Collaboration in Action: Case Summaries

Public Hospitals

 

Experience
The caregiver of a patient requiring frequent out-patient hospital visits complained that the hospital’s patient relations process was unclear and difficult to use.

Resolution
After discussing these concerns with Patient Ombudsman, the hospital agreed to revise its patient relations process and make information more accessible to the public to assist future patients.

Experience
At the time of an involuntary admission to hospital under the Mental Health Act, a patient reported having been assaulted. The patient later complained that the hospital had failed to adequately respond to the reported assault.

Resolution
Patient Ombudsman determined that although the hospital had recorded the patient’s declaration, there was no evidence in the medical records that the hospital had followed its internal policy in responding to the patient’s alleged assault. As a result, the hospital apologized and updated its internal policies to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future.

Experience
A man had a stroke which resulted in significant physical and medical challenge. Initially, he was taken to one hospital by ambulance for specialized treatment and then, once stable, transferred to his local hospital. Later, because he had long-term care needs that were too complex for a long-term care home, he was transferred again to a complex continuing care hospital – far from his caregiver’s home. His caregiver did not drive and had several chronic conditions herself. The caregiver did not understand why her husband needed to be moved to another hospital, especially one so far from her home.

Resolution
Patient Ombudsman helped facilitate communication between the hospital and the caregiver to help her better understand the reason for the transfer and also helped facilitate the transfer of the patient to another complex continuing care hospital that was more accessible to the caregiver.

Experience
After a medical procedure, a patient with no additional health insurance requested a ward room in a hospital. Because none were available, the patient was put into a semi-private room and advised by hospital employees that the semi-private co-payment would not be charged. Upon discharge, the patient was billed at the semi-private room rate.

Resolution
Patient Ombudsman reviewed the patient’s concerns with the hospital and it was agreed there was a perceived lack of communication. The hospital agreed to review its policy on billing for patient accommodation and more effectively communicate the policy to patients. The hospital also reimbursed the patient for the full amount of the semi-private room.

Experience
A patient with no informal support system was in a lot of pain and required out-patient surgery at a local hospital as soon as possible. The hospital policy required that day surgery patients needed to be accompanied home upon discharge. The patient tried to explain that no one was available to assist. The hospital, based on its policy, cancelled the surgery.

Resolution
Patient Ombudsman worked as a facilitator between the hospital and the patient to achieve a resolution that resulted in the re-scheduling of the surgery and an agreement that the hospital would keep the patient overnight as an in-patient.

 

 

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