PMH in Ontario
Pillars of the Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) are being implemented in Ontario through various practice types and across geographic areas. The model that is most similar to the PMH framework is the family health team (FHT) organizational model. FHTs are comprised of a team of family physicians, nurse practitioners, and other health care professionals, to provide community-centred primary care programs and services. Since 2005, 200 FHTs have been serving over 3.5 million enrolled Ontarians across the province. Currently, the Ministry of Health is not funding any new FHTs.
Other interprofessional team-based models in Ontario include nurse practitioner-led clinics, community health centres, and Aboriginal health access centres. A five-year evaluation initiative undertaken by the Conference Board of Canada, released in 2014, demonstrated that despite their young age, FHTs have achieved improvements at the organizational and service-delivery levels. In another study comparing practice models across Ontario, conducted by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, FHTs performed better than other models in cancer screening and diabetes care.
The advent of Ontario health teams (OHTs) is changing how health care is delivered in the province, so that patients receive better integrated care in their community. On June 6, 2019, the Ontario government enacted the Connecting Care Act, 2019, which lays the foundation for creating a new model of health care delivery that puts the patient at the centre of a connected care system through the OHTs. On November 25, 2019, the Honourable Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, initiated a series of announcements about the first of 24 OHTs in diverse communities across Ontario, which will pave the way for a truly integrated health care system.
Throughout this time of change, the Ontario College of Family Physicians continues to reinforce the need to embed PMH principles in the development of OHTs, such as team-based care through family physician leadership, as well as comprehensiveness and continuity. It is encouraging to see that in their June 2019 report, the Premier’s Council reinforced PMHs and primary care messaging, and specifically the need to ensure “effective primary care is the foundation of an integrated healthcare system,” with that foundational care delivered through a medical “home” for patients.
Successful examples of practices operating as a PMH in the province
1261 Beaverbrook Ave
London ON N6H 0G6
25 Tapiola Crescent
Ottawa ON K1T2J7
88 Harwood Avenue South
Ajax ON L1S 2H6
Ready to get started? A tool kit for your province can be located here.