Patient Advocacy

The Office of Patient Advocacy serves as the liaison between patients and the Health Center in their expressions of praise or concern so that moral, ethical, operational and care standards are upheld on behalf of NEW Health patients.

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Our Goal

At North End Waterfront Health, our goal is to provide the best health care and medical service possible. Sometimes we exceed expectations. Every now and then, however, we may fail to meet our patients’ or families’ expectations. We want to learn from your experience, good or not so good. The Office of Patient Advocacy welcomes your compliments. We are also here to help you resolve a problem.

The Office of Patient Advocacy was created to provide a link between you and NEW Health leaders. Patient Advocates have the authority to communicate your compliments or to look into your complaint. If you have a complaint, we will work to resolve your problem in a neutral and non-threatening way.

Your Concerns Are Important to Us

Most patients or families who are not satisfied with our service may hesitate to talk to us about their complaints because they may not know how or they may not think it will do any good. If you contact us, two things will happen. You will give us a chance to try to resolve your problem and in solving your problem, we will also learn how to provide better service. The information that you provide is shared with our leadership. It is used to help us improve the care that we deliver. We value what you have to say and we welcome your call.

Phone: 617-643-8064
Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm

Notice for Use and Sharing of Protected Health Information

On April 14, 2003, the federal Office of Civil Rights implemented the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to promote privacy and trust between patients and their health care providers. As part of these rules, all new patients seeing their health care provider upon their initial visit are required to sign an acknowledgement form to indicate that they have received the Privacy Notice. The Privacy Notice describes how the hospital/provider uses and shares your personal health information.

Patient Privacy Notice – English
Patient Privacy Notice – Spanish

Policy on Confidentiality for Patients

NEW Health is committed to providing you with high quality health care and to forming a relationship with you that is built in TRUST. That means respecting your privacy and confidentiality of your medical information. We protect your privacy and confidentiality rights by creating and putting into practice policies and procedures that allow access to your personal medical information only for legitimate reasons.

Your medical record

As we provide your health care, we are required to maintain a complete copy of your medical history, current condition, treatment plan and all treatment given, including the results of all tests, procedures and therapies. Whether this information is stored in writing, on a computer, or other means, we will keep this information in a safe and sure way that protects your privacy and confidentiality. Of course, the physicians and other health care professionals who are involved in your care need to access this information in order to provide appropriate treatment for you.

Your medical information is private and confidential.

You, or anyone to whom you give written permission, or your legal representatives, have the right to read or get a copy of your medical information. Your medical record is the physical property of the individual hospital or physician practice.

How do we assure your privacy?

NEW Health has put in place detailed policies regarding access to medical records by our staff and employees and has carefully outlined the circumstances under which your medical information may be released to parties outside the hospital or physician practice. These policies conform to state and federal law and are designed to safeguard your privacy.

Our staff and employees are trained in the appropriate use of medical information and know that it is available to them only to continue to provide care to you or for other limited but legitimate reasons. A violation of confidentiality or the failure of an employee to protect your information from accidental or unauthorized access will not be tolerated. This may include the employee being fired from his or her job.

We do not allow others outside Partners to access your medical information unless we have the appropriate authorization to do so. We will request your authorization to release information at your first visit or admission. In addition, some laws prevent certain types of patient information from being released without specific patient permission. Examples include, but not limited to:

Confidential details of:

  • Psychotherapy (from records of my treatment by a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist or psychiatric clinical nurse specialist)
  • Other professional services of a licensed psychologist
  • Domestic Violence Victims’ Counseling
  • Sexual Assault Counseling
  • HIV test results (Patient authorization required for EACH release request.)
  • Records pertaining to Sexually-Transmitted Disease
  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse Records that are protected by Federal Confidentiality Rules (42 CFR Part 2)

Please note, however, that the law requires some information to be disclosed in certain circumstances. This includes mandatory reports of abuse of children or elderly or disabled persons. Also, subpoenas or court others may compel the disclosure of confidential or privileged health information in the context of a lawsuit or administrative proceeding.

Medical records are sometimes used for reasons other than patient care. For example, records are periodically reviewed to evaluate the quality of care, or to be sure that NEW Health follows the rules of regulatory agencies for the efficient and effective utilization of care such as Medicare, Department of Public Health, or Department of Mental Health. Your insurance company may request information that we are required to submit in order to provide and bill for your care. Anyone reviewing records must follow the same confidentiality laws and rules required of all health care providers.

Patient’s records are valuable tools used by researchers in finding the best possible treatments for disease and medical conditions. All researchers must follow the same rules and laws that other health care workers are required to follow to insure the privacy of patient information. Information that may identify you will not be released to anyone outside Partners without your written approval.

It is the goal of North End Waterfront Health and NEW Health Charlestown to give you the care that is right for your illness and to help you get well as soon as possible. We are committed to maintaining the rights, dignity and well-being of all patients.

