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Grace Cottage Hospital’s Complaint/Grievance Process

Compliance Manager
Phone Number: 802-365-3620
Fax Number: 802-365-3641
Anonymous Complaint Line: 802-365-3636
Email: eswift@gracecottage.org
Mailing Address: PO Box 216 Townshend VT 05353

Grace Cottage Hospital maintains a system to track, trend and respond to patient comments, complaints and grievances to support the hospital mission of excellence in healthcare and well being, putting people first.  The Compliance Manager, who reports to the CEO, serves as a liaison between the patient, the healthcare provider and the healthcare system and provides the means by which patients and families can seek solutions to problems, concerns and unmet needs. He or she acts in patients’ behalf with administration or any department to improve care and service. The Compliance Manager acts in response to patient grievances as per the Patient Bill of Rights. Grace Cottage Hospital will cooperate with any investigations made by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and will not threaten, intimidate or retaliate against any individual filing a complaint.  The Board of Trustees has delegated the oversight of the Patient Compliant/Grievance Process to the QI/PI committee.  

If you have a problem or complaint:

1.  If during your inpatient stay at the hospital or for any outpatient services, you have a problem of any kind and after discussing it with your attending physician or nurse, the problem is not resolved to your satisfaction, please feel free to call the Compliance Manager at 802-365-3620 or the Director of Social Services at 802-365-3614.

2. The Compliance Manager and/or Social Service Director investigates and responds to complaints and expressions of dissatisfaction about care and problems experienced by patients, and acts as the liaison to hospital administration on behalf of patients and their families. When it is necessary to research a problem, he or she keeps patients informed of the progress being made.

3. If you have a complaint about rights or any other issue, the healthcare provider will try to resolve the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, or if the issue or concern is beyond the scope of the healthcare provider, the QI/Compliance Department will be notified. If the issue cannot be settled satisfactorily, the patient has a right to file a written grievance.

4. The Compliance Manager will render a written response to the grievance within two (2) weeks. The response will contain the steps taken or being taken to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance process, the date of completion, and the name of the person to whom the results may be appealed.

5. If the grievance is not resolved, the patient/family may submit it to the CEO within one week of the response. The CEO will conduct an investigation and render a written decision within one week. The written notice will contain the steps taken to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance process, the date of completion and the name of the person to whom the patient/family may appeal the decision.

6. The patient/family will be advised that they may contact the following agencies if they feel it is necessary to discuss the complaint with someone outside the hospital:

Health Care Ombudsman Advocate
 Telephone:  1-802-885-5181 or 1-800-917-7787

 Vermont Board of Health, Vermont Department of Health,
 PO Box 70, Burlington, Vermont 05402
 Telephone: 1-800-464-4343 ext 7273 or 1-802-863-7273

 Vermont Board of Medical Practice,
 109 State Street, Montpelier, Vermont, 05609
 Telephone: In Vermont 1-800-745-7371 or 1-802-828-2673

 Department of Aging and Disability, Division of Licensing and Protection,
 103 South Main Street,
 Waterbury, Vermont 05671
 Telephone: 1-802-241-2345, 1-800-564-1612, Fax: 1-802-241-2358

 Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services,
 200 Independence Ave. S. W.
 Washington, DC 20201