Quality Improvement Specialist

  • Health Quality Ontario
  • Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Mar 09, 2018
Full time Other

Job Description

Quality Improvement Specialist

Health Quality Ontario (HQO) is the provincial advisor on the quality of health care. With the goal of excellent care for all Ontarians, Health Quality Ontario reports to the public on how the system is performing, develops standards for what quality care looks like, evaluates the effectiveness of new health care technologies and services, and promotes quality improvement aimed at sustainable positive change.


The Quality Improvement Specialist works with provincial and regional teams to identify and plan for quality improvement (QI) opportunities, catalyze and spread QI and best practices, connect the QI ecosystem and build capacity and knowledge.

The QI Specialist is in a unique role interacting with key stakeholders and partners across the province to support the evolution of quality improvement strategies and implementation initiatives. More specifically, this role would support Health Quality Ontario’s work to facilitate large scale quality improvement efforts. This role may include synthesizing research and evidence, developing implementation strategies and resources designed to support the adoption of evidence, leading and developing communities of practice, and working with other key stakeholders to develop and monitor quality improvement programming. The QI specialist would also be responsible for developing reports and presentations, as well as working with other internal and external stakeholders on projects related to Health Quality Ontario’s strategic objectives.

The QI specialist also works closely with Health Quality Ontario peers in Quality Improvement Branch, the Health System Performance team in the development of an audit/feedback provincial strategy; Evidence Development and Standards (EDS), and Corporate Services to ensure alignment of activities. The QI Specialist works with the field to understand their efforts in quality improvement and ensure HQO supports bring value in support of the overall quality agenda in Ontario and can identify innovations happening across the province.  

The approach to the quality improvement strategy as an integral component of HQO’s core mandate is going through an evolution, designed for example to increase the connection with evidence and public reporting, maximize how we can use Quality Improvement Plans as integral part of the program, and more actively engage with patients, partners and providers through coordinated and impactful large-scale quality improvement initiatives.

As part of the Clinical Improvement and Informatics team, the Quality Improvement Specialist may be asked to participate in work under the scope of this department including, for example, Quality Standards, General Internal Medicine, Choosing Wisely, Health Quality Transformation.


Clinical Improvement and Informatics

  • Collaborates with internal and external stakeholders to develop strategies and resources to support the development of provincial programs
  • Develops tools and products (i.e. reports, infographics, webinars, toolkits) related to this work, including knowledge translation and communication plans
  • Participates in the development of analysis and knowledge dissemination strategies for the audit/feedback reporting for this program and work closely with the Health System Performance Branch at Health Quality Ontario on the Provincial Strategy. Based on this analysis, the specialist will identify gaps and opportunities to support quality initiatives and strategies within the system
  • Contextualizes tactics to align with sector or clinical priorities, adjusting language and terminology to preferred or accepted standards
  • Recognizes and establishes relationships with associations and partners
  • Routinely contributes to the review and analysis of QIPs in specific clinical areas, with identification and promotion of leading practices
  • Maintains an outward facing approach, streamlining and integrating products to facilitate and enhance uptake by the field
  • Leads and participates in Communities of Practice addressing issues arising from Quality Improvement Plans, Health Links and other areas of provincial priority
  • Establishes and maintains strong internal and external relationships with associations, partners and key stakeholders
  • Prepares briefings, summaries and management level reports for internal and external audiences
  • Facilitates meetings, training session and presentations to stakeholders
  • Establishes and maintains strong internal and external relationships with agencies, associations, ministries, partners and other key stakeholders (as appropriate)

Support improvements in health care quality

  • Working in partnership with key stakeholders and organizations, develops and implements strategies to facilitate the uptake of HQO’s strategic initiatives and programs
  • Supports adoption and large scale spread of improvements aimed at reducing variation and inequities
  • Promotes best practices in patient and family engagement, including strategies and tactics to improve and measure the patient experience
  • Contributes to the development of customized tools and products to translate knowledge to practice, collaborating with cross-departmental colleagues to support evidence-based content development and ensuring documents, tools, web content, presentations, video scripts, brochures and educational materials reflect key messages and desired objectives and support HQO’s mandate
  • Collaborates with internal and external stakeholders to analyze data from a variety of sources (e.g., Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs), HSP and Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI reports) to identify care and service gaps and to identify innovative approaches worthy of further testing and/or large-scale implementation
  • Optimizes and shows leadership in the use of networks for problem solving, sharing of lessons learned, and identification of best practices

Builds Capacity and Knowledge

  • Models and coaches’ health system leaders in quality improvement methodology
  • Collaborates to improve overall capacity within the stem through activities, including collaboration with IDEAS (Improving and Driving Excellence Across Sectors) program and the LHIN’s
  • Collaborates with relevant associations, academic partners, advocacy groups, LHINs, and others to leverage experience, skills and knowledge
  • Demonstrates subject matter expertise in HQO priority issues such as: Quality Standards, primary care, mental health, palliative care, equity, Health Links, patient engagement, transitions in care, access to care, etc.
  • Contributes to reports and other communication efforts, as required to ensure partners and stakeholders are aware of project activities

