Patient Experience of Care
As a dialysis patient, if you are not satisfied with the care you receive, you have several options for filing a grievance:
- You may choose to file a grievance directly with your dialysis facility
- You may choose to file a grievance with the Network
- You may choose to file a grievance with your state's Department of Public Health
File with the ESRD Network
The Network processes grievances from patients, their representatives, family members, care partners, professionals, advocates, and state survey agencies, related to the quality and safety of care in ESRD certified facilities. Concerns can be filed with the Network by phone, fax, or postal mail.
When the Network is contacted regarding a concern, staff will attempt to resolve the issue in one of the following ways:
- Assist the patient to organize his or her thoughts about a situation and provide feedback so that he or she can address the issue on his or her own, if desired;
- With permission from the patient, the Network may contact the facility directly to gather information and attempt to resolve the matter;
- The facility may be required to complete an Improvement Plan to correct problems;
- More serious issues may be referred to the Network’s Medical Review Board (MRB) for review;
- Life-threatening situations will be referred to the State Survey Agency: The Department of Public Health.
Grievances are generally resolved within a few days. More complicated cases may take longer (up to 60 days in some cases). In those situations, all parties will be notified of the expected date for the conclusion of the investigation.
Some concerns do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Network or would be more appropriately handled by another agency, such as the Department of Public Health. The Network can refer patients to those identified agencies. In more serious circumstances, the Network will contact the agency directly.
File at Your Dialysis Facility
Following federal regulations, all dialysis facilities are required to have a grievance process meant to address patient concerns. You may wish to speak with your dialysis Social Worker or your Facility Administrator if you would like to file a grievance.
It is NOT mandatory that a patient follows the facility grievance process before contacting the Network; however, this can be a fast easy way to fix a problem at your dialysis facility and we encourage that you consider it first.
File with the State Department of Health
The State Department of Health also investigates patient grievances/complaints.
Department of Health by State:
Tools & Resources
- Speak Up Poster: Georgia (English|Spanish)
- Speak Up Poster: North Carolina (English|Spanish)
- Speak Up Poster: South Carolina (English|Spanish)
- Grievance Process Guide
- Patient Grievance Process Guide Brochure
The Forum of ESRD Networks Kidney Patient Advisory Council (KPAC) created The Patient Grievance Process Toolkit to help patients as they work through the Grievance System. This toolkit was designed by patients for patients and will explain the grievance system and how it will meet patient needs. It is a useful tool for both patients and facilities.