Zumbro Valley Mental Health Center (ZVHC) is committed to offering quality services, in a safe and professional environment. We continuously strive to improve our services. Clients shall be encouraged and assisted throughout their course of care at ZVHC to understand and exercise their rights as clients and citizens. Clients may voice complaints or grievances that are related, but not limited to: the services being provided, access to services, the facility and safety issues. In addition, clients are free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal, including threat of discharge. In determining whether a grievance or complaint has been filed, we will use the following definitions:

Complaint – client concerns which can typically be resolved promptly or within 24 business hours; they are typically issues that do not require an investigation. Generally a complaint is verbal and does not require a written response to the client.

Grievance – a complaint which a client believes has not been resolved; a concern that cannot be resolved promptly by staff or the program director, or involves an investigation; a grievance is generally written, however can be verbal, and requires a written response from the agency.

Although most complaints are verbal and grievances are written, either can be submitted verbally or in writing. All complaints and grievances must be documented. Clients submitting a written complaint or grievance are encouraged to do so on the appropriate form. Similarly, staff who receive a verbal complaint or grievance must document this on either the Complaint or Grievance Form, whichever is appropriate.

All clients will be informed of the Complaint and Grievance Procedure at the time of admission via the "Clients Rights and Responsibilities". Clients in programs licensed by 245G will be explained the grievance policy upon admission. Clients are encouraged to first discuss a complaint with their primary staff person or the Program Supervisor. If this does not resolve the concern or the client is uncomfortable talking to the staff person directly, he or she may follow these steps:

1. Any staff can assist the client, former client, or their authorized representative in developing and processing his or her complaint or grievance. Clients may register a complaint or grievance via telephone, e-mail, or by completion of the Complaint or Grievance Form. The complaint must be documented in writing; therefore clients may complete the form themselves or dictate the complaint to a staff person who will put it in writing. Complaint and Grievance Forms are available at the front desk or from any employee.

a. Staff will verbally review the complaint or grievance with the client to get a full understanding of the issue.

b. The client or staff will complete the documentation of the complaint or grievance on the appropriate reporting form.

c. The documented complaint or grievance will be reviewed by both the client and the staff and it will be signed and dated by both parties.

2. The staff person receiving the complaint will attempt to resolve the complaint with the client. If there is no mutually agreeable resolution, staff will forward the complaint to either their direct supervisor or program director. A staff person receiving a grievance will forward it to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

3. The supervisor or program director will investigate the complaint. If the supervisor or program director is unable to resolve the complaint, it will be forwarded to the CEO as a grievance, who will respond in written form within 3 days of receipt of the grievance.

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