ONTARIO'S PATIENT OMBUDSMAN: FEAR OF REPRISAL OVER COMPLAINTS

Nov 09, 2017

By Bob Komsic

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In her first annual report as Ontario’s patient ombudsman, Christine Elliot says her office received about 2,000 complaints from patients, their families and caregivers.
(Ron Pietroniro / Metroland)
And a lot of those same people expressed reservations about filing them for fear of reprisal.
Elliot told Zoomer Radio’s ‘Fight Back’ with Libby Znaimer, ”I tell them that we wouldn’t expect that that would happen, but I can’t guarantee that it won’t.   And family members are concerned because they can’t be there 24-hours a day.  And so they continue to have those concerns even when we tell them that it’s important for them to let the organization know if they have complaints and the hope is that the long-term care home would receive it, not just as a complaint but for an opportunity to do better.”
70% of complaints related to hospitals, 20% home care, 10% long-term care.
Elliot adds her office resolved 70% complaints with the major issues involving inappropriate discharge, miscommunication or lack of communication, poor care, difficulty accessing service and understanding and improving policies and procedures.
The patient ombudsman adds her office will look more closely at some systemic issues to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant full investigation.
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