Oregon Health & Science University Patient Advocate Specialist in Portland, Oregon

Work Unit Description

This position includes the intake, investigation, follow-up, resolution and documentation of incidents and patient complaints, grievances, concerns, and inquiries at OHSU Hospitals and Clinics, including Casey Eye Institute, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and Ambulatory Care Clinics, satellite clinics, off-site centers and programs.


Functions/Duties of Position

1 Patient Advocacy: responds to concerns brought by patients/families or staff. This activity occurs in person, in the department, on the phone, by written correspondence, by e-mail or web-site electronic conveyance, in person at various hospital and clinic venues. The Patient Advocate Specialist (“Advocate”) documents and investigates the concerns of patients/families/staff; defines the facts and recommends, advocates or implements a resolution or intervention consistent with OHSU standards of practice, and federal and state regulatory compliance. The Advocate practices with minimal supervision, in consultation and collaboration with the Director/Ombudsman as needed on significant issues, such as sentinel events, matters of policy, and formal grievances. The Advocate provides written feedback to patient grievances according to department standards, OHSU policy and regulatory requirements; documenting in the department complaint management program for purposes of reporting and trending. The Advocate responds to questions and inquiries re: OHSU policies and procedures, Patient Rights, The Joint Commission regulations, Patient Privacy and Confidentiality and the Healthcare Information Privacy and Portability Act. The Advocate facilitates patient, family and staff access to spiritual care by Hospital Chaplains and Faith Specific Spiritual Care Volunteers, Language Services for interpreters and translations, Palliative Care Consultation, Grievance Procedures and Clinical Ethics Consultation. The Advocate interacts with all members of the healthcare workforce, management and administrative staff, as needed to accomplish their work. The Advocate interacts with various officials from community, state or federal agencies as needed. The Advocate assists the Director and accepts other tasks as assigned.

2 Education and Training: Upon assignment by the Director, the Advocate provides staff education, including, but not limited to policies and procedures related to patient rights. The Advocate participates in training and mentoring Advocate students and/or Fellows.

3 Policies and Procedures: The Advocate assists the Director/Ombudsman in the evaluation, revision and/or creation of OHSU policies and procedures as they relate to patient relations activities. The Advocate fully participates in and supports compliance with state and federally regulated patient-care policies.

4 Committees/Outreach/Community Liaison: the Advocate participates in appropriate committee, outreach and community liaison assignments as required by the Director.

Job Requirements


  • Master of Social Work, Master of Counseling, Master of Health Advocacy, or similar academic preparation in health care related fields.
  • Five to seven years of relevant clinical or social work, including conflict resolution and mediation skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills.
  • Conflict resolution skills related to patient care, service and communication issues.
  • Knowledge and demonstrated skill in the application of group dynamics collaboration, behavioral management setting boundaries and explaining policies and procedures to individuals at various education levels.
  • Ability to use computer programs and type proficiently.
  • Knowledge of continuous quality improvement processes and tools.
  • Basic understanding of statistical and data analysis.
  • Must be able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without accommodation


  • Ethics Consultation training
  • Clinical Ethics Consultation
  • Ethics Consultation Certification


Additional Details

Oregon Health & Science University values a diverse and culturally competent workforce. We are proud of our commitment to being an equal opportunity, affirmative action organization that does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of any protected class status, including disability status and protected veteran status. Individuals with diverse backgrounds and those who promote diversity and a culture of inclusion are encouraged to apply. To request reasonable accommodation contact the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Department at 503-494-5148 or aaeo@ohsu.edu.

Job Title: Patient Advocate Specialist

Department: Patient Relations

Location: OHS 9C20

Drug Testable: Yes

Job: IRC77685

FTE: 1.0, Full-Time

Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm

Salary Range: Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience

Location: Portland, OR (Marquam Hill)

Job Type: Unclassified Administration