“When you have a problem, or complaint that must be resolved and you’ve exhausted all your resources!”
The mission of Silver Meridian Ombudsman Services is to ensure that stakeholders in healthcare organizations receive fair and equitable treatment in matters of concern or complaint. The ombudsman facilitates communication when conflict arises and provides a means of alternative dispute resolution. Acting as neutrals the ombudsman serves to identify issues, explore options, gathers information relative to empowering complainants to resolve their own issues.
Why does your organization need an Ombudsman?
Healthcare is a people business and conflict in an organization is inevitable. There are often unresolved conflicts in the workplace involving:
- Decreased job satisfaction
- Higher staff /manager turnover
- Lower productivity
- Poor client care
- Low morale
- Increased sick time
- Increased resources needed to resolve union grievances
- Poor facility reputation
- Poor customer satisfaction and family complaints
What type of situations would require an Ombudsman?
Ombudsman intervention can be effective when the organization has reached an impasse or stalemate using its own resources trying to resolve a dispute involving:
- Staff complaints
- Family or consumer complaints
Guiding Principles of the Ombudsman Profession
The ombudsman profession is based upon four standards of practice:
- The ombudsman will not keep formal records
- The ombudsman will ensure that communications are kept confidential except when given permission by the complainant to disclose or in situations of imminent risk or harm
- The ombudsman will not represent the organization
- The ombudsman will advise and makes recommendations on organizational policies and processes
- The ombudsman will not advocate for any party or organization
- The ombudsman will advocate for fairness and equity
- The ombudsman will not participate or testify in any formal hearings
- The ombudsman will not perform formal investigations which require a report.
- Listens, counsels and explores options
- Clarifies issues
- Assists with explaining policies and procedures.
- Mediates and negotiates
- Facilitates communication
- Training and workshops
- Provides upward feedback on trends and issues requiring attention.
Ombudsman Service Benefits:
Most healthcare organizations do not have a budget to have a fulltime ombudsman in-house. Silver Meridian Ombudsman Services are available on a referral basis so that your staff and managers will have a resource to assist in resolving organizational issues. Unresolved conflicts prove to be quite costly once legal action is taken. An independent ombudsman offers “Alternative Dispute Resolution” (ADR) which can work to prevent issues from reaching this point. ADR allows the greater likelihood of a win-win outcome for all parties and ultimately saves the organization time and money.
This service is performed by an Ombudsman certified by
the International Ombudsman Association (IOA)