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Patient Rights and Responsibilities, and Right to Pain Relief

Our employees are ready to provide excellent care as prescribed or recommended by your physicians. To assist in this goal, it is important for you to know your rights as a patient, as well as your responsibilities. Together, we can get you on your way to the fullest recovery possible. Access to this Medical Center is given without discrimination as to age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, gender, type of illness, ethical or political belief, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.

You have the right:

1. To know by name the physician, nurses, and staff members responsible for your care.

2. To hear from your primary physician, in language you understand, your diagnosis, the treatment prescribed for you, the prognosis of your illness, and any instructions required for follow-up care.

3. To talk openly with your physician(s).

4. To know the reason you are given various tests and treatments and the identity of the persons who give them to you.

5. To know the general nature and inherent risk of any procedure or treatment prescribed for you.

6. To change your mind about any procedure for which you have given your consent.

7. To refuse to sign a consent form if you feel everything has not been explained to your satisfaction.

8. To cross out any part of the consent form that you do not want applied to your care.

9. To refuse treatment and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action.

10. To limit those persons who visit you.

11. To expect your personal privacy to be respected to the fullest extent consistent with the care prescribed for you.

12. To expect all communications and other records pertaining to your care, including the course of payment for treatment, to be kept confidential. If you feel your privacy and/or confidentiality have been breached, you may contact the privacy officer at (301) 790-8730.

13. To request a consultation or second opinion from another physician.

14. To consult with the hospital ethics committee regarding treatment and care-related issues which have not been resolved through discussion with the healthcare team, such as the continuation of life support measures. Please make your request known to any member of your healthcare team.

15. To change physicians.

16. To change hospitals.

17. To examine your hospital bill, and to receive an explanation of it.

18. To refuse to participate in medical training programs and research projects.

19. To have a family member, friend, or other individual of your choice present for emotional support during the course of your stay, unless that individual's presence infringes on other's rights, safety, or is medically or therapeutically not recommended.

20. To voice any complaints or concerns without fear or intimidation. Complaints may be made to the patient advocate or any member of the healthcare team.

21. To know that the hospital is responsible for your care while you are a patient here, regardless of its relationship with physicians or other independent providers.

22. To know that your nurse has the right and responsibility to make inquiries and advocate on your behalf with higher authorities in the health system.

23. To be free from the inappropriate use of restraints and seclusion.

You have the responsibility:

1. To know and follow hospital rules and regulations.

2. To cooperate and to follow the care prescribed or recommended for you by your physician, nurses, and other members of the healthcare team.

3. To notify your physician or nurse if you do not understand your diagnosis, treatment, or prognosis.

4. To let the nurse and your family know if you feel you are receiving too many outside visitors.

5. To accept your financial obligations associated with your care.

6. To advise your nurse, physician, or patient representative of any dissatisfaction you may have in regard to your care at the hospital and expect your concern to be reviewed and addressed objectively without retribution.

7. To be considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel and to assist in the control of noise and the number of visitors you receive.

8. To participate in patient care decisions as the parent and/or surrogate decision-maker of a patient.

9. To establish advance directives such as living wills or appointment of healthcare agents and to communicate them, or any changes, with your designated representative and healthcare team.

All patients have a right to pain relief

As a patient, you can expect information about pain and pain relief measures, a staff committed to pain prevention and management, that your reports of pain will be believed, health professionals who respond quickly to reports of pain; and effective, state-of-the-art pain management. As a patient, we will expect that you will ask your doctor or nurse what to expect regarding pain and pain management; work with your doctor and nurse to make pain relief work; ask for pain relief when pain first begins; help the doctor and nurse measure your pain; tell the doctor or nurse about any pain that will not go away; and report to the doctor or nurse what pain relief methods have worked for you.

11116 Medical Campus Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
TDD: 1-800-735-2258
meritus Health
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