AdventHealth hospital cited for inadequate patient complaints process

AdventHealth in Hendersonville, N.C., received a citation after a behavioral health patient was not allowed to speak to a patient advocate, Citizen Times reported Aug. 9.

In a May 12 statement of deficiencies and plan of corrections obtained by the news outlet, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and CMS said the hospital "must establish a process for prompt resolution of patient grievances and must inform each patient whom to contact to file a grievance." 

The plan of correction submitted by the hospital noted it would "identify policy gaps that lack specific procedural instructions for escalating patient complaints and grievances. Annual education provided to the workforce lacks content about Patient Rights, specifically related to complaint and grievance escalation."

AdventHealth's corrective plan added a "patient rights violation" as an example of a grievance, created a procedure for escalating patient complaints, and developed reporting and escalation instructions and procedures for connecting patients to advocates. It also planned to hang posters in patient rooms with contact information for department leaders. 

The hospital re-educated employees on the process, AdventHealth spokesperson Victoria Dunkle told the news outlet.

The updated policies needed approval by the state by June 6, but the Citizen Times' request for documentation was declined by the hospital and received no response from the state.

Ms. Dunkle told the news outlet Aug. 8 that "AdventHealth Hendersonville took immediate action to address the request from the state survey."

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