Have you (or someone you care about) had a poor health care experience? Are you wondering who to talk to and what to say? If so, this guide is for you.

Health Care For All's Consumer Health Quality Council aims to promote patient safety and quality of health care. Part of this work involves sharing information on what to do when things don’t go as expected in the hospital, despite the good intentions of both patients and health care providers.

Members of the Council created this guide to help people successfully navigate the customer service channels at different hospitals. This guide features information about the contacts and policies at each hospital, as well as general advice about addressing health care quality problems whenever—and wherever—they arise.

This Guide is still in development. We will add additional hospitals and health centers over time. Please share your experiences and advice with us, so that we can all benefit from a growing body of knowledge. Contact Deb at dwachenheim@hcfama.org.

Why Speak Up

Why it’s important for you to speak up, how it may help you to have a better outcome, and how your action may have a lasting impact on health care quality for future patients.

How to Speak Up

Tips and advice from fellow patients on how to speak up - from having a dialogue with your caregivers to filing a formal complaint. This section also includes sample complaint letters tailored to various organizations.

Other Places to Find Help

Agencies that investigate and enforce health care standards, and how to contact them.

Individuals Like You

You’re not alone. Read “Stories of Harm,” a series of essays compiled by the members of the Consumer Health Quality Council, in which we discuss how poor quality health care has affected our lives. Most of the members of the Consumer Health Quality Council have had personal experience or harm and use their experience to advocate for better quality health care.


Information on MA Hospitals | What is a Patient Advocate | Writing Complaint Letters