Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Complaint/Grievance Process

How to File a Complain or Grievance

Franklin & Marshall College

Appel Health Services

I. Definition of complaint/grievance:

An expression by a patient of dissatisfaction with services received. The complaint may relate to the patient’s perception of the quality of services, treatment provided by a practitioner or other staff member, or involve the operations and management policies and procedures of the department.


II. Policy:

Any patient who harbors a complaint or grievance shall have the opportunity to bring the complaint either directly or indirectly to the attention of a Health Services professional with the expectation that the problem will be addressed in a timely manner without fear of coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.


III. Ways in which complaints are received:
  1. Submission of a formal complaint form.
  2. Verbal complaint voiced or emailed to Medical Director, Clinician, or RN.
  3. Indirect complaint to Associate Dean of College.
  4. SHAC report.
  5. Students satisfaction surveys.
  6. Articles or letters to editor in college newspaper or other campus publications.
  7. Web page suggestion box.
  8. Suggestion box in waiting room.


IV. Procedures:

Option 1: Individual bringing complaint may ask to speak directly with practitioner or staff person involved and they may try to resolve issue without further administrative involvement being necessary. In any case the Director of Health Services should be notified about the complaint and resolution.

Option 2: When Option 1 fails or complainant prefers to lodge formal complaint he/she may file a complaint form with the Director of Health Services.

  1. The Director will review the complaint and contact the student by telephone, e-mail or in person if more information is required.
  2. The Director investigates the situation and takes action to resolve the complaint satisfactorily.
  3. The student is notified of the outcome of the investigation and action taken. This may include providing information to the student regarding Health Services procedures and/or limitations of services.
  4. If a complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, it may be taken to the Dean of the College with consent of the student.

Documentation of the actions and resolution of complaints are maintained in a confidential file in the Director’s office. The Director will review all documentation of complaints at the end of each semester to make sure there has been resolution. In the event a complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, it may be reviewed with the Associate Dean of the College (with consent of the student).

The Director may opt to discuss a complaint at a staff meeting if appropriate for entire staff, and staff should be coached in how to respond to complaints and to consider them as opportunities to improve or to teach.