Making a hospital complaint (Snippets from the frontline)

As a primary care doctor, I am responsible for admitting patients who are ill.  A plan is developed, discussion made with patient and family, and request for necessary consultants to assure thorough care.  
When there are problems rendering that care and the patient’s life has been jeopardized, you want your physician to be able to complain within the hospital, and if necessary to hospital oversight agencies to make corrections.
This is no longer possible.
Over the past 10 years, all mechanisms available for doctors to bring complaints to the forefront have been deliberately eliminated:
-doctor complaint phone lines to administrators are a sham with problems falling on deaf ears;
-complaints at hospital meetings are never followed up, and even omitted from the minutes;
-letters to the physician Medical Executive Committee are ignored;
-administration controlled Board of Directors have a biased attitude;
-formal complaints to oversight agencies like The Joint Commission, Medicare, etc. are minimized and downplayed.
I as a physician have no place to go when I recognize or receive hospital complaints.  
Neither do my patients and families.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.

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