Patient Advocate Department

(718) 963-7189

Patient Population Served
The Patient Advocate Department serves as a liaison between the patient/surrogate and the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center staff. Services are provided to patients of all ages in both inpatient and outpatient settings. 

Methods Used to Assess and Meet Patient’s Care Needs
The Patient Advocate Department serves as the centralized grievance mechanism to achieve satisfactory resolution to problems. Complaints and concerns are handled following Policy & Procedures of WHMC and the guidelines set forth by the Joint Commission and CMS.  Patients/surrogates that submit a written complaint are responded to in writing within seven days. When circumstances dictate the need for a longer timeframe, the patient/surrogate is notified in writing that the investigative process requires additional time to ensure the nature of their concerns is fully answered.   

The Patient Advocate acts to ensure that each patient receives all services to which he/she is entitled, in accordance with their rights. If a patient does not understand his/her rights, the Patient Advocate is notified by staff.  The Patient Advocate will then visit the patient and provide an explanation of the Patients’ Bill of Rights to them. 

The Department consults with professional staff and family regarding the management of medical-ethical questions and dilemmas. Patients and their significant others have direct access to the Bio-ethics Committee via their Physician, Nurse, or Patient Advocate. The intake information for the committee is obtained by the Patient Advocate. The Committee provides a forum for patients, their families/significant others, and staff involved in patient care to discuss ethical issues and concerns which arise during patient care and treatment.  

The Patient Advocate advises hospital staff, patients, and families on such matters as DNR/DNI and Advance Directives. The Patient Advocate will review and Advance Directive when requested by staff to determine if the directive was appropriately executed.  

Availability of Necessary Staff
The Patient Advocate Department consists of a Director and a Patient Advocate. The department is located on the 4th floor; room 421. The hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. This ensures that files can be pulled if a Regulatory Agency should visit.  The Patient Advocate can be reached at x7189 or by beeper.  Coverage during hours when the Patient Advocate Department is closed is provided by the Nursing Supervisor on Duty. 

The Extent to Which Care Provided Meets Patient Needs
Through direct patient/family contact, interdepartmental referrals, and Regulatory Agencies, the Patient Advocate Department is afforded the opportunity to assess first hand patient satisfaction. Information obtained from Patient Advocate statistics are integrated into the Performance Improvement, Risk management, and Administrative process to ensure effective systems, which are responsive to patient/surrogate needs.