Programs, usually offered by licensing authorities, that accept and, where possible, attempt to resolve complaints regarding the licensing, cleanliness and safety of facilities, treatment of residents, quality of care, excessive fees, unethical or improper conduct of personnel or other inappropriate business practices of group residences for adults with disabilities, assisted living facilities, and senior residential care homes.
Programs that provide assistance for clinics, hospitals, provider networks, health maintenance organizations, home health care organizations, imaging centres, nursing homes, pharmacies and other organizations in the health care industry in need of legal advice or representation regarding legislative and regulatory issues, patient/resident issues, staff issues, certificates of need, third party payments, alternative health care delivery systems, licensing and accreditation, institutional review, policy and procedure development and implementation, physician contracts and compensation, and medical ethics issues such as withholding or withdrawing medical treatment. Health lawyers also provide legal services for organizations confronted with a health-related investigation or litigation; and offer support regarding a wide variety of operational issues such as medical records systems, PIPEDA compliance, patient confidentiality, informed consent, physician recruitment, quality of care and utilization management. Some lawyers in this area may also represent patients.
Programs that investigate and attempt to resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents of nursing facilities, residential care homes, assisted living facilities and other supervised living facilities for older adults. The program also promotes policies and practices that improve the quality of life, health, safety, welfare and rights of residents; monitors laws, regulations and policies that affect those who live in long-term care facilities; provides the public with information about long-term care options; and promotes the development of consumer organizations concerned about long-term care. Long term care falls under provincial/territorial jurisdiction and where no specific Ombudsman program is in place, appropriate complaints are directed to the provincial Ombudsman.
Offices in hospitals and other health care institutions whose staff handle complaints from patients regarding the inpatient, outpatient or home health care they are receiving. These offices work within the system to help patients achieve satisfaction as an alternative to filing a complaint with licensing authorities or consumer action agencies, requesting the services of outside advocates or seeking legal advice from attorneys who specialize in the health care field.
Organizations that are dedicated to protecting and improving the quality and affordability of health and long term care for all individuals and advocating for changes in the health care system that will achieve these goals; or which advocate more broadly for legislation and other measures such as bans on smoking that have a positive impact on public health. Specific issues may include extending the reach of childhood immunization programs, expanding services for people with specific disabilities or health conditions, funding medical research, supporting or opposing stem cell research, increasing the accountability of health care organizations and nursing facilities, extending prescription drug benefits, advocating for the preservation of the universal health care system or taking a position on the merits of specific medical procedures or forms of treatment.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.