Manager, Investigations – 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 Investigations is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership of Patient Ombudsman’s investigations portfolio. The Manager, Investigations, supports the Patient Ombudsman’s mandate and vision by effectively managing all investigative processes, case files, records and information and overseeing the development of high-quality investigation reports and recommendations.

Here is what you will be doing:

Strategic Planning & Operational Leadership:

  • Leads the development and execution of strategic and operational Investigation Services plans and initiatives (including complaint investigations and own-motion investigations), to ensure that programs and initiatives support the Patient Ombudsman’s mandate and vision and that high-quality investigative outcomes are achieved.
  • Determines portfolio objectives, expected outcomes and key performance and success indicators.
  • Evaluates changing organizational, governmental and health system priorities, trends, emerging issues and legislative requirements, analyzing the potential impacts on business activities and adapting strategies and plans to achieve desired results.
  • Collaborates with the Patient Ombudsman leadership team to develop and implement strategic organizational goals and operational plans, providing research and insights to inform the development of initiatives and priorities, identifying areas of potential risk, determining success measures and standards and identifying effective organizational infrastructure to support the achievement of corporate goals.
  • Collaborates with the Complaint Services team to recommend timely and appropriate strategies to advance the resolution of complaints, including working with the Manager Complaint Services to manage case escalation, identifying cases for formal investigation, overseeing collaboration between investigators and ERS and responding to complaints against Patient Ombudsman.
  • Leads and/or participates on internal committees, engaging participants and stakeholders, providing advice and managing project deliverables, resources, timelines and expectations to ensure outcomes are achieved.
  • Contributes to the development of Patient Ombudsman reports and public-facing summaries of investigations.


  • Oversees the management of all investigative case files, activities, and initiatives, ensuring case files are assigned according to complexity and urgency and timely outcomes are achieved, monitoring progress and status, ensuring documentation and file management practices and protocols are followed, providing advice and direction, and reviewing and approving recommendations and dispositions.
  • In collaboration with the Manager, Complaints Services, reviews referred/escalated early resolution case files, providing guidance on file closure/dispositions, next steps and if further investigation is required, and ensuring complex/unresolvable cases are reassigned to the appropriate Investigator.
  • Reviews and approves investigation plans, monitors progress of ongoing investigations, provides input and expertise to resolve issues or clear roadblocks or barriers, drafts effective recommendations arising from investigations.
  • Oversees the identification and implementation of formal investigations, initiating complaint-based investigations, collaborating on own-motion investigations, ensuring appropriate notices are served, subpoenas are issued, witnesses are identified and interviewed, and on-site inspections are conducted.
  • Reviews case file evidence, identifying trends, patterns and underlying systemic issues requiring investigation.
  • Identifies potential areas of risk to operations and Patient Ombudsman reputation and recommends mitigating strategies.
  • Provides input and direction on investigative files, determining needs for external expertise, input or support for challenging, complex, high-profile or potentially controversial cases.
  • Oversees the ongoing monitoring of the implementation of recommendations arising from complaint or own-motion investigations
  • Manages team compliance with personal health information handling requirements, ensuring staff are aware and understand organizational and personal responsibilities.

Quality & Risk Management:

  • Collaborates with the leadership team to develop and improve processes, policies and protocols, developing frameworks to ensure operational fairness, transparency and consistency across the organization.
  • Monitors all investigations processes and services delivered, identifying opportunities for efficiencies, improved effectiveness and streamlining operations, researching best practices, presenting recommendations, and ensuring alignment with broader Patient Ombudsman strategies and priorities.
  • Develops and maintains investigation 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 investigation activities and outcomes, identifying systemic and broad-based health sector trends and patterns, providing advice on emerging issues and their implications and recommending enhancements to improve the quality of investigations.
  • Ensures all information is appropriately transferred and documented, and all evidence and paperwork are managed in accordance with chain of custody guidelines.
  • Recommends improvements or enhancements to the case management system and other corporate infrastructure.

Stakeholder Relations:

  • Develops relationships with Patient Ombudsman team members, participating on committees, 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 investigation resolutions and stakeholder expectations are effectively managed, potentially volatile and situations are diffused, and issues are resolved, and identifying opportunities to build trust and promote awareness of the Patient Ombudsman.
  • Develops effective working relationships with professional associations, health sector/government agencies and industry experts and colleagues within Ontario, Canada and internationally to share information, exchange ideas, maintain currency on emerging trends, best practices and/or shifts in legislation/regulations and to promote the Patient Ombudsman’s vision and mandate.

People & Financial Management:

  • Oversees the day-to-day activities of Investigations 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 & 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 investigation of complex and sensitive matters, with a minimum of five years of progressive management experience leading an investigations team.
  • Experience with alternative dispute resolution, administrative law and procedural fairness.
  • Experience in making recommendations to public-sector entities.

Knowledge & Skills

  • In-depth knowledge of investigation and case management strategies, techniques and best practices.
  • Demonstrated understanding of administrative law and procedural fairness, in particular with respect to administrative or regulatory investigation or inspection processes.
  • Understanding of Ontario’s health care system and its stakeholders.
  • Excellent English writing and oral communication skills.
  • 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 PO.
  • Demonstrated commitment to customer service and quality principles in service delivery.
  • 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