Patient/Consumer Complaints

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POLICY NO: 6062
EFFECTIVE DATE: 03/17/03
REVISED DATE:
REVIEWED DATE:

Patient/Consumer Complaints Policy

Basis for Policy

It is the policy of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) to comply with all applicable federal, state, local regulations and University policies and procedures governing confidentiality, privacy and information security. These regulations and guidelines include, but may not be limited to:

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • Executive Memorandum No. 27, HIPAA Compliance Policy
  • UNMC Policy No. 6045, Privacy, Confidentiality and Information Security
  • UNMC Policy No. 6056, Retention and Destruction/Disposal of Private and Confidential Information

Additionally, it is the goal of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) to maintain a high level of patient satisfaction. All UNMC workforce having contact with patients, families and visitors are encouraged to assist in gaining and maintaining their confidence. (For purposes of this policy, patient shall also include family members and visitors of the registered patient.)

Policy

All routine patient complaints should be addressed to the extent possible at the clinic level. UNMC departments/clinics providing direct patient care are required to develop their own written procedures for handling patient/consumer complaints. More serious or unresolved patient complaints regarding UNMC, The Nebraska Medical Center, UMA, and UDA privacy practices should be referred to The Nebraska Medical Center Patient Relations Department, which shall receive and respond to complaints. To refer patients to The Nebraska Medical Center Patient Relations Department, departments should complete and forward the Patient Relations Case Sheet.

The Notice of Privacy Practices (see UNMC Policy No. 6058, Notice of Privacy Practices ) provided to patients shall direct patients to contact The Nebraska Medical Center Patient Relations Department or the Secretary of Health and Human Services if they believe their privacy rights have been violated and do not wish to address the issue at the department or clinic level.

Privacy/confidentiality complaints and their disposition shall be documented and retained for six years. (HIPAA: 45 CFR §164.530(d)(2))

Definitions


Information security is defined as the ability to control access and protect information from accidental or intentional disclosure to unauthorized persons and from alteration, destruction or loss.

Notice of Privacy Practices is a document notifying individuals receiving direct treatment at UNMC about the uses and disclosures of their PHI and their rights regarding PHI.

Privacy is defined as the right of individuals to keep information about themselves from being disclosed.

Workforce refers to faculty, staff, volunteers, trainees, students, independent contractors and other persons whose conduct, in the performance of work for UNMC, is under the direct control of UNMC, whether or not they are paid by UNMC.

For more information, see Privacy Incident Response and Breach Notification Procedures or contact Sheila Wrobel, Privacy Officer, or The Nebraska Medical Center Patient Relations Department at 559-8158.

External Resources for Patients and Consumers / Patient Relations Case Sheet Privacy Incident Response and Breach Notification Procedures

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