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Patient Complaint and Greivance

I. POLICY:

It is the policy of Porter Hospital, Inc. to respond to all patient complaints related to care, treatment, or services in a manner consistent with the procedure described below. A copy of the Patient's Rights and< Responsibilities, which includes information related to the process for filing a complaint, shall be provided to patients and/or their legal representative at the time of admission. This information is also widely posted throughout the hospital. Patients and/or their legal representative may submit a complaint utilizing one of the following methods:

  • Verbal complaints may be submitted directly to any Porter Hospital employee, and will be
    forwarded to the appropriate Department Manager or Nursing Supervisor for immediate response
    and attempt at resolution.
  • Telephone complaints shall be directed to the Customer Service line, which can be reached
    internally at extension 5699, or dialed directly at (802) 388-5699.
  • Written complaints shall be directed to the following address:
    • Customer Service, 115 Porter Drive, Middlebury, Vermont, 05753
  • Email address for complaints: customerservice@portermedical.org

Complaints related to billing shall be forwarded to the Director of Patient Financial Services, who can be
reached at internal extension 5680, or dialed directly at (802) 388-5680.

II. PROCEDURE:

  1. Upon receipt of a patient complaint, the Department Manager or Nursing Supervisor shall be notified for immediate response and shall attempt to resolve the complaint.

  2. Complaints that are unable to be resolved at the time they are received and/or require additional review and follow up will be entered into the electronic complaint reporting tool, and shall be considered a grievance.

  3. The Risk Management Department will facilitate the grievance investigation and resolution, and will contact the complainant in writing within three business days to acknowledge receipt of the grievance.

  4. The grievance shall be forwarded to the appropriate Department Manager, who will contact the complainant, investigate the grievance promptly, and communicate resolution to the complainant in writing within fourteen business days. Written communication will include information about the hospital's decision, name of contact person, steps taken to investigate the grievance, results and date of completion of the review, in a manner the patient (or patient’s legal representative) can understand.

  5. Documentation shall be entered by the Department Manager and maintained within the electronic complaint reporting tool in relation to receipt of the grievance, verbal and written contact with the patient, the investigation process, and corrective actions taken. A copy of all paper documents and correspondence in relation to the grievance shall be forwarded to the Risk Management office at the time of resolution.

  6. In the event that a grievance is unable to be resolved within fourteen days, the patient will be notified by the Department Manager of the status of the investigation and the reason for the delay.

  7. A copy of all grievances will be maintained on file in the Risk Management office, and shall be reviewed for trends and to provide guidance for Performance Improvement activities.

  8. A deidentified summary of all grievances shall be forwarded to the Service Excellence Committee on a quarterly basis for review and to provide guidance for the Committee's activities.

  9. In the event a grievance is unable to be resolved to the patient or patient representative's satisfaction, they will be advised of the option to appeal the decision directly to the Administrator overseeing the Department in question, or if the patient wishes to discuss their grievance with someone outside the hospital, the patient will be advised that they may contact the following agencies:

Vermont Department of Health, 108 Cherry Street, Burlington, VT 05401
(802)657-4220 or toll free in Vermont (800) 745-7371

Vermont Board of Medical Practice, Vermont Department of Health, P.O. Box 70, Burlington, VT, 05402
(802) 657-4220 or toll free in Vermont (800) 745-7371

Division of Licensing and Protection, Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living,
103 South Main Street, Ladd Hall, Waterbury, Vermont 05671
(802) 871-3317 or toll free in Vermont (800) 564-1612

Patient grievances will be trended and reported through the Risk Management Office, and a report shall be provided to the Quality Coordinating Committee (QCC) of the Board on a quarterly basis.

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