The information below comes from the statement of deficiencies compiled by health inspectors and provided to AHCJ by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It does not include the steps the hospital plans to take to fix the problem, known as a plan of correction. For that information, you should contact the hospital, your state health department or CMS. Accessing the document may require you to file a Freedom of Information Request. Information on doing so is available here.

UNIVERSITY OF MD LAUREL REGIONAL HOSPITAL 7300 VAN DUSEN ROAD LAUREL, MD 20707 Feb. 3, 2011
VIOLATION: PATIENT RIGHTS: NOTICE OF GRIEVANCE DECISION Tag No: A0123
Following interviews and review of grievances files, it is determined that for 8 of 8 grievance files reviewed the hospital failed to provide complainants with letters of resolution or closure as evidenced by:

A review of Hospital policy No. 200-35 Patient Complaints and Grievances reveals that it defines a Grievance as "A formal or informal written or verbal complaint that is made by a patient/patient representative regarding the patient's care (when the complaint is not resolved at the time of the complaint by staff present) or abuse or neglect, issues related to (hospital) compliance with state and/or accrediting bodies)."

The responsibility for managing and resolving grievances rests primarily with facility administration located in the hospital area to which the grievance refers. These administrators document each grievance in the central MIDAS log with all attendant parts of the grievance process.

The hospital Grievance policy states that acknowledgements are made to the complainants within 7 days, and resolution letters are to be done within 30 days or sooner.

Eight of eight grievances files were reviewed that showed investigations undertaken by staff. However, none of the seven contained a resolution letter.

In grievance case #1 dated 12/28/2009, the complainant phoned about her grievance. The hospital investigated and attempted to call the complainant with no response. However, the complainant had an address that was not used for communication by mail.

In grievance case #2 dated 7/12/2010, the complainant called about the grievance. The hospital completed an investigation, but does not indicate a final communication with the patient.

In grievance case #3 dated 12/28/2010, the complainant wrote a letter about his grievance. The hospital responded by email to a complaint which required a letter.

In grievance case #4 dated 11/23/2010, the complainant called the hospital about their grievance. The hospital investigated, but did not send a resolution letter.

In grievance case #5 dated 6/3/2010, the complainant wrote a letter to the hospital. She received an acknowledgment letter in return, but no resolution letter.

In grievance case #6 dated 7/6/2010, the complainant called the hospital with her grievance. No resolution letter is noted.

In grievance case #7 dated 6/22/2010, the complainant called and wrote a letter about her grievance. No resolution letter is noted.

In grievance case #8 dated 11/28/2010, the complainant called the hospital with her grievance. No resolution letter is noted.

In summary, the hospital documents grievances, and once documented, investigates. However, the hospital failed to resolve those grievances per federal regulation and hospital policy.