Patient Rights and Responsibilities
When you need hospital care, the doctor and nurses and other professionals at our hospital are committed to working with you and your family to meet your health care needs. Our dedicated team serves the community in all its ethnic, religious, and economic diversity. Our goal is for you and your family to have the same care and attention we would want for our families and ourselves.
This information is provided so you know how you can expect to be treated during your hospital stay. We also will let you know what we will need from you to care for you better. If you have questions, please let us know. Unasked or unanswered questions can add to the stress of being in the hospital. Your comfort and confidence in your care are very important to us.
Click here for a PDF version of our Patient Guide.
What to Expect During Your Hospital Stay
High Quality Hospital Care
Our first priority is to provide you the care you need, when you need it, with skill, compassion and respect. Tell your caregivers if you have any pain. You have the right to know the identity of doctors, nurses, and others involved in your care. You also have the right to know when they are students, residents or other trainees.
A Clean and Safe Environment
Our hospital works hard to keep you safe. We use special policies and procedures to avoid mistakes in your care and keep you free from abuse or neglect. If anything unexpected and significant happens during your hospital stay, you will be told what happened, and any resulting changes in your care will be discussed with you.
Involvement in Your Care
You and your provider often make decisions about your care before you go to the hospital. Other times, especially in emergencies, those decisions are made during your hospital stay. When decision-making takes place, it should include:
Discussing your medical condition and information about medically appropriate treatment choices. To make informed decisions with your provider, you need to understand:
The benefits and risks of each treatment.
Whether your treatment is experimental or part of a research study.
What you can reasonably expect from your treatment and any long-term effects it might have on your quality of life.
What you and your family will need to do after you leave the hospital.
The financial consequences of using uncovered services or out-of-network providers.
Please tell your caregivers if you need more information about treatment choices.
Discussing your treatment plan. When you enter the hospital, you sign a general consent to treatment. In some cases, such as surgery or experimental treatment, you may be asked to confirm in writing that you understand what is planned and agree to it. This process protects your right to consent or refuse a treatment. Your provider will explain the medical consequences of refusing recommended treatment. It also protects your right to decide if you want to participate in a research study.
Getting information from you. Your caregivers need complete and correct information about your health and coverage so that they can make good decisions about your care. That includes:
Past illnesses, surgeries or hospital stays.
Past allergic reactions.
Any medicines or dietary supplements (such as vitamins and herbs) that you are taking.
Any network or admission requirements under your health plan.
Understanding your health care goals and values. You may have health care goals and values or spiritual beliefs that are important to your well-being. They will be taken into account as much as possible throughout your hospital stay. Make sure your provider, your family, and your care team know your wishes.
Understanding who should make decisions when you cannot. If you have signed a health care power of attorney stating who should speak for you if you become unable to make health care decisions for yourself or a "living will” or advance directive that states your wishes about end-of-life care, give copies to your doctor, your family and your care team. If you or your family need help making difficult decisions, counselors, chaplains and others are available to help.
Protection of Your Privacy
We respect the confidentiality of your relationship with your doctor and other caregivers, and the sensitive information about your health and health care are part of that relationship. State and federal laws and hospital operating policies protect the privacy of your medical information. Our Notice of Privacy Practices, which is included in this booklet, describes the ways that we can use, disclose, and safeguard patient information. It also explains how you can obtain a copy of information from our records about your care.
Preparing You and Your Family for When You Leave the Hospital.
Your doctor works with hospital staff and professionals in our community. You and your family also play an important role in your care. The success of your treatment often depends on your efforts to follow medication, diet, and therapy plans. Your family may need to help care for you at home.
You can expect us to help you identify sources for follow-up care and to let you know if our hospital has a financial interest in any referrals. As long as you agree that we can share information about your care with them, we will coordinate our activities with your caregivers outside the hospital. You can also expect to receive information and, where possible, training about the self-care you will need when you go home.
Help with Your Bill and Filing Insurance Claims
Our staff will file claims for you with health care insurers or other programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. They also will help your provider with documentation. Hospital bills and insurance coverage are often confusing. If you have questions about your bill, please contact our Business Office. If you need help understanding your insurance coverage or health plan, start with your insurance company or health benefits manager. If you do not have health coverage, we will try to help you and your family find financial help or make other arrangements. We need your help with collecting needed information and other requirements to obtain coverage or assistance.
While you are here, you will receive more detailed notices about some of the rights you have as a hospital patient and how to exercise them. We are always interested in improving. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact our Patient and Safety Officer at 240-964-2196.
Click here to read our Non-Discrimination Statement