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Patient Rights and Responsibilities

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PinnacleHealth Hospitals recognize that patients have both rights and responsibilities. To comply with The Joint Commission, American Osteopathic Association, American Hospital Association standards and with federal and state law, the Hospitals accept the following statement of patient's rights and responsibilities and will provide this statement to patients at the time of admission. Issues raised by patients, their families or designated/legal representatives will be handled by the Patient Representative.

A Statement of Patient's Rights

  1. Patients have the right to respectful care, given by competent personnel, which reflects consideration of their personal value and belief systems and which optimizes their comfort and dignity.
  2. Patients have the right, upon request, to be given the name of their attending physician, the names of all other physicians directly participating in their care, and the names and functions of other healthcare personnel, including but not limited to medical students, resident physicians and other trainees, having direct contact with the patient.
  3. Patients have the right to every consideration of privacy concerning their medical care program. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are considered confidential and should be conducted discreetly, giving reasonable visual and auditory privacy when possible. This includes the right, if requested, to have someone present while physical examination and treatment are being performed, as long as it does not interfere with the performance of treatment.
  4. Patients have the right to request a room transfer if another patient or a visitor in the room is unreasonably disturbing the patient and another room, equally suitable for the patient's care needs, is available.
  5. Patients have the right to have all information, including records, pertaining to their medical care treated as confidential, except as otherwise provided by law or third party contractual arrangements. Patients have the right to have their medical records read only by individuals directly involved in their care, by individuals monitoring the quality of their care or by individuals authorized by law or regulation.
  6. Patients have the right to know what hospital rules and regulations apply to their conduct as a patient.
  7. Patients have the right to expect emergency procedures to be implemented without unnecessary delay.
  8. Patients have the right to good quality care and high professional standards that are continually maintained and reviewed.
  9. Patients have the right to full information in layman's terms, concerning diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, including information about alternative treatments and possible complications. When it is not medically advisable that such information be given patients, the information shall be given on their behalf to their next of kin, designated/legal representative or other appropriate person.
  10. Except for emergencies, the physician must obtain the necessary informed consent prior to the start of any procedures or treatments, or both. Examples of procedures or treatments requiring informed consent are surgical procedures including the administration of anesthesia; administering radiation, chemotherapy and blood transfusions; inserting a surgical device or appliance; and administering an experimental medication, using an experimental device or using an approved medication or device in an experimental manner.
  11. Patients or a legally responsible party, in the event the patient is unable to give informed consent, have the right to be advised when a physician is considering the patient as part of a medical care research program or donor program. Also, patients or a legally responsible party must give informed consent prior to the actual participation in such a program. Patients or a legally responsible party may, at any time, refuse to continue in any such program to which they have previously given informed consent.
  12. Patients have the right to request or refuse any drugs, treatment or procedure offered by the Hospitals, to the extent permitted by law. A physician shall inform the patient of the medical consequences of the patient's refusal of any drugs, treatment or procedure. A patient's right to request any drugs, treatment or procedure must not be construed as a mechanism to demand the provision of treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate.Patients have the right to assistance in obtaining consultation with another physician at their request and
    their own expense.
  13. Patients have the right to medical and nursing services without discrimination based upon race, color, religion, gender, sexual preference, age, disability, national origin, ancestry or source of payment.
  14. Patients who are disabled have the right to expect reasonable and equal access to the facilities, services
    and programs of the Hospitals.
  15. Patients have the right to be communicated with in a manner that is clear, concise and understandable. If the patient does not speak English or is hearing impaired, the patient should have access, where possible, to an interpreter or auxiliary aids.
  16. The Hospitals shall provide the patient or patient's designee, upon request, access to all information contained in their medical records, unless access is specifically restricted by the attending physician for medical reasons. Access to information shall be within a reasonable time frame and the Hospitals shall actively seek to meet the request as quickly as its record keeping system permits.
  17. Patients have the right to expect good management techniques to be implemented within the Hospitals,
    the avoidance of unnecessary delays, and when possible, the avoidance of personal discomfort through
    effective pain management.
  18. Patients have the right to be transferred to another facility, if medically permissible, when the Hospitals cannot provide the type of care indicated because of a conflict with the Hospitals' mission or the incapacity to meet the patient's needs or requests. Patients may be transferred to another facility only after they or their designees or legal representatives have received complete information and an explanation concerning the needs for and alternatives to such a transfer. The transfer must first be accepted by the receiving institution.
  19. Patients have the right to examine and receive a detailed explanation of their bill.
  20. Patients have the right to full information and counseling on the availability of known financial resources for their healthcare.
  21. Patients have the right to expect that the healthcare facility will provide a mechanism whereby they are
    informed upon discharge of their continuing healthcare requirements following discharge and the means for meeting those requirements.
  22. Patients cannot be denied the right of access to an individual or agency who or which is authorized to act on their behalf, to assert or protect the rights set forth in this policy.
  23. Patients have the right to be informed of their rights during the admission process or at the earliest possible moment in the course of their hospitalization.
  24. Patients have the right, in collaboration with their physician, to make decisions involving their healthcare
    and to participate in care planning and treatment. This right applies to the legal guardians of neonates, children and adolescents unless the law provides otherwise.
  25. Patients have the right to make decisions regarding the withholding of resuscitative services or the foregoing or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment within the limits of the law and the policies of the Hospitals.
  26. Patients have the right to participate in the consideration of ethical issues surrounding their care, within the framework established by the Hospitals.
  27. Patients have the right to formulate "advance medical directives" or to appoint a surrogate to make healthcare decisions on their behalf. These decisions will be honored by the Hospitals and its healthcare professionals within the limits of the law and the Hospitals' mission, values and policies.
  28. Patients are not required to have or to complete an "advance medical directive" in order to receive care
    and treatment in the Hospitals
  29. A patient's rights may be exercised, under certain circumstances permitted by law, by their designee
    or legal representative or by their next of kin. Although the patient has the right to participate in their
    care and treatment to the fullest extent possible, there are circumstances where the patient may not
    be able to participate. Examples include, but are not limited to, patients who have been adjudicated
    as legally incapacitated; patients who are medically incapable of understanding and consenting to
    treatment; and minors who are not emancipated.
  30. Patients, their designees or legal representatives have the right, without recrimination, to present
    grievances regarding their care and treatment and to have those grievances promptly addressed by
    the Hospitals.
  31. Patients, their designees or legal representatives also have the right, without recrimination, to
    present grievances to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and to the Keystone Peer Review
    Organization and shall be informed of the telephone numbers and addresses of these agencies.
  32. Patients have the right to have a family member or representative of their choice and their own physician notified promptly of their admission to the Hospitals.
  33. Patients have the right to receive care in a safe setting.
  34. Patients have the right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  35. Patients have the right to be free from seclusion and restraints of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.

