Writing a Complaint Letter about your Dialysis Center

So, your are seeing something you do not like in your dialysis center and it has bothered you for awhile. You discussed it with techs and nurses and nothing has changed.  Or else something happened directly to you and you feel it needs to be reported.  I have found putting it into writing gets things taken care of  promptly.  There is a rule for dialysis centers from Medicare that says they must respond to written complaints with a certain time frame.  Letters of complaint reflect badly on centers when state or federal officials come to visit.

In order to write a good letter of complaint follow these steps:

Your name and address

The center’s name and address


RE: what this letter is regarding

Statement of who you are.

State the problem in a clear concise way.  Give examples and dates (if you have them).

States how it affects you as a patient. Be clear and polite.  No curse words or swearing.

Give a solution to the problem.  Give choices.  (Make a list.)

Tell what you need as the patient to make things right.

End it: Sincerely.

Your name and signature

I usually type up the letter and either leave it with the head nurse or with the FA directly.  Usually I am contacted within 24 hours with a solution or the FA explains what the problem has been and why things are the way they are.  Some things just cannot be changed, so be patient.

My example letter:

From: Katherine S- Patient

To: Fresenius Dialysis Unit

To Whom It Concerns:

I have been a dialysis patient at this center for a few years now.

I try to be a model patient and follow the rules and do what I am supposed to as a patient.

I am writing this letter to report an incident that happened in the clinic on

Friday. June ??, 2018, at 1pm.

I arrived at my appointed time and was placed into a chair. ??? was my technician this afternoon.

He proceeded to stick me with 15-gauge needles, when my prescription calls

for 16-gauge needles.  I use 16-gauge needles to protect the life of my fistula

under orders from my vascular surgeon. I did not catch his mistake until he

already had two needles in me.  I asked him “Are you using 15s on me, I use 16s

always 16s.”  His answer was “It won’t matter, we run you slow anyway.” This

tech has put me on before and should have known I use 16-gauge needles,

considering it is in my prescription and should be easily accessible to the

technicians putting me onto the machine.

Why do I have to feel like I need to follow up on what technicians are doing to

me in the clinic?  I thought they were trained to pay attention to differing

prescriptions for all patients on dialysis in the clinic.  Technicians should not be

automatically treating every patient the same way. We should all be

treated according to our individual prescription.

I am not being a demanding patient, but asking the  clinic technicians to be

sure to follow my orders and prescriptions while on dialysis is not too much to

ask.  As a patient I need to feel safe with who is taking care of me when I am at

the dialysis clinic.


Katherine S.

I received almost immediate responses the this letter from the FA and the rounding nephrologist after I turned it in.  I think the tech was reprimanded and told to be extra careful in working with his patients.