Costing Project starts training program, e-modules now available

The Costing Project has three components: the eLearning/training program, which aims to enhance data quality culture in Ontario’s addictions and mental health (A&MH) agencies; the research component, which is a pilot project looking at Service Provider Interaction statistics; and the development, evaluation, and standardization of cost-based Indicators for comparing the costs of different types of Addictions Treatment Services.

eLearning modules & training program

The DTFP-Costing Project Team worked with key partners to develop a set of five eLearning modules on financial and statistical reporting to Ontario Healthcare Reporting Standards (OHRS). The modules provide a detailed look at how agencies can report, troubleshoot, and make use of the data that they submit to OHRS.

The modules must be played in Internet Explorer (IE), unless you have a Swiff player downloaded, which then allows you to play the file from the player without the IE browser (Get Swiff player).

The modules include:

  • Overview of MIS/OHRS: This module provides and introduction to the OHRS accounting system for mandatory reporting and described the implications of inaccurate reporting.
  • OHRS Client Statistics: This module provides a description of the types of statistics used to report direct service activity with clients.
  • OHRS Financial Reporting: This module provides information on the account structures and accounting procedures for reporting revenues, expenses and workload activity.
  • OHRS Reporting: How to Use Your Data: This modules describes the standardized procedures for reporting data to the Ministry and LHIN’s as well as ways to use your data to monitor and evaluate agency performance.
  • Auditing and Troubleshooting Your Data: This module describes procedures for auditing data quality and analyzing quality problems.

In this phase of DTFP, a three-stage training plan has been developed to take a closer look at OHRS reporting requirements and help agencies explore and address data quality issues they may be facing. Stage 1 and 2 of this training will take place from Jan-June, 2016, with Stage 3 (Network of Data Champions) being established in the summer of 2016.

In an effort to ensure that data quality remains front and centre, the team will establish a Network of Data Champions made up of agency staff who currently work with data. The aim is for this network to lead data quality initiatives in the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), including addressing existing data quality gaps.

The training program will be starting with Central West and Mississauga-Halton LHINs, with the Stage 1 Webinar, “Data Quality and OHRS Requirements” happening on Thursday, January 7, 2016 and Stage 2 “Data Quality Culture in your Agency” taking place on Thursday, January 14 in Brampton, Ontario.

The objectives of the training are to:

Raise awareness of the impact of data quality on quality of care;
Ensure there is accurate and reliable reporting and interpreting of OHRS data by building on OHRS eLearning modules;
Support agency staff in developing and applying their own data quality best-practices
The target audience will be:

Agency health service providers
Agency staff responsible for data collection, entry, and reporting;
Agency managers and supervisors.
Three stages of training:

Three stages of training image

Service Provider Interaction statistics pilot project

The project team will examine the potential for using the Service Provider Interactions statistics to measure agency productivity by tracking the time that health service providers spend in direct contact with clients. This approach to quantifying costs based on the amount of direct service time provided by staff (input measure) will be compared to the current approach of measuring costs based on the frequency of service contacts received by clients (output measure).

Six pilot sites will participate in this study and the project team is now collecting the data from pilot sites.

Development, evaluation, and standardization of cost-based indicators

The Costing Project team identified significant limitations with some of the existing performance indicators within the Healthcare Indicator Tool (HIT) that make it difficult to determine the cost of addiction treatment or compare agency performance. Also, these indicators are being used and interpreted inconsistently when the costs of treatment are compared across the addiction system.

Standardized cost-based indicators will make it possible for LHINs across Ontario to measure and interpret agency performance. As well, reliable data will help the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and LHINs make informed decisions on policy, funding, and resource allocation at agency, regional, and provincial levels.

The project team is currently recruiting a working group made up of LHIN data analysts, representatives of MOHLTC Health Data Branch, and other relevant stakeholders. This group will identify standardized procedures for assessing costs and interpreting cost differences, and will revise existing indicators and reporting procedures accordingly.

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