Complaints to the facility

Complaints to the facility

Try as you may, there will ALWAYS be residents, resident family members, or even staff members that you cannot make happy no matter what you do. These individuals have the right to file a complaint with the facility and/or the Department of Human Services and to receive a response to the investigation of the complaint. Check out the regulation below as to how those investigations are handled by OHFLAC:

  • 2800.44. Complaint procedures.

(a) Prior to admission, the residence shall inform the resident and the resident’s designated person of the right to file and the procedure for filing a complaint with the Department’s Assisted Living Residence Licensing Office, local ombudsman or protective services unit in the area agency on aging, the Disability Rights Network or law enforcement agency.

(b) The residence shall permit and respond to oral and written complaints from any source regarding an alleged violation of resident rights, quality of care or other matter without retaliation or the threat of retaliation.

(c) If a resident indicates that he wishes to make a written complaint, but needs assistance in reducing the complaint to writing, the residence shall assist the resident in writing the complaint.

(d) The residence shall ensure investigation and resolution of complaints. The residence shall designate the staff person responsible for receiving complaints and determining the outcome of the complaint. The residence shall keep a log of all complaints and the outcomes of the complaints.

(e) Within 2 business days after the submission of a written complaint, a status report shall be provided by the residence to the complainant. If the resident is not the complainant, the resident and the resident’s designated person shall receive the status report unless contraindicated by the support plan. The status report must indicate the steps that the residence is taking to investigate and address the complaint.

(f) Within 7 days after the submission of a written complaint, the residence shall give the complainant and, if applicable, the designated person, a written decision explaining the residence’s investigation findings and the action the residence plans to take to resolve the complaint. If the resident is not the complainant, the affected resident shall receive a copy of the decision unless contraindicated by the support plan. If the residence’s investigation validates the complaint allegations, a resident who could potentially be harmed or his designated person shall receive a copy of the decision, with the name of the affected resident removed, unless contraindicated by the support plan.

(g) The telephone number of the Department’s Assisted Living Residence Licensing Office, the local ombudsman or protective services unit in the area agency on aging, the Disability Rights Network, the local law enforcement agency, the Commonwealth Information Center, and the assisted living residence complaint hotline shall be posted in large print in a conspicuous and public place in the residence.

(h) Nothing in this section may affect in any way the right of the resident to file suit or claim for damages.

Pro Tip:

  1. While investigating a complaint can be nerve-wracking (and even aggravating) try to remain calm and neutral while looking into the situation.
  2. Keep a log of all complaints and the finding of the investigation
  3. Stick to the required time frame (Status report within 2 days, final report within 7)
  4. If you deem to be at fault, it is a good thought to show apologies and be willing to change your practices to avoid future issues.

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