Find answers to frequently asked questions about the Office of Patient Advocacy and getting assistance from a Patient Advocate.

Q. Are Patient Advocates employed by the hospital?
A. Yes, but Patient Advocates act as a neutral party by serving as a link between you and the hospital. Patient Advocates are not lawyers and do not provide legal advice.

Q. What kind of issues does the Office of Patient Advocacy handle?
A. Patient advocates look into and help resolve patient and family complaints. If you are not satisfied with your care or if there are communication issues, a Patient Advocate can help you. 

Q. Who can call a Patient Advocate?
A. Patients, families, visitors or staff can contact a Patient Advocate with an issue of concern.

Q. How can I access a Patient Advocate?
A. The Office of Patient Advocacy is located in the lobby of the Wang Ambulatory Care Center in Room 018. The telephone number is 617-726-3370. Patient Advocates are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 5 pm, excluding holidays. Patient Advocates are available to meet with patients, families, visitors or staff or they can be contacted by telephone from inside or outside of the hospital. Walk-ins are always welcome. You can also contact a Patient Advocate in writing or by email and you will receive a timely response.

Q. Are interpreter services available?
A. Yes, medical interpreters are available by calling 617-726-6966. If you need to use an interpreter to help you present your complaint, we will make those arrangements.

Q. If I have a complaint, how will it be handled?
A. A Patient Advocate will be assigned to look into your complaint and work with you to resolve the issue. Your complaint is entered into our database and reports are sent to hospital leadership several times a year. This information is used to improve the care we deliver.

Q. Can I report a complaint without giving my name?
A. Yes, but the investigation and follow up will be more difficult to do because we will not be able to use specific information about your case.

Q. What if I want to report my complaint to an outside agency?
A. You can file a quality of care complaint to the Massachusetts Division of Healthcare Quality at 617-753-8150 or to the Joint Commission at 800-994-6610. If you think your civil rights have been violated, you can call the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office at 617-727-2200.

Q. Can a Patient Advocate help me locate lost belongings?
A. Patients and visitors are asked to contact the unit/department you were last on or call Police and Security. If the lost item contains identifying information, Police and Security will attempt to contact the owner and return the item. If an item is not claimed within 30 days, it becomes the property of Mass General.