priority iconOUR PRIORITY: Leading a Quality Healthcare System Using Evidence-based Practice

  • Improve patient outcomes through the delivery of best practice care, at the best practice price, in alignment with province-wide Quality Based Procedures
  • Implement new integrated programs which will include the establishment of a program sponsor and clinical councils for each program, identification of standards and care pathways and a move towards more equitable access and consistency of quality across Waterloo Wellington:
    • Integrated Diagnostic Imaging Program
    • Integrated Wound Program
  • Expand and enhance integrated programs that ensure quality and deliver best practice care across the continuum of care. Key improvements will include:
    • Cardiac:
      Identify and implement improvements including remote pace-maker monitoring trial
    • Critical Care:
      Implement the provincial life or limb policy across Waterloo Wellington
      Implement critical care High Performing Checklist
    • Emergency Department:
      Implement best practices across the continuum of care to meet emergency department wait times
      Implement standardized care pathways (beginning with asthma & influenza)
      Implement best practices for patient triage
    • Hospice Palliative Care:
      Improve admission process
      Improve service delivery model to support clients at home
    • Mental Health and Addictions:
      Develop and implement service improvements based on the experience of high needs residents
      Improve youth addictions services
      Improve access to more effective mental health services for youth and young adults
    • Rehabilitative Care:
      Implement standardized patient pathways across sites
    • Surgery:
      Design and implement an integrated access system for orthopedic surgery
      Develop and implement the Waterloo Wellington Vision Plan including possible community-based specialty clinics

How Does this Benefit You?

Read Sarah's Story:



  • Sarah is a 28 year old female whose partner, Kate, has been struggling with alcohol use issues for the last year. Kate’s alcohol use has been negatively affecting her relationship, as well as her career; she has missed many days of work the past year and her employer has started to ask questions. Sarah wants to help Kate but doesn’t know how to get her into a program. 
 Sarah's story now icon


  • Sarah recently heard about a new help line (HERE 24/7) in Waterloo Wellington that will be able to help to determine if Kate does have dependency issues,  the type of care that she may need, and make a booking into a program. 
  • Kate called the HERE 24/7 Addiction, Mental Health and Crisis call line.  Once she was connected, Kate explained her situation and completed an Admission and Discharge Criteria Assessment tool (ADAT) to determine the most appropriate level and intensity of care that she needed. 
  • It was determined that she required admission into a substance abuse treatment program and an appointment was booked through HERE 24/7 at Stonehenge Therapeutic Community.  Kate was told that she, or her partner, could call HERE 24/7 at any time if they felt they needed to talk to anyone about the situation. HERE 24/7 also followed up with Stonehenge to ensure that Kate attended the program.   
  • Sarah is happy that Kate is getting the care she needs and both Kate and Sarah now have a place to turn if they need to get help.
Sarah's story then icon 

More Improvements

n 2007, the WWLHIN had an HSMR of 127.5 – now the  HSMR locally is 75.8 (which is lower than the national average). One measure of quality of care in hospital is the hospital standardized mortality ratio or HSMR. The ratio compares the mortality rate of hospitals with the average national experience to determine how hospitals are doing.    464,016 less hours  waited in the emergency department for care.   As many as  100 more  residents   will return home after a stroke  rather than going to long-term care.



  • Kelly was a 71-year-old single female living with diabetes and dementia. 
  • Kelly didn’t have a primary care provider and she frequently had to visit the Emergency Department because of diabetes complications as she didn’t remember to take her medication.
Graphic representing Kelly's situation then.


  • Through the Emergency Department and the Health Links initiative, Kelly was identified as a high needs resident who required wrap around care to manage her complex conditions. 
  • Health Links and the Health Care Connect Program then connected her with a physician in her area.  
  • The emergency department staff also referred Kelly to a local diabetes education program where she is learning how to better manage her diabetes. Health Links partners also ensure she has the appropriate wrap-around care from various types of providers, including a personal support worker who supports Kelly on a daily basis to make sure she is appropriately managing her conditions. 
  • Kelly has not had any diabetes complications for the last year and hasn’t been to the Emergency Department since she was referred to the education program.
Graphic representing Kelly's situation now.