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
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
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.