Guiding Principles for Complaints Management

All LHINs in Ontario are committed to an effective person-centered complaints management system, and view complaints as an important opportunity to inform continuous improvement within organizations, and in the larger system.

Complaints are

1) A valued source of information to help drive continuous improvement in the system

  • LHINs value complaints as an important source of information about how the health system is working in their region, the performance of individual organizations, and guidance for meaningful improvements to programs and services.
  • LHINs are committed to reviewing and analyzing complaints information as part of their continuous quality improvement activities to identify and respond to system issues. 

2) Managed with a person-centered approach

  • By designing a complaints management process with the patient at the centre, the LHINs strive to optimize the patient experience for all individuals reporting a complaint to the LHINs.

  • Accessibility for all individuals, including vulnerable populations, is considered when designing the system.

3) Managed within a transparent, accountable complaints management system

  • The community served by the LHIN will have available how to make a complaint to the LHIN, and what to expect from the LHIN’s complaints process. 
  • Over time, aggregated summaries of complaints received by the LHIN, as well as the types of initiatives implemented by the LHIN to resolve complaints, will be made publicly available.

4) Handled with clear, structured organizational protocols

  • Detailed organizational protocols within each LHIN - with guidelines and processes to support complaints management - will enable a consistent, effective, and comprehensive approach for handling complaints.
  • LHINs will track and classify each complaint and ensure, to the extent possible, that complaints are resolved in a timely matter.

5) Where complaints are outside the LHIN’s mandate, complainants may be encouraged to continue working with the appropriate health service provider

  • LHIN-funded health service providers (providers) are accountable for their quality of care, and their patient experience. In responding to complaints that are outside of the LHIN’s mandate, the LHIN may encourage complainants to work with the appropriate provider.