In 2012, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care introduced a new model of care called Health Links. Health Links involve all healthcare providers in the community and are designed to improve care coordination and integration at the patient level. By designing the system around the patient’s needs, Health Links are expected to streamline patients’ journey through the healthcare system, reduce unnecessary duplication of services, and enhance patients’ overall experience. Health Links will initially target “high needs” patients, who constitute only about five per cent of the Ontario population, but who consume two thirds of all healthcare services.
Forty-seven Health Links have been approved thus far and are now in the early stages of identifying "high needs" patients, developing priorities, and fostering local solutions. The expectation is that once fully rolled out, 80 or more Health Links will cover the entire population of Ontario.
As health professionals most knowledgeable in medication therapy management, pharmacists have an integral role to play in ensuring the success of Health Links. Evidence suggests that the “high needs” patients targeted by Health Links fill an average of 40 prescriptions per year for 13 distinct medications. Pharmacists are ideally positioned to provide medication management services for this complex patient population, particularly during transitions in care.
This page is designed to provide you with background information on Health Links, including how to get involved at the local level. In addition, you can find the contact information for the lead organization of each of the Health Links that have been approved. The Ontario Pharmacists Association would like to hear about your involvement with Health Links, including any examples of pharmacy participation in this initiative. For questions or comments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.