During your stay in our hospital, you will come into contact with many staff members. Each staff member strives to provide you with the best possible and safest care. If things do not go as expected, we would like to hear about it. Initially, we encourage direct communication with the individuals involved. If a solution is not found, mediation can be requested through an ombudsman. If necessary, the ombudsman can then organize a mediation session with the parties involved. Although the ombudsman will make every effort to work towards a solution, there is no guarantee of the outcome. Therefore, the ombudsman cannot be held responsible for whether or not an acceptable solution is reached for all parties.
Complaints, medical, and patient safety incidents can be reported in confidence. Our ombudsman will personally contact you. AZJP guarantees that our ombudsman maintains a neutral and independent position during the mediation process. The ombudsman is bound by professional confidentiality. Mediation by the ombudsman of AZJP is free of charge.
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction but can also be a request for clarification regarding healthcare. Possible complaints may involve concerns or dissatisfaction with a treatment by a medical specialist. Based on the complaints, recommendations are developed to structurally avoid recurring issues. The right to complain is outlined in Article 11 of the Patient Rights Act (August 22, 2002).
A medical or patient safety incident is an unintended event during the healthcare process that has led to harm to the patient, could have led to harm, or could still lead to harm. Guidelines are developed based on these reports with the aim of preventing the same incident.
AZJP (AZ Jan Portaels) has an ombudsman service that operates independently and neutrally. The Ombudsman service handles all complaints about the services provided by AZ Jan Portaels, as outlined in the Patient Rights Act (2002). In addition to addressing complaints, you can also approach the Ombudsman service to report a (medical) incident and to receive information about your rights as a patient.
Details on how and by whom incidents, complaints, and suggestions are processed are clarified in the house rules that can be found at the bottom of this page.
Before contacting the Ombudsman service, it is important to attempt to discuss the issue with the involved person or department. If you do not achieve the desired result or find it challenging to have this conversation yourself, you can seek assistance from the Ombudsman service. The ombudsman will listen to your story, provide information, and try to mediate between the involved parties. Complaints/questions about billing, lost items, damages, and similar issues (as mentioned above) are addressed by the Ombudsman service in the second line. This means that if the relevant services and responsible individuals were initially approached but you are dissatisfied with the complaint resolution.
The legal mandate of the ombudsman service (Law, August 22, 2002, article 11)
- The ombudsman initially has the task of promoting communication between the patient and the healthcare provider through preventive actions to prevent complaints.
- If a patient files a complaint with a competent ombudsman service, claiming that one of their rights was not respected (e.g., lack of information about their health, difficult access to the patient record, inadequate quality of care), mediation aims to resolve the disagreement with the cooperation of the patient and the healthcare provider.
- If the parties do not reach a resolution, the ombudsman informs the complainant about other existing options to address their request.
- In addition to disseminating information about its own organization, the ombudsman function formulates recommendations in its annual report to avoid the recurrence of specific dissatisfactions related to patient rights.
You can contact the Ombudsman service in various ways:
1. In writing: Attn. Ombudsman AZ Jan Portaels, Gendarmeriestraat 65, 1800 Vilvoorde
2. Via email: ombudsdienst [at] azjanportaels.be
3. By phone. If the ombudsman is not available, you can leave a voicemail message.
Phone number: T 02 257 56 54
4. During a personal meeting (make a telephone appointment).
- Monday and Tuesday: 8:30 am to 3 pm
- Thursday and Friday: 8:30 am to 12 pm
- Outside office hours and on weekends, you can leave a voicemail or send an email.
- During the months of July and August, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday: 8:30 am to 3 pm.
The Ombudsman service of AZ Jan Portaels is located in block F, on the first floor.
If you are admitted and have difficulty moving, you can ask your department to invite the Ombudsman service to come and meet you.
The qualitative and safe care for you as a patient is central at AZ Jan Portaels. All healthcare providers strive to provide you with the very best care.
While we always aim to avoid any unforeseen events in the care process, if something does go wrong, we find it important to communicate with you as a patient and your loved ones. We refer to this as 'open disclosure' or 'communication in the event of a patient safety incident.'
In this process, you as the patient remain the focal point. In the event of an incident, we try to inform you as quickly as possible that something went wrong. It's important for you to know what didn't go as expected, and it's equally important for you to indicate the information you wish to receive and what information you'd prefer not to have. Each patient is unique, and we strive to tailor our open disclosure communication to your needs as much as possible. Expressing how you feel about our communication is always welcome and helps us further optimize our approach.
Did you know that you can also report incidents yourself? Perhaps you are experiencing a problem with the care that our healthcare providers have not yet noticed. This can always be reported on the department or through our website. Later on, as a patient, you will also be able to do this through our digital incident reporting system, Zenya.
In incidents with potential consequences for you as a patient, you will first be informed that something in the care did not go as we had hoped. We aim to provide clarity as soon as possible about the cause of the incident and its (possible) consequences for you. We also try, where possible, to involve your general practitioner.
You always retain the right to a copy or access to your patient file. We do not sweep anything under the rug; we want to learn from incidents for the future so that we can avoid them in the future.
Everyone in the hospital is here for you and your loved ones. Feel free to approach the staff and doctors of AZ Jan Portaels if you want more information or if you are dissatisfied with the communication following the patient safety incident.
When the care for you as a patient does not go as everyone hoped, it can evoke emotions. Know that your emotions are valid, and no one will judge you for having an emotional reaction. We rely on mutual respect.
Furthermore, we find it important that even after the incident is concluded, you are still welcome at AZ Jan Portaels to talk about what you have experienced or to provide additional information. Everyone here is ready to support you.
If you need further assistance after the conversation about the incident, the ombudsman service is there for you.