As an experienced provider of medical indemnity insurance in Australia, our team at Tego recommend to respond to patient complaints in a timely manner. Listening to your patient’s concerns and showing empathy has been shown to assist in resolving or reducing the effects of a complaint escalating.
Below are 7 initial steps that will help you respond to a patient complaint:
- Gather the facts: review the medical notes, records of phone calls, any copies of reports, staff discussions and check local protocols.
- Call your medical indemnity insurer for assistance in responding and dealing with the complaint.
- If referral or follow up is required, work out a management plan for the patient.
- If possible, suggest a personal meeting to discuss the patient’s concerns. Never discourage the patient from bringing a partner, family member or friend to accompany them. If they need an interpreter, encourage them to bring one and allow plenty of time. Ensure meetings are carried out in a quiet, private room..
- Be ready with information. Usually patients who complain want to understand what happened and what it means for them.
- Be certain your patient knows you take the complaint seriously and you want to prevent a recurrence.
- Keep your patient informed throughout the process. If there are going to be delays in responding or dealing with the matter communicate this to the patient.
- Always demonstrate empathy.
Medical indemnity Insurance to the rescue
Patients usually complain because something has gone wrong but they may also complain because of unmet expectations or because there has been a breakdown in communication. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the therapeutic relationship will have broken down to such an extent that you feel the relationship can no longer be sustained. Make sure you call your medical indemnity insurer for advice on how to deal with these circumstances.
Tego offers Medical Indemnity Insurance for medical practitioners underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway, a brand globally synonymous with trust and integrity. We have a profound understanding of the Australian medical profession and the ever-changing healthcare industry. It’s this expertise that allows us to provide leading cover with more choice, innovation and greater flexibility.
All content on this page has been written in a generic way, and has not been presented with any knowledge of your personal objectives or financial needs.
This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal, medical or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information.
Eric is the CEO of Tego, an insurance agency offering specialist indemnity insurance solutions for the healthcare and life sciences sectors. His qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in business and law, a master’s degree from UNSW in law and management and an MBA from the AGSM.