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One of the largest healthcare organizations in the world with an annual budget of $30-billion, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) is responsible for the province's hospitals, long-term care facilities, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, access centers, public health and emergency health services.


With the rising costs of healthcare, public perception that the state of healthcare is in decline, and public demand for more preventative and proactive health information, the Ontario Government wanted to improve public perceptions and health information delivery. MOHLTC engaged Prescient Digital Media to examine leading best practices and develop a program for delivering health information services to the Ontario public.

Healthy Ontario 1

Healthy Ontario 2


More than two-dozen leading health websites were examined – six were studied in-depth and were formerly benchmarked to identify current best practices and business metrics used in developing an Ontario consumer health portal.

Each portal was examined, rated and scored on a 6-point evaluation methodology: Design, Layout, Usability, Content, Innovation, Planning and Resources (strategy and operations).

: Supported by these best practices, Prescient undertook specific research on the use of the Internet by Ontarians seeking health information. Research included a consumer survey of 400+ Ontarians and a series of focus groups used to determine public sentiments and preferences for online health information and services.

The benchmarked best practices and consumer research served as the basis for developing a comprehensive program blueprint for constructing a new consumer health portal, to be called The blueprint process included a stakeholder workshop for developing key strategic directives including mission, vision, guiding principles, objectives, goals, specific performance measures, and critical success indicators.

Planning & Performance Management: The planning included the development of the site structure, functionality, information architecture, wireframes and design concepts. Once approved by the Minister of Health, the blueprint was used to develop an approximate budget and timeline. The blueprint was transformed into a 130-page Request For Estimates (RFE) sent to seven identified firms asked to submit proposals for undertaking the technical programming and implementation of the portal. The final proposal and contract were used to choose a winning vendor and define the final technology specifications as well as program operations and service.

Project Management & Implementation: Prescient was retained to identify strategic and operational requirements, as well as implement as the single source manager of the portal. Operations included site content, policies and governance, office operations, and staff allocation. Prescient managed the implementation of by the selected vendor. All original content was also developed by Prescient and translated into French. Construction was completed in less than three months and came in under budget.

Operations & Measurement: Prescient continues to operate the site with a dedicated staff, working hand-in-hand with MOHLTC including managing all content, translation, databases, health tools, graphics, and multimedia including full video, audio and flash production.

Results and Critical Success Factors

Year one user traffic of 125,000 monthly visitors (1.5 million visitors annually)
Annual traffic of approx. 75 million hits, representing 15 million page views.
Increase the total number of visitors and visits to MOHLTC public sites.
25% increase of visitors and visits to MOHLTC public sites.
Solicit and garner positive media (coverage).
More than four-dozen media stories (newspapers, TV, etc.) since launch, all positive in nature.
70% overall user satisfaction rating.
87% overall site satisfaction.
Outside and public recognition of excellence.
14 awards including Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences 2004 Webby Award for Best Government Website on the Internet.


The has received 14 awards including:
         2004 Webby Award winner for Best Government website on the Internet
         2003 IABC Silver Leaf Award of Excellence
         2003 eHealthcare Leadership Award – Silver Award
         2003 Ontario Showcase Award of Excellence
         2003 CPRS Award of Excellence
         2003 IABC Gold Quill Award of Merit
         2003 IABC Ovation Award of Merit
         2003-2004 Golden Web Award
         2003 Medicine on the Net Web Excellence Award – Honourable Mention
         2003 WWW Health Award – Government – Bronze Award launched in October of 2002.