In 1967, approximately five state legislatures and even one territorial legislature established and have continued to employ a full-time ombudsman. The five states are Nebraska, Hawaii, Iowa, Alaska and Arizona and the territory of Puerto Rico which is owned by the United States. Other states have specific agencies that employ ombudsman as well.
An ombudsman’s job description is to troubleshoot and does any internal investigations regarding citizen complaints that concern any acts by the specific agency wherein they’re employed.
They take the complaints from a public agency, a person who works at the facility or a patient or their family if they are in a care center and they negotiate an action to remedy the situation. They will do the required investigative work to ensure that all of the proper steps are being taken to ensure an equitable solution.
The State Office Of The Ombudsman, the Workplace Conflict Prevention and the resolution center will handle all of the conflicts that aren’t being handled with a formal process. They will ensure that the situation has a resolution that is satisfactory to every party involved.
The organization has over 200 employee’s who tend to their various job assignments on a rotating basis. They ensure that all parties are in full compliance with regulations and that there is no abuse of the system in any way, shape or form.
The ombudsman works as an independent in the structure. They also function independently and within the organization. The ombudsman is a neutral and an impartial third party. They never engage in the situation that would be a conflict of interest.
They keep all of the information confidential and they focus on the privacy of all parties involved. They don’t seek assistance and they will only disclose information if they are given permission to disclose things.
Their position is an informal position and they don’t participate in any formal adjudicative procedures. They work on their own and they are independent in their observations.
They are on call and will be called in as needed to rectify any situation that requires an in-depth analysis. They will file a detailed report and their recommendations for resolving the situation. They will also file reports that will ensure that everyone is in compliance.
Each facility will employ an ombudsman from the corporation such as a nursing care center will employ an ombudsman that may work for several nursing care facilities all at the same time. They will divide their time up between the various facilities and focus on what the needs of the patient are.
If there is any abuse going on the ombudsman’s job is to see to it that it’s stopped and that everyone is in compliance. If charges need to be filed the ombudsman will make their recommendation as to the situation.
Depending on the facility and the state, there are still many ombudsmen out there working diligently to ensure that everyone is in full compliance of rules and regulations regarding each facility.