Investigating a Report or a Complaint Filed with the Office of Health Facility Complaints
MDH protects the identity of the person making the complaint and the allegedly mistreated patient or resident. Urgent questions of health or safety are investigated within two business days.
- We first do an initial assessment to determine if our office is the proper authority to investigate and whether a site visit is required. Sometimes we refer complaints to partners at this stage.
- We let the person who filed the complaint know that we received it.
- If a site visit is needed, the investigator will go to the facility unannounced. He or she will do interviews and review charts and other records.
- Complaints may be resolved in days or weeks, with some complex cases taking months.
- The investigator decides if the complaint is substantiated, unsubstantiated or inconclusive. Substantiated means that most or more than 50 percent of the weighted evidence showed a violation occurred.
- We share an investigation report with the person who filed the complaint.
- We put a public report summarizing the investigation on our website.
- In some cases, OHFC shares the outcome with partners, including law enforcement, the Board of Medical Examiners, the Board of Nursing and county attorneys.
A complaint investigation can have a positive impact even if a violation is not found. The complaint and findings become a part of a home's public record for several years regardless of the findings.
You will receive a report of the investigation. If you are not satisfied with the results, or have additional information which may help support the investigation, you can ask the Office of Health Facility Complaints for additional review.
Anytime you are concerned about a possible violation, you have the right to call the Office of Health Facility Complaints.