Patient Relations

​​All Ontario hospitals have a patient relations process in place. A patient relations process offers patients, their families and the public with a mechanism to confidentially voice compliments and concerns about their experience or the care they received and provide feedback that can help hospitals track the quality of patient experiences and identify opportunities for quality improvement.

Excellent Care for All Act

On September 1, 2015 new regulations were filed under the Excellent Care for All Act (ECFAA) to strengthen patient relations processes by specifying minimum standards respecting retention of certain information on complaints, keeping the patients or complainants informed, and ensuring the hospital has a patient relations delegate.

 ECFAA Regulation 188-15 (Patient Relations Process) - Backgrounder

Patient Relations Toolkit

The Ontario Hospital Association recognizes the work of Ontario's hospitals in continuous quality improvement and is pleased to provide its members with this Toolkit – a collection of Patient Relations resources and templates, designed to support the ongoing work of hospitals in improving patient experiences.

The Toolkit consists of resources related to the development of a Patient Relations framework; approaches to managing feedback, reporting and communication; departmental structure and function; and common templates and forms.

This resource was created with the goal of supporting Ontario hospitals in strengthening existing Patient Relations supports and to establish a more standardized approach to the Patient Relations function based on common key principles across organizations. Organizations should consult with patients on an ongoing basis to ensure the patient voice is incorporated in the development of Patient Relations policies and processes and these processes reflect the Patient Declaration of Values.

Hospitals are encouraged to use these principles to develop and guide their Patient Relations processes, recognizing that implementation will not look exactly the same within every organization.

Please click on the link below to view the toolkit; username and password required.

OHA Patient Relations Toolkit (2nd Edition)


Please note:  Important OHA member resources are available on this page.  To access these resources, members are required to sign in through the Log in at the top of the page.

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Office of the Patient Ombudsman

There may be circumstances where the patients and families are not satisfied with the hospital’s processes or investigation. Commencing July 2016, Ontario’s Patient Ombudsman Office was opened. The Patient Ombudsman Office is an independent body of last resort, available after the patient relations processes at the hospital have been exhausted. The new office will help ensure fairness and serve as an avenue for patients and families to request an investigation that is independent of the hospital in which the incident occurred.

Patient Ombudsman Website

Additional Resources to Support Hospitals

 Engaging Patients and Caregivers Guide
 Health Quality Ontario – Striving for Excellence in Patient Relations Processes in Ontario’s Hospitals
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