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Patient Advocacy

What to Expect From a Patient Advocate

We recommend that patients first attempt to resolve any issues that arise by speaking directly with the particular staff member or manager of the department in which the problem has occurred. If these attempts do not resolve the situation, or if you feel uncomfortable addressing your problem within the department, you may call the OPA and a Patient Advocate will be assigned to investigate your complaint.

When you or your family request the assistance of a Patient Advocate, we will begin our investigation by asking you for the following background information:

  • The nature of your complaint
  • Your name and the name of the patient
  • The medical record number or date-of-birth of the patient
  • The BMC department in which the problem has occurred
  • The name(s) of any staff member(s) involved
  • The date and time at which the problem occurred
  • A telephone number where we may reach you, or your department and room number if you are an inpatient
  • Your suggestions for how you would like a Patient Advocate to help

If you do not wish to identify yourself when speaking with a Patient Advocate, you may file your complaint anonymously. However, investigation and follow-up will likely be more difficult for the Patient Advocate because he/she will not be able to use specific information to address your concerns.

Our Process

The OPA will use the following process to resolve patient/family grievances:

  • We will inform you that all patients and families have the right to file a complaint.
  • We will inform you that presenting a complaint will not affect the care you or the patient are currently receiving or will receive.
  • We will ask for your permission to begin an investigation.
  • We will speak with you and your family to better understand your concerns. If you are an inpatient, a Patient Advocate will likely visit you in your room (with your permission) to discuss your case in person.
  • We will contact and speak with the person(s) named in your complaint.
  • We will review all appropriate documents, including your medical record, if necessary.
  • We will collaborate with you to resolve the identified issue.
  • We will document your case in our database and inform the appropriate individuals about the determined resolution.

Contact Us

Office of Patient Advocacy  
Boston Medical Center
One Boston Medical Place
Dowling Building, Ground Floor, Room 406B
Boston, MA 02118-2393

Call:  617.414.4970


Helpful Phone Numbers

Main Switchboard for
general information
Call: 617.638.8000

Medical Records
Call: 617.414.4213

Privacy Officer
1.800.586.2627, or email:

Patient Billing
Call: 617.638.6157

Call: 800.439.2370

More Helpful Phone Numbers


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