Patient Complaints: Bogus Gripe or Valid Concern?

From Emergency Medicine News:

It is important to distinguish a patient complaint from a patient grievance. A complaint is a minor patient concern that can be resolved by staff within 24 hours, and importantly, does not require a written response from the hospital. A patient grievance can be oral or in writing, and cannot be quickly resolved. These tend to be more substantive, such as allegations of unprofessional conduct and breach of patient confidentiality. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires hospitals to have a formal grievance process and to respond to a grievance in writing in a timely manner, which means that EPs should respond in a timely way to their hospital’s investigative request.

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