Complaints relevant to health care
What are the types of healthcare complaints?
Complaint about your health.
Complaint against health care professional.
Complaint against health care facility.
Complaint against others connected to health care.
Complaint against state department of health.
Complaint against drugs/medicines.
Complaint against health care professional.
Filing Complaints Against Health Care Professionals

Where should the complaint be sent?
Will the person know who filed a complaint?
Will the public be aware a complaint or self-report has been received?
What happens with the complaint?
How long does the investigative process take?
What can the subject of the complaint or people making the complaint do to assist in the investigative process?
What are the possible Board members decisions or actions?


Dismissal – Evidence does not support there has been a violation of the Nurse Practice Act.


Letter of Concern – A letter from the Board expressing concern that a licensee, certificate holder or applicant may have been engage in questionable conduct that is considered low risk or harm to the public.  A letter of concern issued by the Board is non-discipline and is not an appealable agency action

Disciplinary Actions

Civil Penalty – A monetary fine issued by the Board, not to exceed $1,000, given singly or in combination with any disciplinary action for a violation of the Nurse Practice Act.

Decree of Censure – This is an official discipline by the Board that the individual’s conduct violated the Nurse Practice Act but does not represent a continued risk to the patient/public.

Probation – This action allows the nurse to continue working during the period of probation subject to compliance with the terms and conditions.  During the period of probation the nurse must be supervised in their practice and complete certain requirements which are aimed at rehabilitation or educating and remediating the nurse in his/her area(s) of practice deficit.  For example, a nurse with a substance abuse issue may be required to enter and complete treatment, attend AA/NA meetings, abstain from alcohol and other drug use along with other requirements.  A nurse who lacks sufficient knowledge of medications or safe administration may be required to take a pharmacology course, etc.

Suspension – A person who has been suspended may not practice during the period of suspension.  A person who has been suspended has terms and conditions which must be fulfilled during the period of suspension and before being allowed to resume practice.  Examples of terms and conditions may include completing a refresher course, psychological or substance abuse treatment in addition to other requirements.  A licensee/certificate holder that has been suspended often has a period of probation or monitoring following successful completion of the terms of suspension.

Revocation This action prohibits the nurse/certificate holder from practicing for a minimum of five years, pursuant to A.A.C. R4-19-404.  When a license/certificate has been revoked, the applicant for re-issuance must provide detailed information to the Board that the reason for revocation no longer exists and that the issuance of a license/certificate would no longer threaten the public health or safety. A.A.C. R4-19-404 or R4-19-815) The individual whose license/certificate has been revoked may not practice or otherwise indicate to the public that they hold a license/certificate.

Denial – A person (applicant) who has been denied a license/certificate may not practice and is not eligible to reapply to the Board for a period of five years.

Voluntary Surrender – A Consent Agreement has been signed in which an APRN, RN, LPN, CNA has voluntarily surrendered their license or certificate.

Administrative Violations

Administrative Penalty – A penalty/fine given to a licensee or certificate holder who has worked on an expired license/certificate, or failed to notify the Board of an address change within 30 days. It is not reportable to NCSBN or other national data centers.

Complaint Investigations

Frequently Asked Questions

The Department investigates quality of care issues, such as allegations of actual or potential harm to patients, patient rights, infection control, and medication errors. The Department also investigates allegations or harm or potential harm due to an unsafe environment.

Q. What information is needed to file a complaint?

The Department needs to know the who, what, when, where and how. Who is the patient/resident? Who are the employees involved? What happened to the patient/resident? What are the specific allegations (abuse/neglect, acquired infections or medication error)?

When did this incident occur (date of incident, admission or treatment)?

Where is the facility located (name and city)? Where in the facility did the incident occur (room number, unit, or department)?

How was the patient harmed? How could the patient have been potentially harmed?

How was your complaint addressed by the facility?

Q. Who may file a complaint?

Complaints may be filed by, but are not limited to, patients, patient family members, care givers, staff or advocacy groups.

Q. Is the identity of the complainant disclosed?

The identity of the complainant is not disclosed to the facility by the Department. The complainant may provide a name, address and phone number to the Department. This information is required if the complainant would like to receive written notification of receipt of the complaint and notification of the outcome of the complaint investigation. Complaints may be filed anonymously.

Q. What happens after a complaint is filed? When will my complaint be investigated?

All complaints are logged and reviewed. Complaints are investigated on a priority basis. Depending on the nature, scope, and severity of the complaint allegations, the investigation may take from a few days or weeks, to several months.
State of Illinois
Illinois Department of Public Health

Q. How do I file a complaint with the Department?

You may file a complaint by telephone, mail, online or fax. By telephone, you may call the Departmentís Central Complaint Registry, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday at 800-252-4343. You also may submit your complaint in writing to:
Illinois Department of Public Health
Office of Health Care Regulations
Central Complaint Registry
525 W. Jefferson St., Ground Floor
Springfield, IL 62761-0001
Fax: 217-524-8885
TTY: 800-547-0466

If you have Internet access, you may download the complaint form from the Departmentís Web site at

Q. Are there other agencies that may address some issues or areas of concern?

Yes. Below is a list of other state agencies.

1) Insurance billing issues should be referred to the Illinois Department of Insurance at 877-527-9431 or 866-445-5364. To file a complaint online go to

2) Possible health care fraud should be referred to the Attorney Generalís Health Care Fraud Unit at 877-305-5145 (TTY 800-964-3013) or fax 312-793-0802. To file a complaint online go to 3) Licensed personnel issues should be addressed to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation at 312-814-6910. To file a complaint online go to

Q. Who should I contact to check the status of my complaint?

To check the status of your long- term care complaint, contact the Departmentís Bureau of Long-Term Care at 800-252-4343. For non-long term care complaints contact the Departmentís Division of Health Care Facilities and Programs at 217-782-7412. To make inquiries, you must have the name and location of the facility. This is NOT a toll-free call.