A Statement of Patient's Responsibilities

  1. Patients or their designees or legal representatives must provide accurate and complete information about present conditions, past illnesses and injuries, prior hospitalizations, medications, existence of "advance medical directives" and other information relating to the patient's health condition requested by the Hospitals or by the patient's physicians which is necessary to treat the patient.
  2. Patients must inform the staff of the Hospitals if they do not clearly understand a contemplated course of action and what is expected of the patient.
  3. Patients must cooperate with all hospital personnel and ask questions if directions and/or procedures are not clearly understood.
  4. Patients must help the physicians, nurses and allied medical personnel in their efforts to care for the patient by following instructions and medical orders.
  5. Patients are responsible for providing the Hospitals with a copy of their "advanced medical directives," when applicable.
  6. A patient's designee or legal representative must be available to hospital personnel to participate in the patient's course of treatment if the patient is unable to effectively communicate with the staff of the Hospitals and with the patient's physicians.
  7. Patients must be considerate of other patients and of the Hospitals' personnel by assisting in the control of noise and visitors in their room and by observing the Hospitals' smoking policy.
  8. Patients must also be considerate of the Hospitals' property and property belonging to other patients.
  9. Patients are responsible for paying all or a portion of their hospital bill unless the patient's third party payer is solely responsible for payment of the hospital bill based upon a contract with the Hospitals or as otherwise required by law.
  10. Patients must not take any drug that has not been prescribed by a physician and administered by the Hospitals' staff.
  11. Patients must not possess or consume alcoholic beverages or prohibited substances.