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|Analysis of complaints lodged with the Office of the Health Services Commissioner (Victoria) involving geriatric units in teaching hospitals and geriatricians: lessons learned.
|Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting.
|May 28-30, 2014
|Oral Presentation: Aim: To identify and review complaints lodged with the Victorian Office of the Health Services Commissioner (OHSC) involving Geriatric In-Patient Units of Teaching Hospitals or Geriatricians. Methods: Mixed Methods: involving a systematic search of the OHSC's administrative database for complaints, filed during the financial year 2012–2013, by patient age and either against the specialty of the specific medical practitioner involved or against a list of geriatric medicine teaching hospitals. Available electronic and written documents, including initial analysis of complaints by OHSC's assessment officers, were reviewed to identify and clarify issues, triggers, contributing factors and themes. Results: Sixteen complaints were indentified, of which fifteen involved public teaching hospital geriatric units. One case was made against a private geriatrician. Family members wrote fourteen complaints. Six cases centred on treatment related issues, of which four involved harmful adverse events (falls and pressure areas) including two deaths reviewed by the coroner. Others concerned issues with access, rights and communication. No complaint required direct mediation (conciliation) by the Office. Ten cases described unsatisfactory interactions involving family members that were separate from direct patient care, potentially contributing to the decision to complain. Conclusion: Adverse events can generate complaints. Prevention of falls and pressure areas are now key features of the 2012 National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. Attention to the patient's and their families' experience is a potential avenue for improvement.
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