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:

NMC Patient Relations
Quality Department
133 Fairfield St.
St. Albans, VT  04578  

Contact us by phone: (802) 524-8875
Or, email our Patient Relations Department 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
Division of Licensing and Protection
By email: **Preferred Method**

[email protected]

By FAX: 802-241-0383

Call Toll Free: 1-888-700-5330

By US Mail: 

Survey and Certification Complaint Intake

Division of Licensing and Protection

HC 2 South 

280 State Drive

Waterbury, VT 05671-2060 


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


Office of Quality and Patient Safety 
Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

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