Hospital Complaint Process

The uniform format of the report card calls for a description of the hospital complaint process, including how to register a complaint. Any patient or family member may express a complaint by speaking with any member of the NMC staff or by writing to NMC’s Chief Executive Officer or any member of the NMC staff. (Unless specifically requested, a patient issue is not a complaint if the patient issue can be resolved promptly, on the spot by staff present.)

All complaints will be thoroughly investigated without compromising a patient’s future access to care. The complainant will receive a written acknowledgement of the receipt of their complaint within 3 days and a written response of the completion or status of the matter within 30 days. When a complaint has been received at NMC, the complaint recipient will complete a complaint form to begin the process of complaint resolution. The complaint form and any accompanying documentation (written letter, etc.) will be forwarded to the appropriate department manager or a member of the Leadership Team.

Once received by a department manager or Leadership Team member, the complaint is reviewed to determine if the complaint is regarding care or service by a specific physician. If so, the complaint is forwarded to the Process Improvement Specialist, who ensures that the appropriate Medical Staff review process investigates the complaint. If the complaint does not involve a physician, the department manager or Leadership Team member completes the investigation and determines an appropriate resolution.

Within 30 days of receipt, the complainant will receive a status update or a resolution of their complaint in writing. This written documentation is also forwarded to the Process Improvement Specialist. The Process Improvement Specialist tracks all complaints (physician-related and other) by classification type to determine if a process review is necessary, either because of the nature of the complaint, or if a trend has emerged. The classification type is determined by using a modification of the “Picker Dimensions of Quality”.

If necessary, formal process review will be initiated by the Director of Process Improvement. The Process Improvement Specialist submits a quarterly report to the hospital’s Board of Directors Quality Assurance Committee, which reviews all complaints and their resolutions.  

Patient Complaint Contact Information:
Jill Berry Bowen, Chief Executive Officer NMC, 133 Fairfield Street, St. Albans, VT 05478 Telephone: (802) 524-1041 Fax: (802) 524-1088 jbowen@nmcinc.org
 
Additional Complaint Contact Information: For individuals who wish to express a complaint regarding Northwestern Medical Center to someone outside Northwestern Medical Center.
Agency of Human Services Division of Licensing and Protection
HC 2 South 280 State Drive, Waterbury, Vermont 05671
1-802-241-0480

 

Vermont Board of Medical Practice Or Vermont Department of Health – Hospital Licensing
108 Cherry Street PO Box 70 Burlington, Vermont 05402
1-800-745-7371

 

Office of Quality Monitoring Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
1-800-994-6610 complaint@jointcommission.org