Andrew Hinson, Project Manager, Internal Accountability, WWLHIN
I immigrated to Canada 13 years ago to pursue a PhD in Scottish history. After earning my doctorate, I decided that I wanted to seek job opportunities outside of the lonely world of academia. Having previously worked in the Scottish Parliament and local government, I was keen to return to a role in which I could influence people’s lives. With this in mind, I took courses in project management, which led to a role working as a project analyst with Trillium Gift of Life Network, the agency responsible for organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Ontario. At that time, my wife worked at the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre, so when an opportunity arose at the WWLHIN, I jumped at it.
I’ve been working at the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network for the last 18 months as a project manager on the Internal Accountability team. Our team supports the organization to ensure it achieves the goals of the Annual Business Plan and other internal targets. For example, we are in the process of managing the implementation of a new incident management system (IMS) that focuses on meeting the needs of patients. There has been much frustration with the old system, which can be confusing for staff and ineffective in identifying areas of patient safety that require improvement. The new IMS system will address incidents using a no-blame approach so the focus will be on using incidents as learning opportunities which can result in improved patient safety and satisfaction.
I enjoy being part of a team and working together towards the same goal. Together, we collectively problem-solve with a shared appreciation that the work we are doing enables our colleagues in the health system to have the tools they need to do their jobs. Since being at the WWLHIN, I’ve had the privilege of going on several visits with care coordinators to see patients in their homes. These opportunities have given me an appreciation for how our staff is working to do what’s best for patients, often under very difficult circumstances. I am very impressed by the professionalism of our staff and the tremendous ability to provide comfort and support, often when patients are at their most vulnerable.
Improvements will always be needed for our health system. With an ageing population, the number of people who need health care is increasing. We will continually need to find ways to use our resources better because there is also never going to be a pot of gold to help solve our problems. As such, we have to make sure that resources are used wisely.
As a taxpayer, I want to know that we are getting value for money and as a project manager on the Internal Accountability team, I am motivated to always try to find ways to do things better. The WWLHIN is an organization which embraces innovation, and I am excited by new technologies that will benefit patients and the health system.
The superheroes of the health system are the frontline staff who work directly with patients, but I believe those of us who are working behind the scenes have a very important role to play. I consider myself very fortunate to have a job where I can I influence people’s lives.