What is a hospital ombudsman?

Hospitals rely on ombudsmen to investigate patient complaints and to function as a liaison between the patient and hospital system. In addition, a hospital ombudsman can help patients deal with administrative and billing issues.

According to an article published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, more and more patients are relying on hospital ombudsmen as well as private advocates to help navigate an increasingly more “complicated” and often “overwhelming” health care system.

Examples of complaints that you could bring to the attention of a hospital ombudsman may involve the following:

  • Applying an incorrect charge
  • Failing to communicate in a clear manner
  • Keeping poor records
  • Failing to respect your privacy and dignity
  • Failing to follow approved administrative procedures, protocols, or reasonable rules
  • Failing to seek informed consent to a procedure

Working for both parties

A hospital ombudsman can help resolve disputes involving issues of maladministration. Maladministration can include an action that was or may have been:

  • Taken without proper authority
  • Taken on irrelevant grounds
  • The result of negligence or carelessness
  • Based on incorrect or incomplete information
  • Improperly discriminatory
  • Based on undesirable administrative practice

While a hospital ombudsman is intended to be independent and impartial when examining and investigating these types of complaints, they may have obligations as an employee of the hospital in question that could result in a conflict of interest when serving the patient.

Private advocates, on the other hand, focus solely on the patient and can provide assistance while the patient is in the hospital and after they are released. The downside to hiring a private advocate is the cost.

However, in cases of maladministration involving negligence or carelessness that resulted in patient injury, the patient may be able to file a claim for medical malpractice. 

We only work for you

Hospital ombudsmen provide a valuable service to patients when dealing with issues involving billing, insurance, and hospital administration.

Medical practice attorneys litigate or arbitrate cases in which a patient has been injured or harmed due to negligence or carelessness on the part of a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare professional. Some types of injury lawsuits in which they represent their clients in include:  

  • Surgical errors
  • Birth trauma
  • Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
  • Medication errors
  • Failure to get proper consent

Scott S. Harris, San Diego medical malpractice attorney, has been helping victims of medical malpractice in the San Diego area and throughout Southern California for 30 years. Ensuring that you are justly compensated for the pain and suffering which you have endured.

And, if Kaiser Permanente is your healthcare provider and you believe that you have a claim for medical malpractice against one of their doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare professionals, attorney Scott S. Harris also specializes in representing your best interests at Kaiser’s arbitration hearings. Mr. Harris will fight for your rights as a victim in order to secure the compensation that you deserve.