New proposed regulation under the Excellent Care for All Act, 2010: Strengthening the Patient Relations Process in Ontario's health care organizations
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Excellent Care for All Act, 2010
Summary of Decision:
Based on feedback received through consultations, the proposal was approved with the following revisions:
- Inclusion of a definition of "caregiver" for the purposes of the regulation
- Acknowledgement of anonymous complaints
- Clarification of data collection related to the resolution of complaints
- Clarification of the meaning of patient to include former patients and substitute decision-makers.
March 24, 2014
Summary of Proposal:
On June 8, 2010 the Excellent Care for All Act, 2010 (ECFAA) came into force. The principles of ECFAA place patients first by strengthening the health care system's organizational focus and accountability for delivering high quality patient care. ECFAA helps define quality for the health care sector, reinforces responsibility for quality of care, builds and supports boards' capability to drive quality of care, and increases publicly available information on health care organization's commitment to quality.
ECFAA requires each health care organization to have in place a patient relations process that reflects the organization's patient declaration of values.
As of this writing, the requirements under ECFAA apply to hospitals as defined by the Public Hospitals Act.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) is proposing to make a Minister's regulation under ECFAA that is intended to strengthen patient relations in Ontario's health care organizations.
Related to the patient relations process, the regulation would:
1) Require each health care organization to have practices in place for handling patient complaints as part of the organization's overall patient relations process. As part of these practices, health care organizations would be required to
- have processes in place for reviewing and resolving complaints made by patients and caregivers
- record, monitor, and analyze key information about each complaint, including the name of the person who made the complaint, the date the complaint was made, the subject matter, whether the complaint was resolved, and if so, when and how the complaint was resolved
- inform the person who made the complaint of its review status, within five days of the date the complaint was made and whenever the person who made the complaint reasonably requests further information
2) Require each health care organization to designate an individual as its patient relations process delegate and to make that individual's contact information available to the public. This individual would be responsible for
- overseeing the patient relations process
- presenting aggregate data related to the organization's patient relations process to the organization's quality committee at least twice a year
3) Require patient engagement in designing, reviewing, and maintaining an organization's patient relations process.
The MOHLTC is seeking comments on the proposed regulation. All comments received during the consultation period will be considered. Content of final regulations are at the discretion of the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, who may make changes as appropriate.
Health Quality Branch
Negotiations and Accountability Management Division
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
80 Grosvenor Street, Hepburn Block, 5th Floor Toronto ON M7A 1R3
September 1, 2015