Dear Colleagues,

April 1, 2013 marks the launch of an exciting new initiative at UHN – the Health Equity Data Collection project.

The Toronto Central (TC) LHIN is interested in better understanding the needs of various populations within Toronto. Over the past three years, CAMH, Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Michael's Hospital ("Tri-Hospital") and Toronto Public Health have developed and tested a questionnaire to improve the collection of patient demographic data. Examples of this enhanced demographic data include information such as income, ethnicity and sexual identity.

Starting in April, 18 TC LHIN hospitals, including UHN, will begin using the same tool to collect demographic data from patients on a pilot basis. A special thank you to Ambulatory Transplant at Toronto General and Cardiac Rehab at Toronto Rehab and Toronto Western for their leadership in piloting the project at UHN. Patients in these programs will be invited to provide the enhanced demographic data. This is a voluntary project - patients who decline to participate will continue to receive the high quality care already provided at UHN. Lessons learned from the pilot projects will be invaluable when we expand health equity data collection to the rest of UHN in the years to come.

This project will help us achieve one of our five-year milestones: Improved measurement of health equity within our clinical programs. Ultimately, the data will help enable a deeper understanding of the needs of our patients, will ensure different populations are given equal access to care and enable evidenced-based quality improvement strategies where inequalities exist.

The Health Equity Data Collection project is being launched by the Health Equity Steering Committee, chaired by Jan Lackstrom, with support from Corporate Planning and SIMS.

You may see educational posters and pamphlets at Toronto Rehab, Toronto Western and Toronto General. Please feel free to take a moment to read them. Updates about the project will be included in UHNews.

We look forward to great success with this project, collecting information that will help UHN provide the best possible care for all.

If you have any questions about this initiative, please feel free to contact Jan Lackstrom at jan.lackstrom@uhn.ca.

Thank you,


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