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Groups Call for Transparency in Hospital Accreditation Survey Findings

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, September 21, 2011

The letter lists 11 steps the commission should take to improve the complaint process. They include:

1. A clear, concise and easily accessible link on the commission's homepage for filing patient complaints.

2. The complainant should be informed various parts of the process and the result of an inspection without having to request it, and information on filing a grievance.

3. The complaint investigation should be completed in a defined time frame

4. The complainant should receive period updates and information throughout the investigation until it is completed.

5. In the event of a patient death, the Joint Commission should cross-reference causes of death and contributing factors on the death certificate with information gathered during the investigation.

6. The discovery of any evidence of illegal activity be revealed to the complainant, including falsification of medical records.

7. Rebuttals to findings from the initial complaint process should be accepted as long as the initial complaint was filed within the three-year time limit.

8. The complainant can remain anonymous because healthcare professionals may fear retaliation.

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