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'We ask because we care'

Improving health outcomes through the collection of sociodemographic information

At Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, our goal is to ensure that all children, youth and their families have access to the highest quality of care that we can provide. In order to do this, we are committed to recognizing and challenging the health inequities that exist and aim to better understand the needs of the communities we serve – those we are serving, those we are not serving and those we could be serving better. 

We ask because we care is aimed at building awareness around our efforts to collect sociodemographic data in order to help us personalize care to each child’s needs. This data collection initiative is led by Ontario Health and required by all hospitals in the province. Beginning in January, as part of registration, families are asked for information such as their ethnicity, household income, number of dependents, sex and gender identity, area of residence and preferred language. Participation is completely voluntary. Click here to view the types of questions being asked.

“By sharing this information, clients and families can really help us unleash the potential to reimagine how we wait list and triage,” said Joanne Maxwell, interim lead, experience, transformation and social accountability, Holland Bloorview. “The sociodemographic data collected can better inform the care we provide and identify where the gaps exist so families have greater choice in when, where and how they receive care.”

Our teams are ready and prepared to answer questions families may have, recognizing the sensitive nature of the sociodemographic information we are collecting. We have also developed a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document that helps address the purpose, voluntary nature and privacy of this data, along with why it is so important to health equity. That FAQ can be accessed here, and is also available in the top five languages spoken by our clients and families. 

As part of this initiative, more details will be shared around our future plans to collect sociodemographic information from existing clients, which families can complete via connect2care or through other technology solutions. 

The launch of We ask because we care is essential to the goals laid out within our hospital’s strategic plan, especially as it aligns with “care that’s socially accountable” and our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility and anti-racism (IDEAA).