No catalog of rights can guarantee for the patient the kind of treatment he/she has a right to expect. Community 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 patients.
NOTICE OF RIGHTS
Each patient, or when appropriate, the patient's representative (as allowed under State law), is informed of the patient's rights in advance of furnishing or discontinuing patient care whenever possible.
The patient has the right to information about the hospital's mechanism for the initiation, review, and resolution of patient complaints. If the patient does not receive satisfaction through this method, he/she may contact the Alabama Department of Public Health at 800/356-9596.
The patient has the right to information regarding hospital rules and regulations applicable to his/her conduct as a patient.
EXERCISE OF RIGHTS
The patient has the right to obtain, from the practitioner responsible for coordinating his/her care, complete and current information concerning his/her diagnosis (to the degree known), treatment, and any known prognosis. This information should be communicated in terms the patient can reasonably be expected to understand.
The patient has the right to reasonably informed participation in decisions involving his/her health care as demonstrated by the following:
1. To obtain to the degree possible a clear, concise explanation of his/her condition and of all proposed technical procedures, including the possibilities of any risk of mortality or serious side effects, problems related to recuperation, and probability of success.
2. To be subjected to surgical procedures only after giving his/her informed consent.
3. To obtain information regarding significant alternatives for care or treatment if they exist.
4. To be informed if the hospital proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation or other research/educational projects affecting his/her care and to have the right to refuse to participate in any such activity.
5. To formulate advanced directives to the extent permitted by law and with no fear of recrimination.
6. To have pastoral services or spiritual services available.
7. To refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal. When refusal of treatment prevents the provision of appropriate care in accordance with professional standards, the relationship with the patient may be terminated upon reasonable notice.
8. To participate in the consideration of ethical issues regarding his/her medical care.
The patient, at his/her own request and expense, has the right to request treatment or consult with a specialist.
The patient may not be transferred to another facility unless he/she has received a complete explanation of the need for the transfer and of the alternatives to such a transfer and unless the transfer is acceptable to the other facility. The patient has the right to be informed by the practitioner responsible for his/her care, or his delegate, of any continuing health care requirements following discharge from the hospital.
PRIVACY AND SAFETY
The patient has the right, within the law, to personal and informational privacy, as manifested by the following:
1. To refuse to talk with or see anyone not officially connected with the hospital, including visitors, or persons officially connected with the hospital but not directly involved in his/her care.
2. To be interviewed and examined in surroundings designed to assure reasonable visual and auditory privacy. This includes the right to have a person of one's own sex present during certain parts of a physical examination, treatment, or procedure performed by a health professional of the opposite sex and the right not to remain disrobed any longer than is required for accomplishing the medical purpose for which the patient was asked to disrobe.
3. To expect that any discussion or consultation involving his/her case will be conducted discreetly and that individuals not directly involved in his/her care will not be present without his/her permission.
The Patient has the right to receive care in a safe setting. The patient has the right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
1. To be placed in protective privacy when considered necessary for personal safety.
2. To request a transfer to another room if another patient or visitors in that room are unreasonably disturbing him/her.
The patient has the right to know the identity and professional status of individuals providing service to him/her and to know which physician or other practitioner is primarily responsible for his/her care. This includes the patient's right to know of the existence of any professional relationship to any other healthcare or educational institutions involved in his/her care.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND PATIENT RECORDS
To have his/her medical record read only by individuals directly involved in his/her treatment or acting within the normal scope of business and by other individuals only on his/her authorization.
To expect all communications and other records pertaining to his/her care, including the source of payment for treatment, to be treated as confidential.
RESTRAINT FOR ACUTE MEDICAL AND SURGICAL CARE
The patient has the right to be free from both physical restraints and drugs that are used as a restraint that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff.
The patient shall be accorded impartial access to treatment or accommodations that are available or medically indicated, regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, or sources of payment for care.
The patient has the right to considerate, respectful care at all times and under all circumstances, with recognition of his/her personal dignity as manifested by the following:
1. To wear appropriate personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items, as long as they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment.
2. To consideration of care regarding dying which optimizes comfort and dignity.
The patient has the right of access to people outside the hospital by means of visitors, and by verbal and written communication. When the patient does not speak or understand the predominant language of the community, he/she should have access to an interpreter.
The patient has the right to request and receive a detailed explanation of his/her total bill for services rendered in the hospital. The patient has the right to timely notice prior to termination of his/her eligibility for reimbursement by any third-party payor for the cost of his/her care.
The care a patient receives depends partially on the patient himself. Therefore, in addition to these rights, a patient has certain responsibilities as well. These responsibilities should be presented to the patient in the spirit of mutual trust and respect.
1. The patient has the responsibility to provide accurate and complete information concerning his/her present complaints, past medical history, and other matters relating to his/her health.
2. The patient is responsible for making it known whether he/she clearly comprehends the course of his/her medical treatment and what is expected of him/her.
3. The patient is responsible for following the treatment plan established by his/her practitioner, including the instructions of nurses and other health professionals.
4. The patient is responsible for keeping appointments and for notifying the hospital or practitioner when he/she is unable to do so.
5. The patient is responsible for his/her actions should he/she refuse treatment or not follow his/her practitioner's orders or treatment directives.
6. The patient is responsible for assuring the financial obligation of his/her care is fulfilled as promptly as possible.
7. The patient is responsible for abiding by hospital rules and regulations applicable to his/her conduct as a patient.
8. The patient is responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel.
In addition to the rights of adult patients, children/adolescents and their parents/guardians, shall have the following rights:
1. Respect for each child and adolescent as a unique individual.
2. Respect for the care-taking role and individual response of the parent.
Provision for normal physical and physiological needs of a growing child to include: nutrition, rest, sleep, warmth, activity and freedom to move and explore.
Consistent, supportive and nurturing care which:
1. Meets the emotional and psychosocial needs of the child.
2. Fosters open communication.
3. Encourages human relationships.
Provisions for self-esteem needs which will be met by attempts to give the child:
1. The reassuring presence of a caring person, especially a parent.
2. Freedom to express feelings or fears with appropriate reactions.
3. As much control as possible, over both self and the situation.
4. Opportunities to work through experiences before and after they occur, verbally, in play or in other appropriate ways.
5. Recognition and reward for coping well during difficult situations.
Provisions for varied and normal stimuli of life which contributes to cognitive, social, emotional and physical developmental needs. These include play and educational/social activities essential to all children and adolescents.
Information about what to expect prior to, during, and following procedures/experiences and coping support.
Participation of children/families in decisions affecting their own medical treatment and availability of mechanisms for resolving conflicts that arise regarding that treatment.
Minimization of hospital stay by recognizing discharge planning needs.
Arrangements, made by the Case Manager, for provisions of educational opportunities through the local school system in the event a child is hospitalized longer than 30 days.
The parents/family* shall have the responsibility for the following:
1. Continuing the parenting role to the extent of their ability by providing or arranging for continuous supervision of the child by a responsible individual.
2. Being available to participate in decision-making and providing the hospital staff with knowledge of the whereabouts of parent/family.
* The family consists of those individuals responsible for the physical and emotional care of the child on a continuous basis, regardless of whether or not they are related.