If you have a serious issue with the quality of care you or a loved one has received in a health care facility or at the hands of a licensed health care provider, you have a number of options for making a complaint to government agencies that have oversight duties. We list contact information for these agencies on other pages of this site. Here, we talk about how to make your complaint effective.
Rule No. 1: Put it in writing.
Oral complaints are too easy to ignore or bury.
Rule No. 2: Be factual.
You should set out your issues in a non-emotional, non-accusatory way. Just the facts.
Rule No. 3: Be specific.
Avoid generalities (“the hospital is guilty of negligence”). Stick with the facts of what happened. If the events occurred over a span of time, try to take notes as you go so you can reconstruct events accurately later.
Rule No. 4: Be concise but complete.
No investigator wants to read a long letter to figure out what happened.
- Name and address of the facility
- Your name, address, phone number, and relation to the patient/resident
- Name of the patient/resident on whose behalf the complaint is made
- Date(s) and time(s) of incidents
- Specific complaints
- Names of witnesses (including other health care providers, such as hospital personnel, or family members and friends)
- Names of staff involved
- Records that should be examined
Rule No. 6: Follow up.
Ask for the results of the investigation.
Rule No. 7: Make complaints to multiple investigative agencies, if your issue is serious enough.
See the lists we have compiled on this web site. Also consider writing your Congressman, U.S. Senator, or state representative/senator.
Consult with an Experienced Malpractice Attorney
If you believe you or a family member has been seriously injured from medical malpractice, medical error, or neglect by a doctor, hospital, nurse, clinic, nursing home or other health care provider, you may want to click here to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney for a free evaluation of your case. You can also email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 202-742-1500 or 888-625-6635 toll-free. We will respond within 24 hours. There is no charge for our initial consultation.