Articles. Complaints concerning the hospital care of elderly patients: a 12-month study of one hospital's experience
Source: Age and Ageing, Volume 29, Number 5, September 2000 , pp. 409-412(4)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:<it>Objective. </it>To determine the number, instigators, nature and outcome of complaints concerning elderly patients treated at a single hospital over 1 year.<it>Design. </it>Descriptive analysis of computerized data gathered prospectively; follow-up of complaints until resolution.<it>Setting. </it>Large, urban, university teaching hospital in Australia.<it>Subjects. </it>All patients aged 65 years and above whose hospital care was the subject of complaint.<it>Method. </it>Analysis of computerized database of all complaints made in a single year.<it>Results. </it>1.44 Complaints were made per 1000 occasions of service to elderly people (95% confidence intervals, 1.19-1.69). This was similar to the overall complaint rate of 1.32 per 1000 occasions of service for patients of all age groups (95% confidence intervals, 1.19-1.45). However, 73% of complaints were made by advocates rather than by elderly patients themselves and 96% related to communication or treatment issues. Many complaints resulted in an explanation and/or an apology and, to date, none has resulted in litigation.<it>Conclusion. </it>Complaints concerning older hospitalized people are as common as those concerning younger patients. Analysis of complaints provides pointers for improvements in quality of care.<it>Keywords: </it>complaints, elderly, litigation
Document Type: Original article
Publication date: 2000-09-01
- Age and Ageing is an international journal publishing refereed original articles and commissioned reviews on geriatric medicine and gerontology. Its range includes research on ageing and clinical, epidemiological and psychological aspects of later life.