Objective: To determine the frequency and nature of patient complaints in a large urban Fire Rescue system.
Methods: A two year retrospective review of all unsolicited patient complaints received from any source either internal or external, through our full-time customer service personnel. All customer complaints, concerns and interactions are documented on an interaction form which we reviewed. All complaints were resolved with disposition related to the customer prior to our retrospective study inclusion.
Results: During the study period our Fire Rescue system responded to a total of 169,651 calls for medical assistance. Our division customer service personnel received a total of 87 unsolicited customer complaints (n = 87) regarding the service encounter with Fire Rescue/EMS. This accounts for a 0.0005% rate of customer complaints captured in correlation to total incidents during the study period. The majority of complaints, 27% were related to lost or missing goods. Service that was perceived as uncourteous or inconsiderate after calling 911, accounted for 25% of complaints. Complaints regarding not being transported after calling 911 accounted for 18%. Uncourteous driving or noise of sirens accounted for 7% of complaints. 7% of complaints resulted from not being transported to the hospital of their choice. Actual care received concerns were only 3% of total. Leaving medical objects behind was 2% of the total volume and 4% fit no specific trend.