The first version of OCHART was established at the OHTN in 2006, but it had become cumbersome to maintain, and it had limited capacity to offer new tools to the user agencies. In 2018-19, OCHART received a digital overhaul, which took advantage of newer technology to give users real-time access to a summary dashboard of what is happening in their agencies.
The dashboard allows managers and directors to easily see how their teams are doing, and makes it much easier for them to create board or annual reports. For example, clinical service providers like the HCV teams will be able to see how many tests they did for HIV or Hepatitis C in the past month or year, as well as how many people started (and finished) treatment for hepatitis C.
Being able to see this summary information has another critical advantage, says Diana Campbell, senior lead of the OCHART team. “Often when we compile data from across the province, we can see trends. For example, in 2018, we saw many more service providers in local communities turning to OCHART agencies for training on harm reduction.” Campbell says that it is often difficult for the agencies involved to get a true sense of new demands. The dashboard will quickly let them see trends in their services and help them respond more effectively. The new system will also allow the OHTN to identify provincial trends more quickly, and produce rapid targeted updates instead of a massive annual report.
The new system went live to users across Ontario in early August.
OCHART data is analyzed and published annually as View From the Front Lines. This provincial summary gives community-based programs information about services, trends and client needs that they can use to improve existing services and plan new ones.