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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

The Patient's Bill of Rights is presented with the expectation that observance of these rights will contribute to more effective patient care and greater satisfaction for the patient, his/her physician, and the Hospital organization. Further, they are presented in the expectation that they will be supported by the Hospital on behalf of its patients as an integral part of the healing process. It is in recognition of these factors that these rights are affirmed.

Patient Rights:
  1. The patient has the right to considerate care and respect for personal values and beliefs, both cultural and spiritual, and the right not to be discriminated against in the provision of medical and nursing services on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or handicap.

  2. The patient has the right to obtain from his/her physician complete, current information concerning his/her diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in terms the patient can reasonably be expected to understand. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to the patient, the information should be made available to an appropriate person on his/her behalf. He/she has the right to know by name the physician responsible for coordinating his/her care.
  3. Any patient who does not speak English or who is hard of hearing has a right to have access to an interpreter.

  4. The patient has the right to expect the Hospital to be in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules and regulations, as outlined in the Hospital's "Notice of Privacy Practices" statement.

  5. The patient has the right to a clear, concise explanation, in terms the patient can reasonably be expected to understand, of all proposed procedures, including the possibilities of any risk of mortality or serious side effects, problems related to recuperation and probability of success, and will not be subjected to any procedure without the patient's voluntary, competent and understanding consent, except in emergency situations. Where medically significant alternatives for care or treatment exist, or when the patient requests information concerning medical alternatives, the patient has the right to such information.

  6. The patient has a right to know the identity, professional status, and experience of all those providing service. All personnel have been instructed to introduce themselves, state their status, and explain their role in the health care of the patient.

  7. The patient has the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of his/her action. Also, in accordance with state law, the wishes of the patient expressed in a written Advance Directive, provided to the Hospital, will be honored and respected. The patient has a legal right to leave the health care facility regardless of the patient's physical condition or financial status, although the patient may be requested to sign a release stating that the patient is leaving against the medical judgment of the patient's doctor or the staff.

  8. The patient has the right to privacy of both person and information with respect to the staff, doctors, nurses and volunteers. The patient has the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to his/her care should be treated as confidential.

  9. The patient has a right to discuss his/her condition with a consultant specialist, at the patient's request and expense.

  10. The patient has the right to expect that, within its capacity, a hospital must make reasonable response to the request of a patient for services. The Hospital must provide evaluation, service, and/or referral as indicated by the urgency of the case. When medically permissible, a patient may be transferred to another facility only after he/she has received complete information and explanation concerning the needs for and alternatives to such a transfer. The institution to which the patient is to be transferred must first have accepted the patient for transfer.

  11. The patient has the right to obtain information as to any relationship of his/her hospital to other health care and educational institutions insofar as his/her care is concerned. The patient has the right to obtain information as to the existence of any professional relationships among individuals, by name, who are treating him/her.

  12. The patient has a legal right to prompt attention in an emergency situation.

  13. The patient has the right to be advised if the Hospital proposed to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting his/her care or treatment. The patient has the right to refuse to participate in such research projects. The patient has a right not to have any test or procedure designed for educational purposes other than the patient's direct personal benefit performed on the patient.

  14. The patient has the right to expect reasonable continuity of care. He/she has the right to know in advance what appointment times and physicians are available and where. The patient has the right to expect that the Hospital will provide a mechanism whereby he/she is informed by his/her physician, or a delegate of the physician, of the patient's continuing health care requirements following discharge.

  15. The patient has the right to be informed of his/her status, be involved in care planning and treatment, and participate in the development and implementation of his/her plan of care. The patient has a right to participate in all decisions involving the patient's health care program.

  16. The patient has the right to appropriate assessment and prompt management of pain.

  17. The patient has the right to examine and receive an explanation of his/her bill regardless of source of payment.

  18. The patient has the right to know what Hospital rules and regulations apply to his/her conduct as a patient.

  19. The patient has the right to have a family member or representative of his/her choice and his/her own physician notified promptly of his/her admission to the Hospital. The patient has a right to designate another person to make health care and treatment decisions for the patient, based on the patient's own directions and values, in the event the patient is unable to participate in decision-making. The health care facility agrees to recognize the authority of an individual so designated.

  20. The patient has a right to receive care in a safe setting, free from abuse or harassment. Restraints and seclusion of any form are not to be used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.

  21. An immediate family member, next of kin or legally authorized representative has the right to written and verbal information and requirements regarding a postmortem exam or autopsy conducted at Johnson Memorial Hospital as specified in the general statutes of the State of Connecticut. The responsible person also has the right to request that an autopsy be performed at another institution and by a physician unaffiliated with Johnson Memorial Hospital, at his/her own expense.

  22. The patient has a right to file a grievance if he/she determines that the Hospital does not care for him/her in accordance with these rights and responsibilities by calling the CareLine at 684-8277 or by emailing careline@jmhosp.org. The patient has the right to have access to a patient rights advocate who may act on behalf of the patient to assert or protect the rights set out in this document.

  23. The patient, or the patient's representative, has the right to file a complaint at any time with the State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health, 410 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06134. Telephone number: 1-800-842-0038 or TTY: 1-860-509-7191

  24. The patient, or the patient's representative, has the right to file a complaint with the Joint Commission by visiting its website at www.jointcommission.org; emailing to complaint@jointcommission.org; writing to the Office of Quality Monitoring, The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181; or calling 1-800-994-6610.

No catalogue of rights can guarantee for the patient the kind of treatment he/she has a right to expect. The Hospital has many functions to perform, including the prevention and treatment of disease, the education of both health professionals and patients, and the conduct of clinical research. All these activities must be conducted with an overriding concern for the patient and, above all, the recognition of his/her dignity as a human being. Success in achieving this recognition assures success in the defense of the rights of the patient.

Patient Responsibilities:

  1. A patient has the responsibility to provide, to the best of his/her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to his/her health. He/she has the responsibility to report unexpected changes in his/her condition to the responsible practitioner. A patient is responsible for reporting whether he/she clearly comprehends a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him/her.

  2. A patient is responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily responsible for his/her care. This may include following the instructions of nurses and allied health personnel, as they carry out the coordinated plan of care, implement the responsible practitioner's orders, and enforce the applicable Hospital rules and regulations. The patient is responsible for keeping appointments and, when he/she is unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the responsible practitioner or the Hospital.

  3. The patient has the responsibility to discuss his/her pain and the management thereof with physicians and nurses (i.e., ask for pain relief when pain begins, help the staff assess level of pain and share any concerns about pain medications).

  4. The patient is responsible for his/her actions if he/she refuses treatment or does not follow the practitioner's instructions.

  5. The patient is responsible for assuring that the financial obligations of his/her health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.

  6. The patient is responsible for following Hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.

  7. The patient is responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and Hospital personnel and for assisting in the control of noise and the number of visitors. The patient is responsible for being respectful of the property of other persons and of the Hospital.

Patient rights and responsibilities are also described in the Patient Information Packet, which is given to all inpatients and Same-Day-Surgery patients and posted throughout the Hospital and in all registration areas. This policy also applies to pediatric patients.

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