Patient complaints indicate hospitals and primary health missing deterioration

The Queensland Health Quality and Complaints Commission’s Failing Health report said its analysis of 172 complaints from July 2009 to June 2012 – about 1% of all complaints – found that 53% were about the patient’s time spent in hospital, 27% were about time pre-admission, and were about 21% post-discharge.

The biggest complaint was listed as “failure to recognise deterioration” at 81%, followed by “failure to respond” (46%) and failure to communicate (38%)

The 21% of complaints about post-discharge deterioration were “often due to a cited lack of clinical investigation or inadequate review of the patient”, the report said.

“We urge healthcare providers to be vigilant about the potential for deterioration at all times, including before and after a hospital admission, and particularly following repeat presentations or re-admissions.” 

An analysis of summary reports