RESPONDING TO A COMPLAINT
HOW REGISTRANTS SHOULD HANDLE COMPLAINTS
Registrants are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a professional manner including when responding to the College about a complaint. The registrant’s attitude toward the complaint and cooperation during the investigation process may be important to the outcome.
Some tips on how to handle a complaint:
1. Stay calm; respond but don’t react. Many professionals during the course of their practice life will receive one or more complaints. A podiatrist must be able to carry on practicing without allowing upset to affect the standard of care that is given to their patients.
2. Respond appropriately. Maintain an objective, sober attitude toward the complaint, complainant and process; this will help you to provide a focused response.
3. Respond promptly, fully and respectfully. Again deportment and responsiveness throughout the complaint process may impact the outcome as well as help bring about a timely resolution.
4. Provide the documents that are requested by the College. Unless the College asks for originals, copies of records are sufficient for the purposes of the investigation.
5. Avoid communication by email about the complaint. The College will not correspond substantively by email, and email is often not secure.
6. Avoid denigrating the complainant; if you have concerns about the accuracy of the complainant’s evidence, state your version to the College in a professional and forthright manner.
7. Remember that registrants at all times are entitled to have legal representation to assist in responding to a complaint and communication with the College.
8. Recognizing that some malpractice coverage providers include an amount of coverage for legal representation in response to a complaint, consider notifying your insurer for that purpose.
9. If you have reason to believe that a civil claim is or might be initiated against you in connection with the subject matter of the complaint, notify your insurer.
10. Reflect on how the complaint may help you improve in any aspect of practice, including communicating with patients.