Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

The Complaint Process

Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

The Complaint Process

Article excerpt

All four accrediting organizations have a complaint process for patients/clients/consumers and staff (because staff need to be able to report complaints as well). Most offer a toll-free number that is posted prominently in the facility. "We will investigate immediately anything that could cause imminent danger," says Carl Noyes, surveyor for the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC).

Complaints can also be an unplanned part of a survey. A month before the CARF survey, a notice is posted with the date of the visit so patients can talk to surveyors directly.

Joint Commission standards require that programs have complaint procedures posted, but there is a separate process for complaints presented directly to surveyors, says Peter Vance, LPCC, CPHQ, field director for the Joint Commission. "If it's beyond the actual survey, we have another program that would follow up with that. We interact with them during the site visit as well," he says

In general, accrediting organizations urge patients to talk to the organization to resolve their complaints, but sometimes patients are fearful, says Brian J. Boon, PhD, president and CEO of CARF. …

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