Early Resolution Specialist

Ontario Health


Want to make a difference in your career? Consider this opportunity!
Patient Ombudsman is a growing organization that is a champion of fairness in Ontario’s health care system. Fulfil your passion for public service by making a difference in the lives of patients, residents, caregivers, and families and influencing positive change across the system.
Patient Ombudsman receives, attempts to resolve, and investigates complaints from patients or their caregivers about their care or experiences in public hospitals, long-term care homes and home care support services. Patient Ombudsman may also investigate matters on its own initiative. Following investigations, Patient Ombudsman makes recommendations to healthcare organizations based on our findings.
As an impartial office of last resort, Patient Ombudsman helps when patients and caregivers have not been able to resolve their complaint directly with the health sector organization. As an ombudsman office, PO acts independently of Ontario Health (OH) in accordance with the Statement of Principles of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman.
The office of the Patient Ombudsman is supported by Ontario Health in carrying out its functions in accordance with the Excellent Care for All Act, 2010. Ontario Health is the provincial agency responsible for ensuring Ontarians receive high-quality health care services where and when they need them.
Complaint Intake:
  • Provides immediate, front-line response to inquiries from complainants, health sector organizations, and the public, addressing concerns and complaints, helping with healthcare system navigation and explaining Patient Ombudsman services, mandate, and jurisdiction.
  • Conducts interviews with stakeholders over the phone, or in person/in writing as appropriate, clarifying requests and complaints, identifying key issues, determining eligibility/validity of complaint and jurisdictional applicability, and providing guidance on steps to be taken to formally address concerns, creating case files, and gaining stakeholder permission to access records to proceed with the PO resolution process.
  • Extracts relevant information through interviews, evaluating root causes of issues and degree of distress/anxiety/agitation of complainant, assessing complexity, sensitivity and associated risks of issues and taking active steps to mitigate risks and diffuse situations.
  • Facilitates discussions between complainants and health sector agency representatives, gathering and consolidating relevant information and explanations, facilitating connections/referrals, and ensuring proper documentation and follow up for all interactions.
  • Working independently and in consultation with the Complaint Services team and Patient Ombudsman staff, determines appropriate courses of action to resolve issues/cases, formulating opinions on fairness, identifying when cases should be closed, referred, or escalated internally, and ensuring all involved parties are apprised of decisions.
  • Ensures complainants/callers are appropriately and sensitively accommodated.
  • Identifies potential abuse and neglect issues in long-term care, ensuring mandatory reports to the Ministry of Long-Term Care are prepared and submitted.
Complaint Resolution/Case Management:
  • Reviews and analyzes assigned complaint files to identify and frame key issues, conducting preliminary case file reviews, determining validity of complaint and jurisdictional applicability, assessing fairness issues, researching, and gathering all relevant information and documentation, and identifying and applying appropriate dispute resolution strategies to help to resolve complaints informally.
  • Provides initial contact responses by telephone, e-mail, web form, written correspondence and in-person, prioritizing complaints, obtaining and clarifying pertinent information, and following up with complainants and health sector organization representatives as required to ensure response timeframes and effectively managed and a common understanding of complaint/issues.
  • Provides appropriate information and referrals in response to complaints falling outside the jurisdiction of, or are premature for, Patient Ombudsman to consider.
  • Analyzes case file information and issues, consolidating relevant information, assessing associated risks and sensitivities, determining appropriate courses of action to close or escalate a file, and ensuring all between-party correspondence is prepared in a timely manner.
  • Identifies opportunities to connect complainants and health sector organizations, engaging respectfully, facilitating information exchange, negotiating outcomes, resolving disputes, and preparing decisions to close or refer case files
  • Ensures complex, sensitive, high profile, or systemic issues are brought to the attention of the Manager, Complaint Services and/or members of the Patient Ombudsman team for direction, further investigation, and recommendations.
Documentation and Report Preparation:
  • Creates and maintains comprehensive and accurate case file documentation, ensuring all relevant information is appropriately documented within the case management system.
