Manager, Complaints Services – Patient Ombudsman

Patient Ombudsman is a growing organization that champions fairness in Ontario’s healthcare system. Patient Ombudsman is mandated to receive, attempt to resolve, and investigate complaints from patients or their caregivers about their care or experiences in public hospitals, long term care homes, and home and community care support services. Patient Ombudsman may also investigate matters on its own initiative. Following investigations, Patient Ombudsman makes recommendations to health care organizations based on our findings. As an impartial office of last resort, Patient Ombudsman helps when people have not been able to resolve their complaint directly with the health sector organization. As an Ombudsman office, Patient Ombudsman undertakes its mandate independently of Ontario Health in accordance with the Statement of Principles of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman.

Want to make a difference in your career? Consider this opportunity

Reporting to the Executive Director, Patient Ombudsman, the Manager Complaint Services is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership in the resolution of all patient and caregiver complaints, ensuring the timely and effective management of all case files, records, and information to support the Patient Ombudsman’s mandate and vision.

Here is what you will be doing:

Strategic Planning and Operational Leadership:

  • Leads the ongoing development and execution of Complaints Services plans and initiatives, ensuring that Complaints Services are delivered in a manner that is consistent with Patient Ombudsman’s mandate and vision, and that successful and timely early resolution outcomes are achieved.
  • Develops long- and short-term strategic Complaints Services plans that are aligned with Patient Ombudsman goals and priorities. Recommends portfolio objectives, expected outcomes, and key performance and success indicators.
  • Provides leadership in the prioritization, development, and implementation of business process improvements, with accountability for project deliverables, resources, timelines and outcomes.
  • Collaborates with the Investigations team to recommend timely and appropriate strategies to advance the resolution of complaints, including working with the Manager Investigations to facilitate case escalation, identifying potential complaints for formal investigation, overseeing collaboration between Investigators and Early Resolution Specialists and responding to complaints against Patient Ombudsman.
  • Participates in the Patient Ombudsman leadership team, bringing insights as a manager and subject matter expertise on complaints resolution.
  • Collaborates with the leadership team to develop and implement strategic organizational goals and operational plans, providing research, input and insights into the development of organization-wide initiatives and priorities, identifying areas of potential risk, determining success measures and standards, and identifying effective organizational infrastructure designs to facilitate operational/business goal achievement.
  • Contributes to the development of Patient Ombudsman reports.

Case Management and Complaint Resolution:

  • Oversees the intake, assigning, and case progression of all early resolution complaint files, activities and initiatives, ensuring case files are appropriately managed and timely outcomes are achieved.
  • Accountable for monitoring progress and status of team members’ case loads, ensuring documentation and file management practices and protocols are followed, providing advice and direction to front-line team members, serving as an escalation point for challenging cases, and reviewing and approving resolution letters and dispositions.
  • Oversees the recording, tracking, monitoring and reporting of all casework associated with general enquiries and complaints, monitoring intake statistics, reviewing status of early resolution, and ensuring timely and appropriate escalation of complex cases.
  • Manages team compliance with personal health information handling requirements, ensuring staff are aware and understand organizational and personal responsibilities.
  • Identifies opportunities to advance the case management and call centre technologies in support of the department’s operational needs and strategic goals.

Quality and Risk Management:

  • Collaborates with Leadership Team to develop and improve organization-wide processes, policies and protocols, developing frameworks to ensure operational fairness, transparency and consistency.
  • Monitors all Complaint Services processes and services delivered, identifying opportunities for efficiencies, improved customer service and streamlining operations, researching best practices, presenting recommendations, and ensuring alignment with PO strategies and priorities.
  • Develops and maintains complaint resolution standards, protocols and policies, ensuring compliance of staff activities, monitoring shifts in regulatory/legislation impacting activities, adapting processes and practices accordingly and coaching staff to ensure changes are incorporated into day-to-day activities.
  • Monitors complaint resolution activities and outcomes, identifying systemic and broad-based health sector trends and patterns, providing advice on emerging issues and implications and recommending further actions as appropriate.
  • Maintains complaint service policies, protocols, procedures and guidelines to ensure consistency, effective management, security and confidentiality of patient and organizational information.
  • Ensures all information is appropriately documented in the case management system
  • Identifies opportunities to continuously improve management of early resolution work, ensuring in-house business processes and protocols are updated/revised as necessary.

Stakeholder Relations:

  • Develops relationships with Patient Ombudsman and external stakeholders such as vendors and Ontario Health team members, sharing expertise, providing input and advice and collaborating on projects and initiatives.
  • Builds relationships with diverse group of stakeholders (patient and caregivers, health sector organizations, external experts and vendors),, ensuring consistent and timeline early resolutions, effective management of stakeholder expectations, and diffusing potentially emotionally-charged situations while identifying opportunities to build trust and promote awareness of the Patient Ombudsman organization.

People and Financial Management:

  • Oversees the day-to-day activities of Complaint Services staff, determining team goals and priorities, monitoring workloads, and ensuring ongoing work quality and adherence to policies and standards.
  • Effectively manages a team, overseeing staff performance and development, recruiting and onboarding of new staff, conducting performance reviews, identifying opportunities for skill development, coaching and training and recommending and implementing improvement plans and corrective courses of action.
  • Supports continuous learning and innovation, promoting a collaborative, learning and team-based culture, identifying skill development gaps and needs, collaborating with external providers to develop programs/training modules and coordinating training/lunch and learn opportunities with subject matter experts.
  • Identifies operational and staff budget requirements, monitoring budget adherence, identifying variances, and recommending expenditures within budget and approved limits.

Here is what you will need to be successful:

Education and Experience

  • Post-secondary university degree in public administration, law, health administration or equivalent, or an acceptable combination of education, training and/or experience.
  • Ten years experience in a case management environment focused on resolving complex and sensitive complaints, mediations and/or dispute resolution, preferably in the public sector, with five years progressive management experience supervising a team of direct reports in a case management/complaints resolution environment.
  • Training in and experience with alternative dispute resolution methodologies including facilitation and mediation.
  • Experience with case management systems and a call centre environment.

Knowledge and Skills

  • In-depth knowledge complaint management strategies and techniques.
  • Demonstrated understanding of administrative law and procedural fairness.
  • Demonstrated commitment to customer service and quality principles in service delivery.
  • Experience with Ontario’s health care system and an understanding of its stakeholders.
  • Excellent English written and oral communication skills, comfortable engaging with the public.
  • Excellent analytical, decision-making and project management skills.
  • Excellent leadership and financial management skills.
  • Understanding of the Excellent Care for All Act, Ontario’s health sector, privacy legislation and any related legislation applicable to the work of the Patient Ombudsman.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify risks and take appropriate steps to mitigate risks.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with and respond effectively in a diverse population.
  • Bilingual in English and French would be an asset.

Employment Type: Permanent Full-Time

Employment Location: Ontario (currently virtual; subject to change). All applicants must be a resident of Ontario to be considered for roles at Ontario Health.

Application Deadline Date: June 3, 2022

Note: As part of the initial recruitment screening process, Applicants must confirm that they are Fully Vaccinated against COVID-19. If Applicants are not Fully Vaccinated, they will be asked to identify any accommodation needs pursuant to a protected ground under the Code. If no such accommodation is identified, the Applicant will not be eligible to proceed through the recruitment process.

Forum of Canadian Ombudsman