In January 2016, the RCA will launch a provincial pilot to test a data reporting system for gathering standardized rehabilitative care data across outpatient/ambulatory rehabilitative care clinics.
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The pilot will address a long-standing gap in data collection - a gap that currently prevents clinicians, planners and policy-makers from evaluating the role and value of outpatient/ambulatory rehabilitative care and makes planning and evaluation difficult at the organizational, regional and system level.
The pilot is being conducted in collaboration with health service providers, LHINs, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and will mark the first time in Ontario that comparable, standardized data has been collected across outpatient/ambulatory rehabilitative care clinics.
Across the province, up to 18 hospital-based clinics and seven community-based clinics will begin collecting data in January 2016 using CIHI's National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS) Clinic Lite. NACRS is currently used in emergency departments across the country and has been adapted to include fewer mandatory elements - a "NACRS Clinic Lite" version - to address the needs of ambulatory clinics.
During the pilot, NACRS Clinic Lite will be used to collect data from the Access and Transition and Financial Performance quadrants of the standardized minimum data set (MDS) for outpatient rehabilitative care that the RCA developed during its first mandate (2013-15). A separate mechanism will be used to collect data from the Patient Experience and Functional Impact quadrants.
"The rehabilitation sector has struggled with the lack of ambulatory data for years," says Charissa Levy, RCA Executive Director. "It's exciting and challenging to finally take this on. Other jurisdictions are watching our project with interest."