  • Prepares all case file correspondence, official letters, and documentation, adapting prepared templates as appropriate to ensure complaints are thoroughly and accurately described, and ensuring all relevant communiqués and file documents detail the case file status and outcomes, are easy to understand and reflect an impartial and unbiased position and appropriate tone of the Patient Ombudsman.
  • Ensures that all paper and electronic information relating to an enquiry or complaint is up-to-date and documented appropriately in the case management system.
  • Assists investigation team members as approved by the Manager, Complaint Services, collaborating on case file investigations, providing background information, document preparation, and research support and input to support escalated case file resolution.
Quality & Risk Management:
  • Ensures compliance with all relevant policies, procedures and legislative/regulatory requirements.
  • Maintains good privacy practices, including confidentiality of all sensitive documents and personal/patient information/health information
  • Monitors complaint/case file documentation and background follow-up information, ensuring all information is accurate, complete and appropriately documented in accordance with internal templates, protocols, and guidelines.
  • Identifies opportunities to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of services delivered, assessing service delivery trends and patterns, and participating in the development of templates, tools, procedures, and protocols to streamline services and facilitate the timely dissemination of information and issue resolution.
  • Identifies potential high-profile/high-risk cases that may involve media, legal, and public interests.
  • Maintains an in depth understanding and awareness of all pertinent healthcare legislation, interpreting and monitoring changes to programs and shifts in legislative/regulatory requirements, and determining impact on complaint issues to inform case file decisions and recommendations.
Stakeholder Relations:
  • Builds effective and trusting relationships with complainants and health sector agency representatives, to probe and resolve sensitive and potentially contentious issues.
  • Develops relationships with team members, participating on committees, sharing information and expertise, collaborating with seasoned experts to discuss alternative approaches, resolve issues and participate on projects and initiatives.
  • Manages relationships with diverse group of stakeholders, ensuring deliverables and expectations are effectively managed and any issues are resolved.
  • Develops effective working relationships with professional associations and industry colleagues to share information and maintain currency on emerging best practices and/or shifts in legislation/regulations and participate in outreach/engagement events to promote PO services and processes as required.
Here is what you will need to be successful:
Education and Experience
  • Post-secondary education in health sciences, social sciences, law, alternative dispute resolution, or an acceptable combination of education, training, and experience.
  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience providing intake and complaint handling services within a healthcare/health sector or ombuds organization, or a similar type organization.
  • Experience using Microsoft Office suite, and familiarity with using case/complaint management systems (CMS) and/or call centre technologies.
Knowledge and Skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Self-starter with a proven ability to work independently and with a team.
  • Capable of multitasking, balancing the need to resolve issues quickly with the exercise of good judgement and effective and thorough analysis.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate with individuals who are distressed, angry, or emotionally distraught.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with and respond effectively with diverse situations and populations, including individuals who may require special accommodation.
  • Excellent analytical skills with a demonstrated ability to analyze and identify issues fairly without injecting opinion or acting as an advocate.
  • Strong mediation and dispute resolution skills.
  • Knowledge of public hospitals, long-term care homes and/or home and community care systems, operations, resources and governing and regulatory bodies.
  • Understanding of the Excellent Care for All Act and Ontario’s health care sector legislation.
  • Proven experience understanding and interpreting legislation, policies and procedures.
  • Demonstrated commitment to customer service and quality principles in service delivery.
  • Bilingual in English and French would be an asset.
Employment Location: Ontario (Hybrid/Remote)
Employment Type: Temporary Fixed Term – 12 Months
Paygrade and Zone: 4C
Job Posting Close Date: December 02, 2022
Ontario Health encourages applications from candidates who are First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and urban Indigenous; Francophone; Black and racialized; members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities; trans and nonbinary; and disabled.
We encourage applicants with accessibility needs to notify us if they have any accommodation needs in the application and/or interview process.
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.

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