Access to inpatient stroke rehabilitation services in Ontario has dramatically improved over the past three years, most notably for stroke survivors with severe disability. A report examining Ontario’s stroke rehabilitation services, released today by the Ontario Stroke Network (OSN) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), describes the results.

“Most stroke survivors require rehabilitation in various settings to regain independence following their acute stroke, we wanted to take a close look at the current state of Ontario’s stroke rehabilitation system by analyzing routinely collected data, survey responses and examples of innovation,” said Ruth Hall, ICES Adjunct Scientist, Stroke Evaluation Lead, Cardiovascular Program.

“Our analyses found several successes as well as opportunities for improvement enabling us to provide recommendations for improving Ontario’s stroke rehabilitation system.”

The State of Stroke Rehabilitation in Ontario: 2016 Focus Report of the Ontario Stroke Network compares recent stroke inpatient rehabilitative care to 2011/12 data, including:

  • 1,000 additional stroke survivors accessed inpatient rehabilitation;
  • 25 per cent increase in proportion of stroke survivors with severe disability admitted to inpatient rehabilitation;
  • 28 per cent increase in stroke survivors’ daily functional gains;
  • 43 per cent increase in the proportion of stroke survivors that met targets for active length of stay;
  • more than 80 per cent of stroke survivors continue to be discharged home annually;
  • facilities with comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation services had fewer admissions for survivors with mild disability. Outpatient rehabilitation is a more cost-effective setting for mild disability.All of these gains were achieved within current capacity through collaboration, innovation and creating efficiencies, with no additional funding.

The report also shows that between April 2014 and March 2015, 14,287 stroke patients were admitted to acute care hospitals in Ontario; of these, 12,604 patients were discharged alive following acute stroke. Approximately 4,400 patients (35 per cent) were admitted to inpatient rehabilitation, and approximately more than 4,000 (32 per cent) received at least one home visit from a rehabilitation professional provided through a Community Care Access Centre.

“The report demonstrates the value of efforts made across Ontario to improve stroke inpatient rehabilitative care,” said Esmé French, Regional Stroke Rehabilitation Specialist, Northwestern Ontario Regional Stroke Network, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. “It also highlights the emergent need to focus on outpatient and community-based rehabilitation, applying models that can serve both urban and rural populations throughout the province.”

To view the report, visit:


The Ontario Stroke Network provides provincial leadership and planning for the continuum of stroke care in Ontario – from health promotion and stroke prevention to acute care, recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. As of April 1, 2016, the OSN and Cardiac Care Network of Ontario have come together as a single entity to ensure a comprehensive and integrated approach to cardiac, vascular and stroke care in Ontario.


The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences is an independent, non-profit organization that uses population-based health information to produce knowledge on a broad range of health care issues. ICES knowledge is highly regarded in Canada and abroad and is widely used by government, hospitals, planners and practicioners to make decisions about care delivery and to develop policy.


Patrick Moore, Communications Manager
Cardiac Care Network, Stroke Services
(c) 647-308-4732