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May 28, 2018

Introducing… a quality specialist

Karen Margallo is a quality specialist who has been with Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) since 2001. She has been in her most recent role for close to two years.

What do you love most about your role?

Working as a quality specialist offers a wide range of opportunities to improve and enhance the quality of patient care. I love getting exposed to different teams, programs and services across the organization, both clinical and non-clinical, reminding them to always have an eye to improve quality and performance. My role allows me to be part of continuously improving how we deliver care at HHS, then sustaining those positive outcomes. I really enjoy coaching and building confidence in others to use our unique approach to thinking and using our quality tools.

What do you find challenging?

The most challenging aspect of my job is supporting initiatives among competing priorities and resources. Our team tries to scope projects and set clear expectations from the onset to avoid dropping the ball on anything. That being said, it also presents an interesting role for us to support building capacity at multiple levels across the organization.

It’s amazing to see those positive results come out of an engaging, systematic approach.

Describe a typical day.

Our team offers consultation, facilitation, focused project and change management, education and training. My day varies depending on the type of projects and initiatives I have on my plate. I go to meetings and often have items to follow up on to support work plans and their overall development. I’m based in an office near Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, but I support projects across multiple sites.

Tell us about your most gratifying experience at HHS.

I find it most gratifying when I inspire others to improve quality and performance. It’s amazing to see those positive results come out of an engaging, systematic approach that seeks to understand issues and opportunities without jumping to solutions. It is rewarding to see others grow and succeed through an improvement opportunity. We are also fortunate to have senior leaders at HHS who are dedicated to quality and performance improvements.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about your role?

We are a small but mighty group, a team of seven people supporting all of HHS. We are always happy to support any request to get involved with quality improvement.