Relationship Management

  • Functions as a Health Quality Ontario ambassador both formally (e.g., at provincial or national events) and informally, through day-to-day interactions
  • Builds trust with key stakeholders and peers through honesty, integrity, professionalism and accountability
  • Develops relationships with subject matter experts and key stakeholders to support them in the research and uptake of evidence on a variety of high priority topics; includes building relationships with internal subject matter experts in Quality Improvement, Evidence Development and Standards, Health System Performance and Corporate Services
  • Builds relationships with industry colleagues and government and health care representatives to remain current on industry best practices and emerging issues and trends
  • Develops internal and external mechanisms to promote the QI digital eco-system, i.e., works with internal and external partners to optimize the effectiveness of virtual systems in promoting and supporting quality improvement activities. Includes but is not limited to QI Reporting and Analysis Platform (QI RAP) and Navigator for Quality Improvement Plans


To be considered for this opportunity, you will have:



  • Undergraduate degree in Health Sciences, Systems Engineering, Health Administration, Business Administration, Health Informatics, Applied Psychology or equivalent


  • Additional education in Quality Improvement (QI) preferred, e.g., Lean or Six Sigma black belt, IHI Improvement Advisor
  • Master’s degree 



  • 5 years’ experience in clinical or health system policy, with:
    • Responsibility for improving quality in a care setting,
    • Project management skills
    • Oral and written communication skills
  • Experience engaging clinicians, staff, patients and families in design and implementation of delivery of clinical care. Understanding of local priorities, enablers and barriers to improving quality and delivery of care.


  • 3 years’ experience as a QI leader with experience in:
    • Front line facilitation and coaching of interdisciplinary teams
    • Successful use of organizational change strategies
    • Knowledge of health system policy issues
    • Knowledge of provincial health system procedures, such as health system funding, integrated care models, etc.
    • Use of a range of knowledge exchange methods such as communities of practice, workshops, on line collaborative spaces, newsletters
    • Patient engagement strategies and developing approaches to improve the patient experience
    • Knowledge of Quality Improvement Plans or similar kinds of tools (performance management systems)
    • Participant or leader roles on QI teams that have used formal quality improvement methods and tools such as Model for Improvement (IHI), value stream analysis, documented PDSA cycles, control charts, measurement for QI, spread and sustainability techniques; includes the ability to draw upon examples of application in a variety of health care settings

Technical Skills:


One of:

  • Lean or Six Sigma green belt, IDEAS 9 day program, SME Bronze Lean certification, IHI Improvement Advisor certification, American Society of Quality (ASQ) certification or Knowledge Translation Specialist certification
  • Excellent computer skills including database and spreadsheet programs (Excel), word processing programs (Word), PowerPoint, Visio


  • Additional Certification in Quality Improvement, Change Management, Leadership or Project Management
  • Superior or better verbal French language skills based on Ontario Government Standards.
  • Lean or Six Sigma black belt
  • A degree resulting in an Ontario college-regulated health care professional designation is highly desirable

Key Competencies:

  • Knowledge, skills and understanding of the key factors required to work cooperatively in teams and groups, facilitating and managing group dynamics
  • Ability to work independently with teams of key internal and external stakeholders to achieve deliverables, manage expectations and track performance
  • Proven ability to develop rapport with health providers, funders, patients and other stakeholders
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to meet deliverables on schedule with high quality results
  • Excellent judgment skills in setting priorities, identifying issues, problem solving and structured approaches to determining and executing solutions
  • Proven ability to respond to a wide variety of issues and deal with unclear situations and conflicting demands
  • Background knowledge and understanding of Ontario’s health system and health issues (or the capacity to learn quickly)
  • Professionalism, reliability and detail orientation
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite skills, in particular Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Visio

Key Organizational Competencies:

  • Think Strategically: Think broadly to build long-term success; understand health care system impacts and maintain internal alignment.
  • Develop People: Grow leadership capacity by investing time and resources to attract, retain and develop people. Build skills.
  • Be Agile: Quickly respond to and shape an ever-changing health care system. Adapt, navigate and thrive in changing circumstances.
  • Act as One Organization: Align on and build consistent business processes; set standards to ensure effective, quality health care delivery.
  • Nurture Partnerships and Relationships: Cultivate effective and influential working relationships (internal and external) and collaborate to achieve mutually beneficial goals. Work effectively across the system.
  • Build Credibility: Take personal ownership for delivering results and adding value in every interaction. Continually earn our place as a critical player in the Health Care landscape.

Location: Toronto

Status: Regular Full-Time and Temporary Full-Time (up to 18 months)

Qualified applicants are invited to submit a covering letter and resume to HQORes@hqontario.ca by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 30, 2018, quoting competition number 2018-048 as well as their name. We thank all candidates for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Health Quality Ontario is committed to meeting the needs of all individuals in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Ontario Human Rights Code. Should you require accommodations during the recruitment and selection process, please contact Human Resources.

For additional information on Health Quality Ontario, please visit our website at www.hqontario.ca.

Job Category

Quality Improvement Specialist