Development and standardization of cost-based performance indicators (The Costing Project)

Ontario Healthcare Reporting Standards (OHRS) data offers the potential to assess and compare the cost of addiction treatment using the Health Indicator Tool (HIT), but data quality problems and limitations of the HIT indicators seriously compromise this potential.

In previous rounds of DTFP funding, the Costing Project has worked in partnership with Drug and Alcohol Treatment Information System (DATIS), the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Health Data Branch and the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to address data quality problems and explore strategies to improve the reliability and validity of HIT indicators.

This work resulted in the completion of a set of 5 e-learning modules on financial and statistical reporting to OHRS that are being posted on the OHRS website as well as a set of preliminary guidelines for standardizing the use of HIT indicators.

This iteration of DTFP will see an extension of the progress made in the previous round. Costing project efforts will also feed into current initiatives aimed at the development of an overall performance measurement framework.


  • Building on the content of the e-learning modules, development and implementation of a province-wide training program to improve the consistency and accuracy of agency reports.
  • Work with a small group of agencies to pilot the use of agency data to evaluate the comparative validity and utility of cost-based measures derived from service input and output variables.
  • Collaborate with a working group comprised of relevant stakeholders to develop, evaluate, and standardize a set of cost-based indicators for comparing the costs of different types of addictions treatment services.

Value for the system

  • Improved validity of agency reports of financial and statistical data.
  • Standardized cost-based indicators will allow for comparison of agency performance as well as interpretation of differences in identified costs of service.
  • Cost-based indicators will contribute to an overarching performance measurement system (see

How you can get involved

You can support the advancement of data quality and development of cost-based indicators in the following ways:

  • Provide input into the development of the training program mentioned above.
  • Participate in the pilot examination of service input and output variables.
  • Join the working group to help standardize the use and interpretation of cost-based indicators.

Who to contact

Felicia Tan, Research Coordinator at Felicia [dot] Tan [at] camh [dot] ca 416 535 8501 ext. 32951 or Priya Kumar at Priya [dot] Kumar [at] camh [dot] ca.

This project is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada. The views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada. © 2015 EENet.

Project Contact: 

Project lead

Garth Martin, Consultant; Kim Baker, Implementation Supervisor, Provincial Systems Support Program, CAMH

For more information contact Felicia Tan, Research Coordinator, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Felicia [dot] Tan [at] camh [dot] ca, or Priya Kumar, Implementation Coordinator, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Priya [dot] Kumar [at] camh [dot] ca.

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