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April 25, 2013

The importance of speaking up ...

(Continued)

We learned that the Patient Representative Services can be accessed in three ways. The first is to go to the Bassett Healthcare website and click on the “contact us” link and follow the directions. The second way to make contact is to call 547-3912 or 1-800-227-7388 and ask for the Patient Representative Services. And finally, it is possible to make contact by writing a letter and sending it to Patient Representative Services, Bassett Healthcare, 1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, New York, 13326.

We understand there is a goal to reply to all patients within seven days although, depending on the issue, it might take longer. However, everyone who contacts the Patient Representative Services should receive a reply within 30 days. If for some reason, there has been no reply within that time frame, we would suggest a follow up inquiry to see why no response has been received.

We also learned that while there is undoubtedly only one kind of compliment, there are two kinds of complaints. The first is an actual complaint and deals with an issue that is not medical in nature, such as the scrambled eggs were cold or the plastic cup in which tea was served tasted like coffee. The second, which concerns a medical issue such as not getting pain medication when needed, is actually called a grievance. And, if we understand it correctly, the responses to these two types of issues are different so one patient may receive a telephone call and another patient a letter. We would also add that if as a patient you are not happy with the response received, ask again for further explanation or even a meeting with the person in charge of the situation. It is in the best interest of all concerned that all parties are satisfied with the outcome of any compliant or grievance.

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