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The HEIA Tool

The HEIA tool is practical and flexible. It helps identify unintended potential health impacts of a policy, program or initiative on vulnerable or marginalized populations. By identifying these impacts, you can make recommendations or decisions that mitigate negative and maximize positive impacts. 


Getting started with your HEIA

The HEIA tool includes a template and a workbook. The workbook provides extensive information on the tool and guides you through HEIA's five steps. The results are recorded in the template.


The five steps of HEIA

HEIA is applicable to any policy, program or initiative that has potential impact on health. When this impact is possible, plans and decisions are fed through the five steps of HEIA. 

HEIA steps

1. Scoping

Identify potentially affected population groups and unintended health impacts on these groups.

2. Potential impacts

Assess the unintended impacts. This assessment uses available evidence and compares the impacts on the identified groups to the broader population. Mainstream research may not reflect the realities and issues faced by your identified populations. Therefore, it is important to consider a wide range of evidence, including consultation findings, grey literature and field evidence. For a head start on available evidence, see our resources page. 

3. Mitigation 

Develop an evidence-based mitigation strategy. This strategy aims to minimize or eliminate the negative impacts and maximize the positive impacts on vulnerable or marginalized groups. When possible, it should be informed by a diversity of stakeholders, including members of the affected groups. 

4. Monitoring

Develop an evaluation plan. An evaluation allows you to monitor the impacts on the identified groups and compare this to other populations. 

5. Dissemination

Share your results and recommendations. By sharing the results of your HEIA, you are: (1) raising awareness of the equity gaps in health care, and (2) helping others learn how to put in place strategies to reduce health inequities. To share your results with the HEIA Community of Interest, contact us at healthequity@camh.ca.

Conducting your HEIA


You can find the required workbook and template for conducting your HEIA here:

HEIA workbook:

© Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2012

HEIA template:

Template - MS Word

Template - PDF


HEIA content links to external content, which belongs to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

HEIA supplements

In addition to the HEIA workbook and template, The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) has developed complementary resources to assist you when conducting a HEIA. 
view here - HEIA Supplements

HEIA evaluation

Once you have completed your HEIA, you can also complete an evaluation to assess the impact the tool has had. 
view here - heia evaluation

Quick links


HEIA Tool