Your Rights as a Patient
The staff at Palmdale Regional Medical Center wants you to have the best possible care as prescribed or recommended by those treating you. They also want you to know what your rights are as a patient, as well as what your obligations are to yourself, your physician and the hospital.
Being your own best advocate can help to ensure better outcomes. Jeanetta McDow, Director, Patient Experience/Service Excellence, explains the importance of patient advocacy in this podcast.
Podcast: What is a Patient Advocate?
Your Rights as a Patient
You have the right to:
1. Considerate and respectful care, and to be made comfortable. You have the right to respect for your cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values, beliefs, and preferences.
2. Have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
3. Know the name of the physician who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care and the names and professional relationships of other physicians and non-physicians who will see you.
4. Receive information about your health status, diagnosis, prognosis, course of treatment, prospects for recovery and outcomes of care (including unanticipated outcomes) in terms you can understand. You have the right to effective communication and to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care. You have the right to participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of your care, including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services, and forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment.
5. Make decisions regarding medical care, and receive as much information about any proposed treatment or procedure as you may need in order to give informed consent or to refuse a course of treatment. Except in emergencies, this information shall include a description of the procedure or treatment, the medically significant risks involved, alternate courses of treatment or nontreatment and the risks involved in each, and the name of the person who will carry out the procedure or treatment.
6. Request or refuse treatment, to the extent permitted by law. However, you do not have the right to demand inappropriate or medically unnecessary treatment or services. You have the right to leave the hospital even against the advice of physicians, to the extent permitted by law.
7. Be advised if the hospital/personal physician proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting your care or treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in such research projects.
8. Reasonable responses to any reasonable requests made for service.
9. Appropriate assessment and management of your pain, information about pain, pain relief measures and to participate in pain management decisions. You may request or reject the use of any or all modalities to relieve the pain, including opiate medication, if you suffer from severe chronic intractable pain. The doctor may refuse to prescribe opiate medication, but if so, must inform you that there are physicians who specialize in the treatment of severe chronic pain with methods that include the use of opiates.
10. Formulate advance directives. This includes designating a decision maker if you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or become unable to communicate your wishes regarding care. Hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital shall comply with these directives. All patient rights apply to the person who has legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf.
11. Have personal privacy respected. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. You have the right to be told the reason for the presence of any individual. You have the right to have visitors leave prior to an examination and when treatment issues are being discussed. Privacy curtains will be used in semi-private rooms.
12. Confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to your care and stay in the hospital. You will receive a separate “Notice of Privacy Practices” that explains your privacy rights in detail and how we may use and disclose your protected health information.
13. Receive care in a safe setting, free from mental, physical, sexual or verbal abuse and neglect, exploitation or harassment. You have the right to access protective and advocacy services including notifying government agencies of neglect or abuse.
14. Be free from restraints and seclusion of any form used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
15. Reasonable continuity of care and to know in advance the time and location of appointments as well as the identity of the persons providing the care.
16. Be informed by the physician, or a delegate of the physician, of continuing health care requirements and options following discharge from the hospital. You have the right to be involved in the development and implementation of your discharge plan. Upon your request, a friend or family member may be provided with this information also.
17. Know which hospital rules and policies apply to your conduct while a patient.
18. Designate visitors of your choosing, if you have decision making capacity, whether or not the visitor is related by blood or marriage, unless:
- No visitors are allowed.
- The facility reasonably determines that the presence of a particular visitor would endanger the health or safety of a patient, a member of the health facility staff or other visitor to the health facility, or would significantly disrupt the operations of the facility.
- You have told the health facility staff that you no longer want a particular person to visit.
- However, a health facility may establish reasonable restrictions upon visitation, including restrictions upon the hours of visitation and number of visitors.
19. Have your wishes considered, if you lack decision-making capacity, for the purposes of determining who may visit. The method of that consideration will be disclosed in the hospital policy on visitation. At a minimum, the hospital shall include any persons living in your household.
20. Examine and receive an explanation of the hospital’s bill regardless of the source of payment.
21. Exercise these rights without regard to sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, educational background,economic status or the source of payment for care.
22. File a grievance. If you want to file a grievance with this hospital, you may do so by writing or calling the grievance committee, which will review each grievance and provide you with a written response within ____ days. The written response will contain the name of a person to contact at the hospital, the steps taken to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance process, and the date of completion of the grievance process. Concerns regarding quality of care or premature discharge will also be referred to the appropriate Utilization and Quality Control Peer Review Organization (PRO).
23. File a complaint with the state Department of Public Health regardless of whether you use the hospital’s grievance process. The state Department of Public Health’s phone number and address is:
Rules and regulations pertaining to patient conduct are necessary to ensure that all patients are treated fairly and feel secure while in the hospital. Your cooperation in these responsibilities will help the staff provide quality care and services. Good communication promotes good care. Talk to the staff and ask questions.
1. Please cooperate with your caregivers and follow the plan of care you, your physician and your healthcare team have agreed upon.
2. The hospital asks that you respect the rights of others by assisting in the control of smoking, noise and the number of visitors you receive.
The hospital maintains a patient liaison to answer questions about patients' rights, provide information and referrals, solve problems, investigate complaints and act as your advocate. The patient liaison can be contacted at 661-382-5115.