Sunday, January 4, 2009

making a complaint about care

I like to watch my cats and imagine that one gives another whack because s/he 'looked at me funny'. It's a good thing there isn't a rate your owner.com. We always seem to complain. I am totally opposed to on-line rating of teacher, rate your doctor.ca, or doctor.com, frequented by those with hidden agendas. Any survey that can only be filled in by those pissed off enough to want to make their vote count. If it was up to me, I would send kudos to every one who has done a good job, whether I see them for goods or services. In fact, I attempt to do so and give gratitude.

In the case of pre-grieving family members, or those finding it difficult to understand the system, it is easy to vent frustrations. There is a difference, however, between venting and resolving issues. The system is a complex one in all countries. There are ways to go about resolving problems in Canada. If a senior is in Long-Term Care the government has rules and regulations that abound. Long-Term Care homes in Ontario have a strict complaints process. If there are complaints, and there are enough, then they go on warning and are said to be non-compliant. As a Transfer Payment Agency, they must fulfill the obligations of their mandate.

Find out more about :
For those in hospitals, The Toronto Star's has done a Map of the Week of C. difficile cases in Ontario hospitals, in August, 2008, and again in November. Now, this is real data. While you cannot choose your hospital in an emergency, if you have a real choice this is good information.

For those dealing with individual members of the various professions, there are means and ways. If your concern is with a PSW, speak to their direct supervisor. Just one poor PSW gives an organization, whether it be a Transfer Payment Agency, or profit or non-profit group. Most have high standards of behaviour. If it is a misunderstanding, then it needs to be cleared up.

If your complaint is with a nurse, again, go to their supervisor, or in a serious situation document everything and go to the College of Nurses of Ontario. If it is a physician then the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is there to help. And they can and they do. They are there to resolve issues and you might improve the lot of another care recipient.

It was too late for my father, I should have fought harder to have increased pain killers, but I know that we must try to make a difference. We know that many will seek primary Medical Care on a regular basis. It is up to the patient, alternate decision-maker, or caregiver to ensure that all is being done as it should. The biggest mistakes I read about is not giving enough pain relief. For this I will always be sorry.

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