Frequently Asked Questions - Patient & Family Advocacy

What is a Patient Advocate and how can they help me?

Patient advocates look into and help resolve patient and family complaints. If you are not satisfied with your care or if there are communication issues, a Patient Advocate can help you. We can also answer your questions about confidentiality and assist you in getting information about your care.

Who can call a Patient Advocate?

Patients, families, visitors or Fletcher Allen staff can contact a Patient Advocate.

How can I access a Patient Advocate?

Fletcher Allen's Office of Patient Advocacy is located on Level 3, West Pavilion, on the Medical Center Campus.  Our telephone number is 802-847-3500. Patient advocates are available Monday through Friday from 8 am-4 pm, excluding holidays.

Patient advocates are available to meet with patients, families, visitors or staff or they can be contacted by telephone from inside or outside of the hospital. Walk-ins are always welcome. You can also contact a Patient Advocate in writing or by e-mail and you will receive a timely response.

If I have a complaint, how will it be handled?

A Patient Advocate will look into your complaint and work with you to resolve the issue. Your complaint is entered into our database and reports are sent to hospital leadership several times a year.  It’s important for you to know that your concerns are kept confidential unless you give us permission to disclose them.

Are Patient Advocates employed by Fletcher Allen?

Yes, but Patient Advocates act as a neutral party by serving as a link between you and Fletcher Allen and provide a voice for the patient.

Can I report a complaint without giving my name?

Yes, but the investigation and follow-up will be more difficult because we will not be able to use specific information about your care.

What if I want to report my complaint to an outside agency?

You can always contact an outside agency for more information.  Please see Fletcher Allen’s Patient Rights and Responsibilities.

Can a Patient Advocate help me locate lost belongings?

Yes, we can. Fletcher Allen works with patients and families to maintain the safety of their property and valuables.  However, we do not assume responsibility for patient property and valuables left in the patient’s room or elsewhere here, and we encourage you to leave valuable items at home.  If you have lost something, the Office of Patient and Family Advocacy, in collaboration with our Security Department, will do their best to help you find a lost item.

Are interpreter services available?

Yes, interpreters for sign and spoken language are available for many languages and for the hearing-impaired or deaf patients.  Arrangements can be made through Fletcher Allen's Office of Case Management & Social Work by calling 802-847-5826 between the hours of 8:30 am – 5 pm, Monday-Friday.  After 5 pm, and on weekends and holidays, please call 802-847-0000, and request the on-call social worker for assistance.