Patient Portals Funding

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is providing up to $11.25 million to support Ontario Health Teams (OHTs), In Development Teams and other health care organizations to implement new patient portal programs or build on existing patient portal programs across the province. This funding is intended to support health system recovery by transforming how care is delivered and assisting OHTs and the broader health sector to build their digital health maturity.

On this page:

  1. Who can apply for funding
  2. Funding objectives
  3. Project requirements
  4. Proposal guidelines
  5. Supporting resources

If your OHT is interested in submitting a proposal to access Patient Portal Funding, please review all criteria in the 2021-22 Funding Criteria document.

Who can apply for funding

  • Organizations that are members of an approved OHT
  • Organizations that are members of In Development Teams
  • All other health care providers and organizations who are not yet part of an approved OHT due to their location may submit a proposal that aligns with the program requirements outlined in the 2021-22 Funding Criteria document
  • Indigenous community organizations, including those serving First Nations, Inuit, Metis and Urban Indigenous persons

Funding objectives

Patient portals give patients safe and secure online access to their personal health information and the ability to manage aspects of their own health care. They also can help patients and clinical teams interact in a more meaningful way to create better patient outcomes.

The objectives of this funding are:

  • Introduce new means for more Ontarians to access their personal health information or further augment the reach or functionality of an existing patient portal solution;
  • Provide patients or delegates timely access to personal health information from two or more health sectors; and
  • Increase patient engagement through improved digital patient access channels (e.g. educational materials, virtual care etc.).

Project requirements

All successful proposals must:

  • Be led by an Ontario Health region or one or more OHTs, In Development Teams or health service provider organizations/team with the capacity to implement a patient portal across regional or OHT attributable populations.
  • Demonstrate how the program is co-designed and governed with input from clinical, patient, family and caregivers from their local care populations including mechanisms to:
    • measure and improve the patient experience;
    • demonstrate patient input was collected and is imbedded in the plan; and
    • ensure that patients will be engaged on an ongoing basis which may include the formation of patient advisory groups
  • Be supported by an OHT funder holder or a lead health service provider organization who would agree to signing a funding agreement with Ontario Health that includes performance targets and reporting requirements.
  • Be willing to participate in an evaluation.
  • Be reviewed, submitted, and endorsed by the Ontario Health region and;
  • Acknowledge that funding is only available for FY2021/22 and FY2022/23.
  • Provide achievable implementation milestones for FY2021/22, ending March 31, 2022.
  • Provide an estimated number of unique users that will access the patient portal solution in the first six months following go-live and projected future growth.
  • Describe how the patient portal program will meet the language needs of the communities it serves (e.g., offer communications in different languages, integrate translation services into clinical workflows). Organizations within areas that are designated or partially designated under the French Language Services Act (FLSA) should describe how services will be provided in French to the Francophone community.
  • Describe how the patient portal solution will provide patients with the means to gain digital access to their personal health information. The data content of the portal will demonstrate the ability to grow over time as more health service providers and health sectors contribute data or make the data available to the patient portal.
  • Describe the scope of data content that will be made available and planned expansion phases (if applicable).
  • Indicate the geographical region(s)/catchment area(s) of the targeted patient population served.
  • List the initially participating health service providers and a summary of their planned data contributions to the patient portal.
  • List the mandatory and recommended requirements met by the proposed patient portal solution specified in the Patient Portal (PP) Provincial Services Standard (see Additional Resources below). The proposal must indicate the process that will be followed to verify (or have verified) the compliance of the patient portal solution against each of the standards specified in the Patient Portal (PP) Provincial Service Standards. The detailed results of the verification process shall be made available to Ontario Health.
  • Include a proposed two-year implementation plan up to March 31, 2023, with key milestones for FY2021/22. See program implementation guidelines below;
  • Include requested funding amount for FY2021/22 and an estimated cost for FY2022/23 up to March 31, 2023. Include a detailed budget for FY2021/22 up to March 31, 2022 (include in-kind and new funding request). Budgets must clearly indicate:
    • Initial costs to setup, procure and prepare for implementation;
    • Implementation costs;
    • Operational costs;
    • Provide an estimated cost per user for the solution;
    • Resourcing plan for implementation, clearly indicating which resources will be provided in-kind and which will be required as part of the patient portal program;
    • Other eligible expenses (e.g., project management, change management, communications & marketing). Include reasonable funding requests for project management and communications costs. Note: Ontario Health will provide a limited amount of change management support.

Proposal guidelines

OHT proposals must demonstrate one or more of the following criteria:

  • The proposal was developed by your OHT using your Collective Decision-Making Agreement (CDMA).
  • The proposal involves an active cross-sector collaboration between OHT members.
  • The proposal involves an active collaboration amongst other OHT’s within a specific region or cross regionally.
  • Funds will be flowed to and managed by a designated OHT fundholder on behalf of all beneficiary OHT members or OHT partners.
  • The proposal aligns with ministry direction to In Development teams (if applicable).

Supporting resources

Please review the following documents before completing and submitting a funding proposal:

If you have any questions or need more information about this funding program stream or the application process, please contact virtualcareproposals@ontariohealth.ca.

Last Updated: November 28, 2022