Workpro were delighted to attend the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Conference 2022, which took place in Ottawa on the 18th-19th of October. We were particularly proud to sponsor two intriguing sessions by Ontario’s Patient Ombudsman whom we have worked with for a number of years. Equity, diversity and inclusion were key themes of the conference.
It has always been clear that the Ombudsman community genuinely care for the people they serve, and the subject matter discussed in the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman conference reflected this keenly. Speakers did not shy away from challenges faced by Ombudsman when tackling injustices and their aim to “put wrongs right”. Workpro were delighted both to exhibit and to sponsor talks by our valued customer, Ontario’s Patient Ombudsman.
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
The main theme which stood out from this year’s conference was Equity, diversity and inclusion with a specific focus on indigenous reconciliation and land acknowledgement. It was extremely informative while also upsetting to hear about the injustices faced by indigenous populations in Canada and beyond. However, being in a room full of Ombuds whom all intend to go above and beyond to put right these wrongs was greatly encouraging.
Ombuds are well positioned to tackle systemic injustices, often having a remit to look at improving processes and services in their areas of jurisdiction. At Workpro, we believe that this is something Ombudsman should be recognised for every day.Read our Ombuds Day blogfor more information on the important service that Ombudsman schemes provide.
Building Infrastructure to Support Root Cause Analysis
In one of the sessions from the Patient Ombudsman, Craig Thompson and Sandy Hermiston Ombuds PEI examined the specific challenges that an Ombudsman may face when setting up a new office. This can be a lengthy and, at times, painful process. Ombuds need to set up their processes whilst getting to know the sector in which they work and the most common types of complaints they’ll be investigating. They mentioned that this can be a bit like “flying a plane while building it”. In this situation, you need to get up and running as quickly as possible.
A valuable tool that Craig highlighted as helping Patient Ombudsman in their journey was Workpro’s case management software. This is a cost-effective tool that allows Ombuds to keep records for an entire case in one place while helping pull data for trends, root cause and other analysis. Implementing this system also ensures that policies, procedures and the law are followed no matter how new an Ombuds office is. You can take a look atour whitepaperto see the other ways that case management software can transform a business.
Data analytics tools which are embedded in case management systems, such as Workpro Casework, allow ombudsman to quickly identify trends and see what may be causing complaints in the first place. This subsequently provides Ombuds the information they need to tackle systemic injustice at the source.
Another key approach pulled out by Michelle Rossi from Patient Ombudsman was that creating a learning culture became a great advantage when tackling unforeseen challenges in the COVID-19 crisis. Focusing on a solution-driven mindset, and being open to learning new skills rather than relying on existing knowledge, gave Patient Ombudsman the best chance to work effectively in this ever-changing environment.