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Patient Relations

Who are we and what do we do?

Mission Statement: Patient Relations is committed to proactively provide services that meet or exceed the needs of our patients and families in a family-centered environment.

Our Patient Representatives visit with patients and their families to ensure patient satisfaction and assist them with needs that may arise during their visit to Children's of Alabama.

At Children's of Alabama, we understand that there is more involved in a child's care than just their illness. We understand that you, as parents and care-givers, may be under considerable stress. Our job, as Patient Representatives, is to alleviate some of that stress by providing assistance as needed. Patient Relations' responsibilities include the following:

  • Respond to concerned patients in a timely manner
  • Provide a tool for the research, resolution and recording of a patient complaint
  • Assist with understanding the teaching hospital environment
  • Assist in communication between the hospital, patient and families, especially in area of conflict resolution concerning treatment or care
  • Maintain confidentiality of all files and allow access only to individuals appropriately involved in the resolution of the concern
  • Make recommendations for improvement based on patient and family feedback
  • Provide information about resources both inside and outside of the hospital

Should you have a question or concern about your experience at our hospital, we suggest you first address your concern with your nurse, the department manager, or your doctor. If the concern remains unresolved, the Patient Relations staff is available to assist you.

If any individual has a concern that has not been addressed by the Patient Relations staff, the individual is encouraged to contact the Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring by calling 1-800-994-6610 or e-mailing complaint@jointcommission.org.

The Joint Commission can only evaluate complaint information in terms of its relevance to compliance with accreditation or certification standards. The Joint Commission is not the forum for the resolution of individual complaints or disputed matters, nor can they assist to resolve individual injuries or concerns. Joint Commission standards focus on safety and quality of care. Matters of billing, insurance, payment disputes, personnel issues, or labor relations are not within The Joint Commission's scope.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

Know what your patient rights and responsibilities are.
Patient Rights and Responsibilities (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

What will the Patient Reps do with the information I give them?
All information given to a Patient Rep is confidential. We will talk with the people involved in the situation and try to correct the problem.
In solving your problem, we use the information as a learning experience on how to better serve our patients and families.

If I have a concern after hours, who do I contact?
There is a Patient Rep in the hospital Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM. If the concern can't wait until the Patient Relations' office opens at 8:00 AM, speak with your nurse. If your nurse can't resolve your concern, ask them to contact the Charge Nurse, and then the Nursing Supervisor.

May I make a report of concern anonymously?
It is difficult for us to research or address your concern if we don't know all of the details. We can't speak with the other people involved unless we have specifics to reference. In other words, we need to know who you are and what your concern is.

May I make a report of concern if I'm not a patient or parent?
Due to HIPAA laws, we cannot release any patient information to anyone other than the parent or legal guardian. We prefer that the parent or legal guardian contact us directly.

Click here to learn more about Patient Satisfaction

Partnership between Family and Clinicians
Parents typically want to be allowed to be part of the healthcare team, if they desire. They want their knowledge of their child to be used in care decisions. Many want to participate in caring for their child, or be made to feel welcome to stay with their child. Partnership has been shown, along with communication, to be a key driver of satisfaction with pediatric services.

Confidence and Trust
The pediatric survey includes a separate dimension to assess confidence and trust with all members of the healthcare team.

Information, Education, Communication to Parent
Information can serve to reduce anxiety. Parents want information about their child's clinical status, progress and prognosis. They want to feel comfortable asking staff about their child.

Information, Education, Communication to Child
Parents and guardians want hospital staff to talk with the pediatric patient about his or her condition, and the things that will happen to the child while in the hospital. It is important to parents that these things be explained in child-friendly terms.

Coordination of Care and Services
Proper coordination of care is important to parents, as they are concerned about their child's vulnerability. Particularly with regard to patient safety, patients get concerned when coordination appears lacking. Parents and guardians express concern about the following: Coordination of clinical care, ancillary and support services and coordination of front-line patient care staff and services.

Physical Comfort
Physical comfort has a tremendous impact on how patients experience their care. Parents are concerned about having their children be comfortable, particularly with appropriate pain management.

Continuity and Transition
Meeting patient needs for continuity requires care providers to offer detailed, understandable information regarding medications, physical
limitations, and dietary needs patients will experience after they leave the hospital. Source: NRC Picker

Contact Information

To report a concern without fear that it will affect the care your child receives, contact a Patient Representative at 205-638-3999. Our office is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 am–9:00 pm. It is against Children's policy for you or your child to be retaliated against (penalized) for reporting a concern. We would never jeopardize the health or care of your child.


Children's of Alabama Main hospital number: 205-638-9100
1600 7th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233

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