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Semin Med Pract 
2001 Jun ;4(2):17-28
How to respond to a formal patient complaint
McCleave SH

Physicians who receive a formal patient complaint for the first time may experience an emotional reaction of frustration and confusion. However, a physician who is willing to view complaints as constructive criticism may find that they are useful tools for quality improvement. The author offers some reasons why patients file formal complaints and describes how mediating agencies typically handle them. Practical steps for negotiating the emotional reaction to a formal complaint and for crafting an effective response are provided, as well as suggestions for learning from a complaint.

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