Grievance Procedures

CCS, Inc. values and encourages the feedback of patient and community members about the programs and practices of the organization. Complaints can provide important opportunities for improving service. A complaint may be defined as an expression of dissatisfaction or unmet expectation. A complaint can be made by the service user or community member with support if necessary. The complaint can relate to any aspect of the organization’s programs and services. A client or community member who believes they have experienced discrimination at- CCS, Inc. can file a claim with the New Mexico Human Service Division Fair Hearing Bureau 1-800-432-6217.

 

POLICY

CCS, Inc. is committed to listening to patient and community member complaints and responding in a fair, timely and respectful manner. All complaints will be given due consideration without reprisal or discrimination. Language support for non-English speaking service users or community members will be provided.

CCS, Inc. actively informs patients and community members of their right to register complaints (verbal or written) and seek resolution. This information is accessible and publicized in CCS, Inc’sClient Rights and Responsibilities Statement. Patients or community members who speak languages other than those covered by the latter documents or who have reading difficulties are encouraged to have this policy explained to them by an CCS, Inc. staff person or the counsellor at the beginning of service. CCS, Inc. will assist persons with disabilities to register their complaints and seek resolution.

 

All aspects of a complaint will be handled in confidence. However, if the complaint involves allegations of illegal or unethical behaviour, information may need to be shared with external authorities.

 

All complaints are documented. The maintenance of complaint files is the responsibility of department Managers.

 

Complaints deemed a risk to the organization are brought forward to the board of directors by the Executive Director/CEO. Complaints related to the violation of board governance policies are reviewed by the board. Directors (senior management) will provide information about complaints to the Executive Director/CEO’s office so that a summary report can be created and submitted to the board annually. Clients with questions, comments or complaints about CCS, Inc. privacy policies and procedures or about the collection, use or disclosure of their personal information will be directed to the Patient Relations Department.

 

SCOPE

The Patient Complaint/Grievance policy applies to all CCS, Inc. programs and services.

 

PROCEDURES

As the goal of CCS, Inc.  is to give sufficient local authority to meet service user needs, complainants will be encouraged, but not required to work through the lines of authority within the organization.-

 

To provide maximum support to the staff-patient and community member relationship, the complaint resolution process begins with the involvement of the staff person who provided service, unless this is not in the best interests of the service user or community member.

 

STEP 1: Receiving a Complaint

  1. If the person providing service receives the complaint the patient or community member should be offered the earliest opportunity to discuss their concern(s).
  2. If the complaint is received by any staff member or volunteer of the organization other than the person providing service the patient or community member should be directed to the person providing service with an explanation of CCS, Inc policy. If the complainant is reluctant to speak directly to the person providing service they should be referred to that person’s immediate supervisor. The person providing service should be alerted to the existence of the complaint.
  3. In hearing a complaint the person providing service may decide to involve or consult their supervisor at any stage. This option should be taken if the patient brings a friend or advisor.
  4. If the complaint is handled to the mutual satisfaction of the complainant and the person providing service, the complaint and resolution is documented on the Complaint/Grievance Form and a copy is forwarded to the clinical supervisor of the person providing service and the department director.

 

STEP 2: Discussion with a Supervisor

  1. If the person providing service is unable to resolve a complaint, the complainant is offered the opportunity to speak with the supervisor.
  2. The preferred method is to have the manager call the patient or community member. This affords the staff person the opportunity to discuss the matter with the manager prior to any further action or out reach to the complainant.
  3. The supervisor calls the patient or community member as soon as possible after consulting with the person who provided the service.
  4. If a patient or community member calls a manager to complain about the person providing the service or about the service provided, the manager should hear the complaint, but offer no action without discussing the matter with the staff person involved.
  5. From the point a manager takes a call from a patient or community member or calls a complainant about a complaint, a meeting between the manager and complainant should be offered within five business days.
  6. The staff person(s) and supervisor should jointly plan the response to the patient’s or community member’s complaint. Whenever possible the plan should support the integrity of the patient/community member/staff relationship and unless clearly contraindicated, the staff person will be present at any meeting between the supervisor and complainant.
  7. The role of the supervisor is to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the patient or community member and staff person(s) or, failing this, to inform the complainant of their right to seek resolution through a meeting with the CEO.
  8. A letter must be sent to the patient or community member within five business days of the meeting. The CEO is informed of the complaint and the resolution or lack of resolution.

 

STEP 3: Meeting the CEO

  1. If the patient or community member is not satisfied with the response from the supervisor the initiative for carrying the complaint to the CEO rests with the complainant.
  2. The patient or community member should be informed of the name and phone number of the CEO if she/he wishes to pursue the complaint. The CEO is alerted immediately if a call is anticipated and a copy of the completed Complaint/Grievance Form is provided.
  3. If requested, the CEO will meet with the patient or community member within two weeks of receiving the request.
  4. Prior to this the CEO will contact the Supervisor and the staff person and seek any necessary consultation. Whenever possible the CEO will attempt to involve the staff and supervisor in the planning process and may invite one or both to the meeting.
  5. The CEO will attempt to resolve the problem with the patient or community member. Whatever the outcome, the CEO will inform the complainant by mail not more than five working days after the meeting.
  6. The CEO will inform the Supervisor of the meeting with the patient or community member and the outcome.

 

Documentation

All complaints received from a patient or community member are initially documented by the staff person who received the complaint using the Complaint/Grievance Form. A flag noting that a complaint has been received is placed in the patient or community member’s record. A copy of the complaint is forwarded to the staff person’s manager.

The complaint file (includes all documentation, correspondence, resolution and follow up) is maintained separately from the patient’s client record or the community member’s file in the appropriate supervisor’s office.

A record of the complaint will be made available to the complainant on request except in the case where the confidentiality of another patient or community member may be breached. These records will be retained for the same period of time as the client or community member record