These are your rights:

• You have the right to be treated in a caring and polite way.

• You have a right to know all the facts we have about your illness, treatments and possible outcomes. Your doctor or other health care giver will give these facts to you.

• You have the right to make decisions about the management of your own care.

• You have the right to know the names of the people who are taking care of you and how they will help you or provide for you; this is also true if you are being taken care of by students, resident doctors, or other people in training.

• You have the right to agree to an advance directive, such as Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) or a health care proxy, which tells the hospital and doctor how you want to be treated and whom you want to make decisions for you if you cannot speak for yourself at the time. The person you choose in your proxy is your Health Care Agent.

• You have the right to be examined in private by your doctor or other health care giver, and you have the right to talk to your doctor in private.

• You have the right to choose your own Primary Care Physician (PCP).

• You have the right to obtain care from other clinicians within the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). North End Waterfront Health is currently accredited as a PCMH.

• You have the right to be involved in the development of a treatment plan and to work collaboratively with your team to achieve planned outcomes.

• You have the right to discuss your health or receive written communications about your health in your preferred language. Similarly, you have the right to interpretation services to meet this need.

• You have the right to be educated about self-management tools and techniques.

• You have the right to look at your medical records and get a copy for a reasonable fee.

• You have the right to take part in a research study if you are asked. You also have the right to say no if you do not want to take part.

• You have the right to expect evaluation and treatment of pain.

• You have the right to expect that we will try to get back to you as quickly as possible when you ask us to do something.

• If you are a female rape victim of childbearing age, you have the right to be promptly offered emergency contraception upon request, and receive written information about emergency contraception.

• You have the right to receive written notice of how your health information will be used and shared in order for you to receive the highest quality of care. This is called our Privacy Notice and it contains patient rights and our legal duties regarding your health information. You may request a copy of this Privacy Notice from any staff member.

• You, your family, your significant other or your guardian have the right to report concerns about safety to your doctor, nurse or other health care giver or by calling our Patient Safety Officer at 617-643-8007.

• You, your family, your significant other or your guardian have the right to tell us when something is wrong. This is called presenting a complaint. If you present a complaint, your care will not be affected in any way. If you have a problem that you cannot solve with your doctor, nurse or other caregiver, please call the Office of Patient Advocacy (OPA) at 617-643-8064. If you send a complaint by fax, e-mail or written letter, OPA will acknowledge your communication within two business days. A representative from OPA will contact you, review your complaint, and make every effort to resolve your concerns at that time. If your complaint cannot be resolved in a timely manner it will become a grievance. OPA will review and resolve the grievance within 10 business days. If other departments are involved in the review, every effort will be made to resolve the issue within 30 days. An OPA representative will communicate with you if there is no resolution within the above time frames. A letter will be sent to you with the resolution. A letter will be sent to you that will include the name of the health center contact, steps taken for the review, results of the review, and the completion date.

• You have the right to file a complaint with an outside agency. You can file a quality of care complaint to the Massachusetts Division of Healthcare Quality at 617-753-8150 or to The Joint Commission at 800-994-6610. If you think your civil rights have been violated, you can call the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office at 617-727-2200.


These Are Your Responsibilities:

• Be honest with us and tell us all you know about your present illness, including other times you have been in the hospital, your health history, your current symptoms and anything else you know about your health that would help us treat you.

• Tell us the medicines you are taking, including the strength and how often you take them. Include over the counter medications, dietary supplements and herbal products you take and/or alternative medicines or treatments that you receive. Talk about any allergies or reactions you have had to any medications

• Participate in the treatment plan prescribed with you by the practitioner primarily responsible for your care.

• Ask your doctor or nurse when and how you will get the results of tests and procedures.

• Tell us if you do not understand what our staff is saying to you or if you do not understand what they are telling you to do; also please tell us if you think you will not be able to do what is asked of you during your care.

• Accept the responsibility for your actions if you refuse treatment or do not follow your Treatment Team’s instructions.

• Report unexpected changes in your condition to your doctor, nurse or other caregiver.

• Be considerate of the rights of other patients and health center personnel.

• Follow health center rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct; including the NO SMOKING policy.

• Respect the property of others and of the health center.

• Give the health center all of the information they will need about the payment for your medical care.

• Ask questions if you do not understand instructions given to you at discharge about the treatment plan that you will use at home, including the medications that you will take and the activities that you can do.

Thank you for taking the time to read the NEWH Patient Responsibilities. If you have any questions about this information, or would like a copy of the law called the Massachusetts Patient Bill of Rights, please call our Chief Compliance Officer at 617-643-8082. Ethics Advisory Board – 2019

Patients, families, visitors or staff can contact the office of Patient Advocacy with a concern.

