SECTION 1. POLICY
It is the policy of the Bridgeport Hospital to foster, through good communications, should relations between resident staff members and their Department Chairman or Program Directors and to ensure that all members receive fair and equitable treatment. Every effort is made to make such resident-faculty communication participatory, collegial and open-ended. In accordance with this policy, Bridgeport Hospital has adopted a grievance procedure to ensure that any problems arising from their programs and activities are discussed and equitably resolved.
SECTION 2. APPLICATION
This policy has application to all resident staff members of the Hospital. A resident staff members is defined as a physician who is functioning under a resident or fellow contract with Bridgeport Hospital and who receives a stipend for his/her services from the Hospital.
SECTION 3. DEFINITION
A grievance is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction regarding:
- resident's written contract;
- duties assigned to a resident;
- application of Hospital policies, or
- a question regarding the termination of nonrenewal of the appointment of a resident.
SECTION 4. PROCEDURAL DETAILS
- All time limits specified herein are calendar days. In the interest of prompt resolution, all grievances should be processed whenever possible within the prescribed time limits. In the event of extenuating circumstances, a time limit may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties at each step.
- Grievance meetings should be scheduled at mutually satisfactory times.
- The resident may consult the Director of Personnel for advice and assistant at any time during the grievance procedure.
- New grievance issues that were not raised at Step I will ordinarily not be considered at Step II or III.
- A written summary of the grievance and facts and information accumulated, together with copies of grievance appeals and decisions should be prepared at each step and forwarded to the Director of Medical Education as well as to the next higher level of the grievance procedure. These documents will also be made a part of the resident's file.
- At the conclusion of each step of the grievance procedure, the involved resident and Department Chairman will receive a written decision from the reviewing individual or panel, which includes an explanation as to why the decision was reached.
- Grievance information or testimony should be treated in a most discreet and confidential manner by all persons involved.
SECTION 5. PROFESSIONAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE/ADMINISTRATIVE GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
STEP I - Section Chief or Department Chairman
If a resident is unable to resolve his/her grievance directly with the person(s) involved, the grievance procedure may be initiated as follows:
- The resident must submit a written statement of the grievance to the Section Chief or Department Chairman (or his/her designee). The Director of Personnel will provide assistance in reducing the grievance to writing.
- The grievance procedure should be initiated within ten days following the date of the incident giving rise to the grievance.
- The Section Chief or Department Chairman will then arrange a meeting with the resident to discuss the grievance, develop all available facts and information relative to the grievance. At this meeting the resident will have the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses relevant to the grievance. The Section Chief or Department Chairman will issue a written decision within ten days after the meeting with the resident. A copy of the decision will be forwarded to the Director of Personnel.
STEP II - Director of Medical Education (or Administrative Representative)
If the resident is not satisfied with the resolution of the grievance reached at Step I, the resident may appeal the Step I decision to the Director of Medical Education (or his/her designee) for review at Step II.
The appeal of the grievance must be in writing and presented to the Director of Medical Education (or his/her designee) within ten days after receiving the Step I decision. The grievance is considered final on the basis of the Step I decision if such a request is not presented within such ten day period.
Upon receiving the grievance appeal, the Director of Medical Education (or his/her designee) will conduct a preliminary investigation as a background for analysis and discussion, and meet with the resident within ten days after receiving the grievance appeal to hear his/her viewpoint. The Director of Personnel will be available to assist the resident in discussing the grievance at this step.
The Director of Medical Education (or his/her designee's) decision will be presented to the resident within ten days following the meeting, with copies to the Director of Personnel and the Section Chief or Department Chairman.
STEP III - Senior Vice President for Medical or Grievance Panel (President or Grievance Panel)
If the resident is not satisfied with resolution of the grievance reached at Step II, the resident may appeal the Step II decision for review at Step III. This request for an appeal must be writing and presented to the Senior Vice President for medical Affairs (or President of the Hospital) within seven days after receiving the Step II decision. The grievance is considered final on the basis of the Step II decision if such a request is not presented within such seven day period.
A case determined by the Director of medical Education to be a professional grievance, may be reviewed and decided at resident's option by either:
- The Senior Vice Present for Medical Affairs, or
- An appointed three-member panel.
If the Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs is the arbiter, the procedure will be identical in time and form as that noted when the President is arbiter.
If an appointed panel is chosen by the resident:
- The resident appoints one housestaff member (from a clinical department other than his/her own) to the panel.
- The Director of Medical Education appoints one member of the Medical Staff Executive Committee of the Hospital (not a resident or physician from same clinical department as the resident).
- The two appointed members select a third member as chairperson. This person shall be a member of the Medical Staff Executive Committee of the hospital (and not a resident or physician from the same department).
The panel will meet with the resident within 15 days after receiving the Step III appeal, conduct a thorough review, and prepare a written decision within 15 days after the meeting which shall be binding and final. A copy of the decision will be provided to the resident and the Section Chief or Department Chairman. If the panel cannot reach a decision, the grievance is referred to the Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs who will reach a binding and final decision. In a case determined by the Director of Medical Education to be an Administrative grievance, the grievance is reviewed and a final decision made at the resident's option by either:
- The President of the Hospital or
- An appointed three-member panel.
If the arbiter of the grievance is chosen to be the Hospital President, the Director of Medical Education will arrange a meeting with the resident to be held within 15 days after receiving the Step III appeal. The President will issue a written decision within 7 days after the meeting.
Should the resident elect a panel to deliberate:
- The resident chooses one housestaff member (from other than his/her own clinical department) to the panel.
- The Director of Medical Education appoints one member of administration to serve on the panel.
- The two appointed panel members select a third member who shall act as chairperson. This member shall be a member of the Medical Staff Executive Committee of the Hospital who is neither a resident nor a physician from the same clinical department as the resident submitted the grievance.
The panel meets with the resident within 15 days after receiving the Step II appeal, and prepares a written decision after thorough review within 15 days after the meeting. Such decision shall be binding and final. If the panel is unable to reach a decision within such 15 days, the President of the Hospital will review the facts and issue a binding and final decision.