontario Health Teams self-assessments December 4, 2019

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Ontario Health Team Central Program of Supports

Changing the way care is delivered will take time and dedication from all system partners. Wherever you are in the Readiness Assessment Process, you can use the following resources to get started and improve your readiness to implement the Ontario Health Team model.

The following resources have been developed to support teams on the readiness path.

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Ontario Health Team Readiness Assessment Process

  1. Self-assessment: Interested groups of providers and organizations assess their readiness and begin working to meet key readiness criteria for implementation, by completing and submitting a self-assessment form.

  2. Validating Provider Readiness: Teams who submit self-assessment forms are classified, based on level of readiness, into one of the following categories:

    • Proceed to Full Application – These teams have partners across the continuum of care. They are highly aligned with the model, have a high level of readiness and are well-positioned to complete the full application.
    • To advance to the full application stage, teams need to demonstrate the following:
        • Aligned with the overall goals of the model
        • Ready to meet the ‘Year 1’ expectations for Ontario Health Teams, including primary care capacity
        • Capacity to provide care coordination and integration across sectors
        • A commitment to improve patient experience
        • Have trusting relationships among partners and a commitment to partnering with a wide range of organizations
        • Strong primary care leadership and engagement
        • Offer care within a defined geography reflecting how patients access the full continuum of care
    • In Development – These teams have partners who represent a continuum of care, are committed to the model, and with a bit more work will be well positioned to complete the full application.

    • In Discovery – These health care providers support the model. They are encouraged to expand their partnerships and work with other local providers in alignment with the criteria outlined in the guidance document.
  1. In-person Community Visits: Teams that will be selected for an in-person visit after a successful self-assessment and full application.

  2. Ontario Health Team Candidates: Teams of providers that are ready to implement the Ontario Health Team model after a successful self-assessment, full application and in-person visit.

  3. Designated Ontario Health Teams: Ontario Health Team Candidates that are ready to receive an integrated funding envelope and enter into an Ontario Health Team accountability agreement with the funder can be designated as an Ontario Health Team.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are Ontario Health Teams?

Ontario Health Teams are groups of health care providers and organizations that are clinically and fiscally accountable for delivering a full and coordinated continuum of care to a defined geographic population.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

If you have questions about Ontario Health Teams or the Readiness Assessment process, please email ontariohealthteams@ontario.ca.

When will Ontario Health Teams be announced?

The first wave of Ontario Health Teams Candidates will be identified in the fall of 2019.

Who can become an Ontario Health Team?

Health care providers and organizations eligible to become an Ontario Health Team include, but are not limited to those that provide:

  • primary care (including inter-professional primary care and physicians)
  • secondary care (e.g., in-patient and ambulatory medical and surgical services (includes specialist services)
  • home care
  • community support services
  • mental health and addictions services
  • health promotion and disease prevention services
  • rehabilitation and complex care
  • palliative care (e.g., hospice)
  • residential care and short-term transitional care (e.g., in supportive housing, long-term care homes, retirement homes)
  • long-term care home placement
  • emergency health services
  • laboratory and diagnostic services
  • midwifery services, and
  • other social and community services and other services, as needed by the population.

Will patients continue to have a choice in their care provider?

Yes. When Ontario Health Teams are established, people’s choice of providers would continue.

Patients who are supported by providers who would become part of an Ontario Health Team would not need to sign up or undertake any administrative processes. What they would experience is greater access to care and support from a broader network of other physicians and inter-professional providers, working together as a team to improve their care.

How does a patient become connected with an Ontario Health Team? Will a patient be able to sign up with a team and how will this happen?

Ontarians will continue to access care from their existing care providers. As Ontario Health Teams are created, Ontarians will be provided with information about the benefits of this model. Ontarians will still be able to choose who provides their care. As the province begins this work, Ontarians can be confident that they can continue to contact their health care providers as they always have to access the health care they need.

What will be different for patients?

Improvements in integrated care through Ontario Health Teams will fundamentally change how patients, families, and caregivers experience the health care system. As Ontario Health Teams are formed - and this will be an ongoing process over several years until provincial coverage is achieved - patients will be able to more easily access and navigate the system and be better supported as they transition from one health care provider or setting to another.

For each component of the model, Ontario Health Teams will be expected to meet certain commitments and service delivery expectations for their population after their first year of operations through to maturity.

What will Ontario Health Teams Candidates do differently for patient care/experience and providers’ experience when they start operating in fall 2019?

Patients of early Ontario Health Teams will begin to experience better coordinated, integrated health care that is easier to navigate. For providers, Ontario Health Teams foster local collaboration and enables greater communication and coordination. Providers will be supported to work as one coordinated team - focusing on patients and specific local needs, so people can more easily navigate the system and experience easy and coordinated transitions from one health care provider to another. These teams will have flexibility to redesign how they deliver care to meet the needs of their patients in the most effective way.

Will there be 24/7 support for navigation within early Ontario Health Teams as of fall 2019?  

Teams selected to move forward as Ontario Health Team Candidates will be required to have a confirmed commitment to put in place 24/7 coordination of care and system navigation services for targeted patients and providing navigation supports in place for some segments of the patients they are serving.

What are the key digital components of an Ontario Health Team?

At maturity, Ontario Health Teams will have:

  • The ability to provide patients with digital choices such as virtual care (e.g., telephone, email, virtual visits) and timely digital access to patient health records;
  • The ability to communicate and share information across the network; and
  • The ability to drive performance improvements within and across the network through clinical and data standardization, and advanced analytics and strong information management practices to enable population health management, quality improvement, and outcomes measurement.

Is the ministry requiring a specific governance model?

No. Teams will determine for themselves how to self-organize and what governance structure(s) work best for them, their patients, and their communities. At maturity, Ontario Health Teams will work under a single accountability framework and an integrated funding envelope.

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Learn more about connected care

We will continue adding resources to this page as they become available.

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Contact Us

If you have questions about Ontario Health Teams, email ontariohealthteams@ontario.ca.

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