If you have a concern about your healthcare, the best first step is always to talk to your healthcare provider directly. This is often the fastest and most effective way to resolve the concern. Never be afraid that your care will be affected because you raise a concern.
Start to resolve the problem as soon as possible by speaking directly to the healthcare provider.
It is important to let your healthcare provider know that you have a concern. Your healthcare provider may have no idea that there was a problem or that you have a concern about the healthcare they have provided.
Before you start the communication with the healthcare provider, be clear about your concerns. Writing them down can help to clarify them.
The following questions are a guide to help you:
1. Who was involved?
- Your name, address and telephone number
- Whether you are speaking on behalf of someone else – if so, their name and your relationship to them (for example wife, son)
- The name and contact details of anyone else that may have been a witness or may have relevant information.
2. What happened?
Briefly describe the events leading to your concern and provide the dates and times.
3. What are your Concerns?
List your specific concerns (for example problems with your medication, concerns about your treatment, lack of information about treatment options).
4. What are your expectations?
Be clear about what you hope to achieve (for example an apology, information about your medical condition, an explanation, or options for further treatment). Indicate whether you would prefer a meeting, a written reply or to talk about the matter on the telephone.
5. What can you do if you are not comfortable raising your concerns directly with your healthcare provider or you are not satisfied with the outcome?
Most healthcare organizations have a patient relations process that can assist you. However, if you still have specific concerns about a healthcare provider, then do ask for help!
An independent third party can help you through the process. iCare Navigator provides a Client Advocacy service that can support you to resolve concerns if you do not feel comfortable going forward on your own or would like advice on strategies to achieve a resolution from your perspective.