If you have a problem that you cannot solve with your doctor, nurse or other caregiver, please call the Office of Patient Advocacy at 617-643-8106.

When you or your family contact a Patient Advocate, please be ready to share the following information:

  • The nature of your complaint
  • Your medical record number
  • The name(s) of the person(s) involved
  • The department in which the problem occurred
  • The date on which the problem occurred
  • Your ideas about how you would like us to help

Our Investigation Will Include:

  • Asking your permission to start the investigation
  • Talking with you and/or your family so that we know your concerns
  • Contacting and talking with the person(s) named in your complaint
  • Reviewing all appropriate documents, including your medical record, if necessary
  • Collaborating with you on a possible resolution

What to Expect from the Process
NECHC and outside regulatory agencies have set standards that we must follow when we manage patient or family complaints. These standards ensure that:

  • Patients and families are told that they have a right to file a complaint and they are told how to do so
  • We look into the complaint and, when indicated, make efforts to correct the problem
  • Each patient or family that makes a complaint receives a response from us
  • If you present a complaint, your care will not be affected in any way

Phone: 617-643-8106
Hours: Monday through Friday – 9:00am to 5:00pm

Share a compliment about a staff member or department by writing to the Office of Patient Advocacy.

If you have a problem that you cannot solve with your doctor, nurse or other caregiver, please call the Office of Patient Advocacy at 617-643-8106.

You or your family may extend a compliment to an individual staff member or to a department by writing a letter with your compliment:

  • You will receive a prompt personalized response from the person to whom the letter is written
  • Your letter will be shared with the appropriate staff member or department
  • Compliments we receive are entered into our database so that staff and hospital leaders can receive feedback about the good things that we do and share this information to help others learn from our successes

Send your letter to:

Patient Advocacy
North End Community Health Center
332 Hanover St.
Boston, MA 02113

Phone: 617-643-8106
Hours: Monday through Friday – 9:00am to 5:00pm

Treatment and care must be provided to all persons in need without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran or active military status, marital status, national origin, citizenship, alienage, ancestry, legal residence, economic status, parenthood, or contraceptive preference.

Intention / Use of Website

This agreement can be modified by North End Waterfront Health (“NEW Health”) at any time and any such modification will be effective immediately upon posting. By accessing and using this website, you assent to these terms and conditions.

Medical Disclaimer

If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Do not rely on electronic communications or communication through this website for immediate, urgent medical needs. This website is not designed to facilitate medical emergencies.

Health Content

This website does not provide medical advice.

Some information on the site is written by health care providers affiliated with NEW Health and its affiliates, and some content is provided by outside sources.

The content of this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only. The content is not meant to be complete or exhaustive or to be applicable to any specific individual’s medical condition.

NEW Health assumes no duty to correct or update the website nor to resolve or clarify any inconsistent information that might be a part of the website. This website contains health or medically related materials that can be considered sexually explicit. If you find these materials offensive, do not use this website.

This website is not an attempt to practice medicine or provide specific medical advice, and it should not be used to make a diagnosis or to replace or overrule a qualified health care provider’s judgment. Users should not rely up this website for emergency medical treatment. The content on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a qualified and licensed physician or other medical care provider, and follow their advice without delay regardless of anything read on this website.

Use of programs on the NEW Health website does not establish a doctor–patient relationship. Should you electronically request an appointment through the website, NEW Health will use the information you submit to arrange for care where and when appropriate.

Liability

You assume full responsibility for using the information on this site, and you understand and agree that Partners HealthCare and its affiliates, including NEW Health, are not responsible or liable for any claim, loss or damage resulting from its use by you or any user.

NEW Health cannot and does not warrant that access to the site will be error- or virus-free and does not guarantee against unauthorized users or hackers attempting to obtain access to this website.

NEW Health does not intentionally or knowingly collect personal information from children under age 18. If you are under the age of 18, please consult a parent or guardian for help in using this website.

Accuracy and Timeliness

Although we try to keep the information on the site as accurate as possible, NEW Health disclaims any warranty concerning its accuracy, timeliness and completeness of content, and any other warranty, express or implied, including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. NEW Health also reserves the right to temporarily or permanently discontinue this website, any page or any functionality at any time and without any notice.

External Links

In order to provide website users with other helpful information, the NEW Health website contains links to other websites. However, NEW Health provides no authority over external organizations’ websites, and this policy does not apply to external sites that are provided as links. Pages of external websites might have different terms of use.

Copyright

All copyrightable text, graphics, design, selection and arrangement of information in this website are copyrighted by North End Waterfront Health unless otherwise noted. View the Copyright Notice .

Privacy

By using the NEW Health website, you agree to acceptance of the Website Privacy Policy.

We will review this disclaimer frequently and reserve the right to revise it periodically. If we make changes to this policy, we will post the updated policy here.

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