To Report a Complaint about a Health Care Organization...

From: Helen Dynda (
Sat Mar 17 20:19:11 2001

[] Report a Complaint about a Health Care Organization

Do you have a complaint about the quality of care at a health care organization? The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations wants to know about it. Send us your complaint by mail, fax or e-mail. Summarize the issues in one to two pages and include the name, street address, city, and state of the health care organization.


If you have questions about how to file your complaint, you may contact the Joint Commission at this toll free U.S. telephone number, 8:30 to 5 p.m., Central Time, weekdays.

(800) 994-6610

Scope Of Complaint Evaluations

Complaint information is used to strengthen the oversight activities of the Joint Commission and improve the quality of care in accredited facilities. The Joint Commission addresses all complaints that relate to quality of care issues within the scope of our standards. These include issues such as patient rights, care of patients, safety, infection control, medication use and security.

The Joint Commission does not address individual billing issues and payment disputes. Also, we do not have jurisdiction in labor relations issues or the individual clinical management of a patient. The Joint Commission does not review complaints of any kind in unaccredited organizations.

How The Joint Commission Responds To Complaints

The Joint Commission encourages you to first bring your complaint to the attention of the health care organization's leaders. If this does not lead to resolution, bring your complaint to us for review.

The Joint Commission's response to a complaint begins with a review of past complaints about the organization, if any, and the organization's accreditation survey report. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the Joint Commission will take one or more of the following actions:

Where serious concerns have been raised about patient safety or standards compliance, the Joint Commission will conduct an unannounced, on-site evaluation of the organization.

The Joint Commission may ask the health care organization to provide a written response to the complaint.

The Joint Commission may incorporate the complaint in the quality monitoring database that is used to continuously track the performance of health care organizations over time.

The Joint Commission may review the complaint at the time of the health care organization's next scheduled accreditation survey if it is scheduled in the near future.

For more information about how the Joint Commission analyzes and follows up on complaints, see the Quality Incident Review Criteria.

Release Of Complaint-Related Information

Upon request, the Joint Commission releases some complaint information about accredited health care organizations. In addition, if an on-site review of an organization results in a change of accreditation status or additional recommendations for improvement, these changes will be reflected in the organization's performance report, available in Quality Check on this Web site or by calling the Customer Service Center at 630-792-5800.

After the Joint Commission completes its review of a complaint, we inform the complainant of the actions we have taken.

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