Introducing… a director of operations and nurse leader

Introducing… a director of operations and nurse leader

Isabel Hayward is the Director of Operations at CritiCall Ontario (CritiCall). Prior to joining CritiCall in 2016 in this newly created role, she was director of acute medicine, emergency and critical care, and site lead for Hamilton General Hospital. She has been with Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) since 1986 with a brief period in between at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

What do you love most about your role?

I have a passion for working with people and developing teams to achieve their highest potential. It’s a privilege to work with many teams within HHS and to see the level of strength, skill and dedication it takes to provide the best care possible. CritiCall gives me the opportunity to view our health care system at a provincial level. I apply my knowledge to help the ongoing development of a program that plays a key role in addressing the challenges we all experience in this sector.

Describe how you use social media in your work.

I do not currently use social media at work but I’m looking forward to moving in that direction soon.

I have a passion for working with people and developing teams to achieve their highest potential.

What do you find challenging?

Being offsite and away from the sights and sounds of hospital care areas makes things more difficult in some respects. Previously, if ever I questioned a difficult day, I could always look to patients, families, or staff to remind me of why I am passionate about health care. In terms of challenges in the day-to-day work, investing the time to ensure CritiCall is well positioned for the future while continuing to move ahead with current projects and ongoing priorities are always challenges.

Describe a typical day.

I am actively involved in the daily workings of CritiCall, including project oversight, service delivery and human resources. I also link to other programs and expertise within HHS. In a typical day, there are regularly scheduled meetings to ensure our projects, timelines and any barriers to success are addressed as well as discussions with front-line managers, project leads and staff as issues and updates arise. We also have regular huddles to assist with ongoing quality improvement. Throughout the day, I can take on the role of coach, mentor and student.

I think people are surprised CritiCall Ontario is part of HHS and our staff are employees of HHS.

Tell us about your most gratifying experience at HHS.

There truly are so many. I always say we are at our best when the most difficult situation is in front of us. I worked on successful projects I was told would never happen, like the emergency department tracking system, converting McMaster Children’s Hospital to a dedicated pediatric emergency department and opening the Main West Urgent Care Centre. However, my most gratifying moments are when I speak to front-line physicians and staff about the difference each one of us can make in the time we spend at work, particularly when we are meeting with patients and families at the worst of times in their lives.

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

I actually think people are surprised CritiCall Ontario is part of HHS and our staff are employees of HHS.