Patient Ombudsman’s resolution process varies based on the nature of the complaint, the patient or caregiver’s expectations, and the willingness of all parties to engage actively in the resolution process.
Some patients or caregivers are seeking an opportunity to be heard fully, have their concerns acknowledged and receive explanations for what has occurred.
Sometimes people are seeking to highlight issues and make positive changes so that others don’t have similar experiences. In other cases, patients are still receiving active care from the health sector organization and need help to improve communication, restore trust and improve the delivery of their day-to-day care.
Many of Patient Ombudsman’s Early Resolution Specialists have specific training and expertise in mediation and alternate dispute resolution. In 2021/22, Patient Ombudsman facilitated and/or participated in 54 meetings involving patients, caregivers and health sector organizations to help resolve complaints, including conducting three formal mediations. Mediation is a collaborative and voluntary process where Patient Ombudsman assists the parties with a structured conversation to resolve their concerns. This joint meeting has the potential to help everyone involved explore and reach mutually agreeable solutions to their specific situation.
Based on the success of the three mediations conducted in 2021/22, Patient Ombudsman is exploring ways to include conflict management and restorative justice principles in our work, including mediation, facilitation, and restorative circles.