Dynamic partnership between North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team and RNAO’s BPSO program will optimize patient outcomes through the use of evidence and robust staff engagement

Aug. 20, 2019

A partnership between the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO)’s BPSO program and a group of health organizations known as the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team (NWT OHT) will advance the provincial government’s goal of making the health system more patient-centred.

“Four of our NWT OHT organizations have been engaged with RNAO’s world renowned Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) program for years – some since its inception in 2003. Through the BPSO program, we have learned to implement RNAO best practice guidelines (BPG) in home care, hospital care, rehabilitation and long-term care. The other organizations within our Ontario Health Team are equally impressed by how these evidence-based clinical tools lead to higher quality patient care and staff engagement. By joining together with RNAO, we are reinforcing our commitment to evidence-based practice to enhance health outcomes for all patients across all sectors within our team,” says Barb Collins, president and chief executive officer of Humber River Hospital (HRH) and one of 13 NWT OHT partners.

RNAO’s BPGs are clinical tools that are based on the latest research. They cover health promotion, disease prevention and curative topics. “Any OHT that formally partners with RNAO agrees to implement the Transitions in Care BPG, and three other guidelines of their choice. The NWT OHT is implementing Person- and Family-Centred Care (third edition, 2015); Assessment and Management of Pressure Injuries for the Interprofessional Team (third edition, 2016); and Preventing Falls and Reducing Injury from Falls (fourth edition, 2017). Other OHTs may choose different BPGs depending on their needs,” says Dr. Doris Grinspun, chief executive officer of RNAO and the founder of the BPG program.

In response to the provincial government’s blueprint to transform the health system, 31 partnerships including the NWT OHT, are being invited to submit a full application to become an Ontario Health Team. Successful applicants will coordinate and deliver services for patients, including primary care, hospital care, home and community care, long-term care, and mental health and addiction services.  

“We applaud the organizations that make up NWT OHT for their commitment to providing evidence-based care and for actively fostering a sense of leadership among front line staff. This will no doubt serve to deliver on the quadruple aim of improving patients’ care experiences and their health outcomes; reducing health costs; as well as the important goal of ensuring that front line staff have a sense of accomplishment and meaning in the care they deliver,” says Grinspun. 

The health organizations that make up the North Western Toronto OHT are: Addiction Services for York Region, Black Creek Community Health Centre, Canadian Mental Health Association, Cota, Humber River Family Health Team, Humber River Hospital, Loft Community Services, Lumacare, Runnymede Healthcare Centre, SE Health, Unison Health & Community Services, Villa Colombo and West Park Healthcare Centre. 

RNAO’s Best Practice Guidelines program is funded by the Ministry of Health. It was conceived in 1998 and launched in 1999 to provide the best available evidence for patient care across a wide range of health sectors. The 54 guidelines developed to date represent a substantial contribution towards building excellence in Ontario’s health system. The Best Practice Spotlight Organizations (BPSO) initiative provides support to organizations that have formally agreed to implement and evaluate multiple RNAO best practice guidelines over a three year period. First launched in 2003, the BPSO initiative has since spread widely across Canada and countries around the world. Today, there are 530 organizations in Ontario and 350 elsewhere actively engaged as BPSOs.  

The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. 

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Victoria Alarcon
Communications Officer/Writer
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)