01 May 2020 – Temporary emergency order to support management of health care resources

Type of Intervention: Regulation
Sectors Involved: Health
Intervention Categories: Legal and policy; Regulatory change
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Premier Doug Ford, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones
Implementers: hospitals, coroners, RNs, public health units

Overview: The Ontario government has issued new temporary emergency orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to support hospitals and health care workers to better manage health care human resources during the pandemic. These orders aim to increase flexibility for workers, so they can spend more time providing care and stopping the spread of COVID-19. The new orders offer greater staffing flexibility, including reappointment and granting of privileges to medical and other staff to address potential surges in volume of patients. The orders also authorize coroners, registered nurses appointed as coroner investigators, and public health units to access Ontario’s electronic health record to reduce clinician demand related to death investigations, reduce exposure to COVID-19-related death investigations, and improve ability to monitor viral spread. Finally, registered nurses are now allowed to be appointed as coroner investigators, freeing up time for nurse practitioners and physicians to focus on patient care.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/ontario-takes-additional-steps-to-improve-health-care-flexibility-during-covid-19-outbreak.html

Type of Justification: Providing support
Evidence/Justification: The government explains that these orders will help support clinicians, ensuring they are available for patient care and provide respectful care of the deceased and timely completion of death certificates. These orders are also justified by their contribution to improving flexibility in hospitals and health care settings so that more time and resources can be focused on providing patient care.