Hospital Complaint Process

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 a member of the Quality Department staff, 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 a member of the Quality Department staff. The Quality Department 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. The Quality Department submits a quarterly report to the hospital’s Board of Directors Quality Committee, which reviews all complaints and their resolutions.  

Patient Complaint Contact Information:
Dr. Dean French, Chief Executive Officer NMC, 133 Fairfield Street, St. Albans, VT 05478″
Telephone Regulatory Affairs: (802) 524-8875
Email Regulatory Affairs Specialist Lindsay Thieken at: [email protected].
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
Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living
Division of Licensing and Protection
HC 2 South 280 State Drive, Waterbury, Vermont 05671


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


Office of Quality Monitoring Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
1-800-994-6610 [email protected]


The Office of the Health Care Advocate provides a resource website with information on how to file complaints outside of a hospital.