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Patient Rights and Responsibilities

The mission of Augusta Health is to provide quality health care for our patients in a caring atmosphere. Our goal is to help improve patient outcomes by respecting each patient's rights and conducting business relationships with patients and in public in an ethical manner. We believe that patients have a fundamental right to considerate care that safeguards their personal dignity and respects their cultural, psychosocial and spiritual values. These values often influence the patient's perception of care and illness. Understanding and respecting these values guide the provider in meeting the patient's care and needs preferences.

Procedure

  1. Upon admission to the hospital as an INPATIENT, patients will be given a copy of the "Patient Rights and Responsibilities Statement" as well as information to apply for financial assistance with payment for hospital services. As part of the Patient Handbook.
  2. This information shall be reviewed as needed with the patient and/or family by the admitting nurse or designee, along with providing an opportunity for questions or further clarifications.
  3. Effort will be made to assure that this information is provided in a manner that can be understood by the patient and/or family. Resources to assist patients with special needs, i.e., visual impairments, inability to read, or non-English speaking, should be utilized as appropriate.
  4. Documentation that the Statement of Patient Rights and Responsibilities has been presented to the patient and/or family and that the patient and/or family has had an opportunity to ask questions or receive clarification is provided by placing a check in the "Patient Handbook/Patient Rights & Responsibilities" area on the Nursing Admission Assessment form.
  5. Outpatient Areas, Skilled Care, Behavioral Health, and Community Services (Home Care, Hospice, DME)
    • Copies of the "Patient Rights and Responsibilities Statement" as well as information to apply for financial assistance are made available to patients presenting for outpatient services in the registration/waiting areas.
    • Patients who are admitted to the Skilled Care Unit, Crossroads Mental Health Unit, or who are admitted to Home Care, Hospice or DME services, are informed of their Rights and Responsibilities in accordance with respective policies and procedures and regulatory requirements.
  6. Augusta Helath owned Physician Office Practices
    • Copies of the "Patient Rights and Responsibilities Statement" as well as information to apply for financial assistance are made available to patients presenting for services in the registration/waiting areas. Copies are also posted in prominent locations within the practice.
  7. Questions/Concerns Regarding Patient's Rights and Responsibilities
    • Questions regarding Patient's Rights or Responsibilities should be directed to the immediate supervisor. Resources personnel available to assist in addressing specific patient rights questions or concerns include the Nursing Supervisor, Administrator on Call, Division Vice-President, Hospital Risk Manager and/or Corporate Compliance Officer.

Statement of Patient's Rights

You have the right to:

  1. Know the names of the physicians, nurses, and other staff members who take care of you.
  2. Be involved in the planning of your care and treatment, including pain management, in collaboration with your physician and treatment team.
  3. Information necessary to enable you to make treatment decisions that reflect your wishes.
  4. Accept medical care or to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal.
  5. Have all records concerning your care or illness to be treated confidentially, with personal privacy respected. You have the right to access information contained in your clinical records within a reasonable time period and in accordance with federal HIPPA policies and procedures.
  6. Participate or refuse to participate in any experimentation or research projects related to your care or treatment.
  7. Receive prompt and reasonable responses to your requests for service.
  8. Considerate, safe and respectful care; and to be free from abuse or harassment.
  9. Have impartial access to care regardless of race, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, physical disability, or source of payment.
  10. Request a consultation or second opinion from another physician.
  11. Change physicians or hospitals.
  12. Review your hospital bill and receive an explanation of the charges.
  13. Execute an Advance Directive; appoint an individual to make health care decisions on your behalf to the extent permitted by law; specify your wishes regarding tissue and organ donation; and have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the inpatient hospital setting comply with your wishes in accordance with applicable law. Advance Directives that pertain to the withholding or withdrawing of life supporting medical treatment are not applicable to hospital outpatient settings with the exception of Durable (EMS) DNR orders that will be honored if a properly executed order is provided to staff. In Augusta Health owned physician office practices, Advance Directives are addressed on an individual basis.
  14. Participate in the consideration of ethical issues that may arise in your care and treatment.
  15. Accommodation of requested pastoral and/or spiritual services as long as the request does not interfere with the rights of other patients or with hospital safety considerations.
  16. Have your legal guardian, next of kin, or legally authorized person exercise your rights, to the extent permitted by law, if:
    • You are a minor,
    • Have been deemed incompetent in accordance with the law,
    • Are found by your physician to be medically incapable of understanding the proposed care or treatment,
    • Or, are unable to communicate your wishes regarding treatment.
  17. Have a family member or person of your choice and your family physician notified of your admission, as well as to exclude any or all family members from participating in your care decisions.
  18. Maintain communication with family and friends, i.e. send and receive mail and phone calls.
  19. Have access to protective services.
  20. Maintain your legal rights as a citizen, i.e. voting in elections, as provided by state and federal law.
  21. Express a compliment and/or concern pertaining to your care or treatment. Your compliments/concerns may be directed to your nurse, physician, or to the department director. A Patient Advocacy phone line is also available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 932-4742 or 332-4742. Voice mail is available during non-business hours, along with instructions for reaching the nursing supervisor on duty. You may also register a complaint or concern with the Department of Health, P.O. Box 2448, Richmond, VA 23218, (804) 367-2104. You may also report complaints or concerns to:

    The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Health Care Organizations,
    Office of Quality Monitoring the Joint Commission
    One Renaissance Boulevard
    Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

    or by e-mail at complaint [at] jointcommission.org.

Statement of Patient's Responsibilities

You have the responsibility of/for:

  1. Providing accurate and complete information about your illness and medical history including present complaints, past illnesses and hospitalization, medications, and other matters related to your health.
  2. Knowing and following hospital rules and regulations; i.e. smoking and use of electrical equipment.
  3. Following your physician's prescribed plan of treatment, care and services.
  4. Notifying your physician or nurse if you do not understand your diagnosis, treatment, or prognosis.
  5. Any consequences and other adverse outcomes if you refuse treatments or do not follow physician's prescribed treatment plan.
  6. Letting the nurse and your family know if you feel you are receiving too many outside visitors.
  7. Being considerate of other patients' rights, privacy, and property, and in assisting with noise control and the number of visitors you receive.
  8. Fulfilling your financial obligations associated with your health care.
  9. Advising your nurse or physician of any concern, dissatisfaction, or safety issues you may have in regard to your care while in the hospital.
  10. Safeguarding any valuables or personal belongings retained by you at the bedside, including eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures, clothing, etc.
  11. Cooperating with your Health Care Team to maintain your and your family's safety, e.g. calling for assistance when needed or as instructed.

Be knowledgeable of your medical insurance benefits plan and your obligations regarding deductibles, co-payments, pre-authorization requirements, etc.