Ontario Health Network Lauded for Use of GIS to Improve Health Care

Location analytics helps the Central East Local Health Integration Network provide better health care
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TORONTO, Esri Canada User Conference–October 10, 2018– Esri Canada presented the Central East Local Health Integration Network (Central East LHIN) with an Award of Excellence today for its use of geographic information system (GIS) technology and location analytics to improve the delivery of local health care services in a diverse part of Ontario.

As a crown agency of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Central East LHIN strives to understand the health care needs of its communities and the capacity of the local health care system to make cost-effective and efficient healthcare decisions aligned with provincial priorities. Responding to and anticipating the health issues and concerns of the approximately 1.4 million people living in 94 neighbourhoods in this part of Ontario is very challenging. Communities range from multi-ethnic young families in densely populated suburbs, homogenous elderly people in farm communities, cottage country villages with isolated populations and First Nations settlements, all with diverse values, ethnicity and languages.

“Ensuring high quality, accessible and cost-effective healthcare is the goal of every health ministry. As early adopters of location analytics, the Central East LHIN has become a leader in Canada in using data-driven analytics in health care, a growing and complex sector of the economy,” said Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada.

The planning and allocation of health funding is based on information from a variety of sources, structures, formats and area groupings. However, a lot of this data comes from different sources (postal code areas, health units, service providers) and in incompatible formats, making it difficult to share. Using Esri’s ArcGIS Online software helped standardize this, so stakeholders could access and share consistent, up-to-date information.

Accurately showing the current situation has helped Central East LHIN staff and their partners quickly identify gaps in health care services. This descriptive analytics, when combined with other location-based data (hospital visits, local dietary habits, environmental impacts), helps Central East LHIN better predict residents’ health care needs. 

“The ArcGIS interactive tools are giving us a better way to complete environmental scans of health needs, identify social determinants of health and generate health system utilization information across our region’s demographics. This has enabled better collaboration and planning with our health service partners, including patients and caregivers, and supported more effective decision-making by our Board,” says Stewart Sutley, Vice President of the Central East LHIN’s Health System Strategy, Integration, Planning and Performance division. 

In 2016, the Central East LHIN launched Sub-Region Profiles for Central East LHIN, an interactive tool that makes a vast amount of authoritative and relevant data easily accessible to the LHIN’s over 100 service providers and the public, engaging all stakeholders in designing more effective health care services for their communities.

Learn more about ArcGIS Online at esri.ca/arcgisonline.

About Central East LHIN 
The Central East Local Health Integration Network (Central East LHIN) is one of 14 LHINs, established as crown agencies of the Government of Ontario with a mandate to plan, fund and integrate the local health system.  In 2017 the LHINs also took on the accountability for the delivery of Home and Community Care services.   The Central East LHIN is one of the fastest growing geographic regions in the Province and home to over 11.5% of Ontario’s population. For more information, visit centraleastlhin.on.ca.  

About Esri Canada  
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower people in business, government and education to make informed and timely decisions by leveraging the power of mapping and spatial analytics. These solutions enable organizations to better manage their resources, plan their future and collaborate within and beyond their organization. Esri Canada’s products and services help advance successful digital transformation. The company serves 12,000 organizations from 16 offices across Canada and is based in Toronto. In 2015, Esri Canada became a Gold Standard winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and in 2016 was named one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures. More information can be found at esri.ca. Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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