The demographic make-up of HBHN clients is by and large made up of English-speaking clients. However, if there is a need for non-English interpretation, we have designated staff who speak Russian, Portuguese, Ukrainian, and Armenian. These staff will be utilized for translation purposes. In addition, attempts will be made to acquire an interpreter for other languages.
Most of our clients with special needs are aged 0-6 years. For clients or participants with special needs, a Board Maker communication tool is available in several locations and on the Intervention laptop computers.
All records and files are the property of Health Bound Health Network. The client has full access to their information in the Service File under the supervision and support of their Health Bound Health Network staff. This procedure is explained to the client/family during the orientation process. Access by the caregiver, or anyone else, must be by written consent of the client, by court order, or by submitting a formal request. Health Bound Health Network staff may withhold information in the file from the client if it is information provided by a third party, and that party has not consented to the client viewing the information, or; the staff believes the information would be detrimental to the well-being or best interest of the client. In either case, the client may file a complaint or apply for the information by applying under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act:
Health Bound Health Network staff may provide a copy of the file information to the client rather than the actual file if the Health Bound Health Network staff suspects the client may damage the contents of the file; or if the client requests a copy of the information. Health Bound Health Network staff should consult with the Medical Coordinator if there is any question as to whether a client should have access to a file/information.
The Directing Manager is responsible for ensuring that policies and procedures are in place to review and act upon complaints, grievances, and Reportable Incidents.
Employees will inform the Directing Manager when clients, family members, referral agents, or public members submit complaints. The steps taken by the Directing Manager to resolve the complaint will be reviewed and modified as needed to resolve the issue. In addition, the management team will support the resolution of complaints and monitor trends within programs and worksites.
Program Coordinators will monitor and track complaints and grievances by keeping a file of notes regarding complaints received and written responses to those complaints.
At the client’s request, they will receive a step-by-step complaint process that clearly articulates the Agency’s formal complaint procedure. The assigned Health Bound Health Network staff will explain to the client, and the client’s guardian/caregiver/support person that filing a formal grievance will not result in any retaliatory action on behalf of the Agency nor restrict services in any way. Their attention will be drawn to the complaint procedure and the relevant Directing Manager’s contact information.
A complaint can be made in one of three ways:
- By sending a written complaint to the Directing Manager.
- By calling the Directing Manager directly and verbally making the complaint.
- A support person (e.g., caregiver, advocate) to help make the complaint.
Again, this can be done by sending a written complaint or telephone.
Upon receiving the written complaint, the Directing Manager will phone the client within 48 hours and attempt to solve the problem that led to the complaint, if possible. However, if the complaint is made directly by phone to the Directing Manager, they will make every attempt to address the issue immediately. If they cannot do so, they will call the client within 48 hours and attempt to resolve the complaint.
If the complaint remains unresolved, the Directing Manager will offer to schedule a meeting, at the individual’s convenience, within 7 days. The client will receive written notification as to time, place, and circumstances. If appropriate, the assigned Health Bound Health Network staff will be invited as well as any caregiver/advocate/support individual the client indicates they would like to have present. Every attempt will be made to resolve the complaint. If the client cannot put the complaint in writing, the Directing Manager will do so based on the verbal complaint and ask the client to verify the accuracy of the facts and sign the form. A copy will be made available to the client.
If the complaint remains unresolved, the Directing Manager will offer to schedule a formal review within 21 days involving the Medical Coordinator or their delegate. The client will be invited to come with any caregiver/advocate/support person they wish. The client will receive written notification as to time, place, and circumstances. This is the final attempt at complaint resolution from the Agency’s end. The client will be notified if the complaint is not resolvable at this level. As part of the Agency’s closure on the matter, a ‘Note of Closure’ will be drafted and a copy sent to the client.
As part of its ‘Quality Assurance Procedures,’ the Agency will review all complaints semi-yearly. A report will be generated and provided to the Medical Coordinator with attached recommendations on proposed improvements to the complaint resolution process. The Medical Coordinator will incorporate findings and recommendations into the Annual Review.