Patients Before Paperwork

We’re mobilizing digital health tools to improve patient care, enhance health system coordination, strengthen health privacy and reduce the administrative burden faced by health care providers.

To support the Government of Ontario’s ‘Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care', the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health are collaborating on a new initiative, ‘Patients Before Paperwork’ (Pb4P).

Pb4P is supporting innovative and creative digital solutions to make it easier for providers to deliver and connect people to care. Within a few years, digital health tools will modernize clinical pathways, such as those that are paper-or-fax-based and transform information sharing across the health system.

Whether you are a patient or a health care provider working in Ontario, Pb4P will make it easier and more convenient to access and deliver care by:

  • promoting timely delivery of care through the reduction of paper and fax-based workflows
  • improving access to care for people in Ontario and reducing delays in the delivery of patient care
  • enhancing health care privacy measures and avoiding fax-caused privacy breaches with secure digital health tools
  • improving inter-system and provider-to-provider communication to support continuity of care
  • ensuring alignment between digital health tools, projects and digital health portals
  • tackling sources of provider burnout by addressing administrative burden and streamlining technological demands
  • contributing to health system planning so resources can be better allocated and the goals of the quintuple aim, which include enhancing patient experience, advancing health equity and improving population health, provider experience and value, can be met

Implementation of Pb4P

The Pb4P initiative is currently assessing a variety of different digital health tools and clinical workflows. This work is being informed by engagement with clinicians, health system partners and patients through a multi-phased and clinically led approach.

Engagement is a key component of this initiative and will help to guide change and identify new opportunities to improve health system coordination, as well as enhance the experiences of patients and health care providers.

Phase One Pb4P Digital Health Tools

Phase one of Pb4P is focused on improving utilization of digital health tools such as eConsult, eReferral, the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS) and Health Report Manager (HRM). These digital health tools support regular, day-to-day processes like patient care referrals, patient care consultation requests between clinicians and specialists, the secure sending of patient reports and access to and delivery of patients’ laboratory orders and test results. Some of the benefits of these digital health tools include:


eConsult is a secure digital health tool which provides family physicians, nurse practitioners and midwives with timely access specialist advice they may need to deliver care to their patients, often eliminating the need for an in-person specialist visit entirely.


Electronic Referral (eReferral) enables quick and secure referrals between primary care clinicians, specialists and organizations province-wide, reducing administrative burden and supporting clinicians to spend more time delivering patient care.

Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS)

Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS) is a secure digital health tool that provides authorized health care providers with access to patients’ laboratory test orders and results, both past and present, from hospitals and public health and community labs through one platform. The centralization of information enables patients’ results to follow them as they move between different care settings, from hospitals to long-term care, and enables health care providers to make more informed, timely and safe care decisions.

OLIS also reduces laboratory errors caused by illegibility, or misinterpretation of requested lab orders, improves the turnaround time for lab results and enables patient orders and results to be added directly into an Electronic Medical Record (EMR). 

Health Report Manager

Health Report Manager (HRM®) facilitates secure electronic transfer of patient records between hospitals, independent health facilities, specialty clinics and community-based primary care clinicians (such as, physicians and nurse practitioners) using an OntarioMD-certified electronic medical record (EMR) system. It reduces the reliance on fax-and-paper-based workflows by adding patient reports, like narrative, text-based Medical Records (MR) and Diagnostic Imaging (DI), directly into a patient's record within their clinician's EMR. This provides clinicians with timely access to the clinical reports they need to make informed decisions and empowers care teams to follow up with patients sooner to ensure seamless continuity of care. 

HRM is a critical link between acute and primary care sectors in the management of complex or chronic care patients and enables faster follow-up after hospitalizations to reduce complications or re-admissions.

Get Connected to Supports

We’re improving access to digital health tools – and that starts with making them easier to learn about, get support with and ultimately adopt.

If you have existing connections to digital health tool delivery partners, please continue to use them – but if you’re just starting off and are not sure where to turn, we are here to help.

Support is available across all six Ontario Health regions for health care entities (such as hospitals, clinics, facilities) and providers who wish to get connected to digital health tools.

Each Ontario Health region is equipped with a Regional Digital Health team that can:

  • answer your questions or requests for information about digital health tools
  • provide guidance around digital health tools
  • facilitate connections to enable digital health tool sign-up and onboarding

To get started, contact your Regional Digital Health team:

If you don’t know your Ontario Health region, email the Pb4P Change Management and Adoption team for assistance.

Last Updated: July 4, 2024