The Rights and Responsibilities of Our Patients

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Baptist Health Care, in order to foster better channels of communication, closer patient/hospital relationships and more efficient care, presents the following Bill of Rights for you and your family.

As a patient, you have the right to:

  1. Be treated with respect and dignity as an individual.
  2. Receive treatment without discrimination as to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or source of payment.
  3. Receive the appropriate level of care for your condition.
  4. Express your spiritual and cultural beliefs as long as they do not interfere with the care or comfort of others.
  5. Expect privacy while in the hospital and confidentiality of all information and records regarding your care.
  6. Feel secure about your health care program and be given information concerning diagnosis, planned course of treatment, alternatives, risks, and prognosis.
  7. Be informed of the name and position of the doctor who will be in charge of your care in the hospital.
  8. Know the names, positions, and functions of any hospital staff involved in your care and, if you wish, refuse their treatment, examination, or observation.
  9. Be informed about the outcomes of care, including unanticipated outcomes.
  10. Receive considerate and respectful care in a clean and safe environment free of unnecessary restraints.
  11. Participate in decisions about your health care, having received all the information you need to give informed consent for any proposed procedure or treatment.
  12. Voice concerns regarding any issues you may have, including ethical issues, to the unit department head/or the house supervisor.
  13. Have, revise, or execute an Advance Directive (Living Will, Health Care Surrogate) and to have that directive honored.
    • Advance Directive: An advance directive is written or oral instructions you give relating to the providing of health care in the event you become unable to make your own decisions.
    • Living Will: A living will generally states the kind of medical care you want or do not want if you become unable to make your own decisions.
    • Health Care Surrogate: A health care surrogate is any person you designate to have authority to make health care decisions for yourself. You can cancel this document or change your selected surrogate at any time before you become incapacitated.
  14. Accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment, including forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment or withholding resuscitative services. Should you refuse, you will be told what effect this may have on your health. NOTE: If you refuse to accept certain treatments, the hospital will continue to seek to provide the very best care possible. However, this may have a significant impact on some insurance companies willingness to pay for your care.
  15. Refuse to take part in research. In deciding whether to participate, you have the right to a full explanation. If you refuse, the hospital will continue to seek to provide the very best care possible.
  16. Know about and participate in discharge plans.
  17. Understand hospital charges.
  18. Register a complaint about the quality of care without fear of reprisals.
  19. Appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  20. Further information and guidance.

As a patient, you have a responsibility to:

  1. Provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to your health; and to provide, upon admission, a copy of your Advance Directive, if you have one.
  2. Report any unexpected changes in your condition to the responsible medical care provider.
  3. Report whether you clearly understand each proposed course of action in your care and what is expected of you.
  4. Be responsible for your actions if you refuse treatment or do not follow your medical care provider’s instructions.
  5. Assure that the financial obligations of your health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
  6. Follow hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
  7. Be considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel, especially with regard to minimizing noise, refraining from smoking, and assuring the appropriate conduct of your visitors.
  8. Be respectful of the property of others.

No list of guidelines can ever fully describe the ideal relationship that should exist between you, the hospital, and our staff. Nor can this ideal ever be fully put into words. It exists in practice as a spirit of mutual trust, cooperation, and respect.

It is this spirit that we constantly try to foster. We hope the information provided in this Bill of Rights will give you greater insight into how the hospital seeks to achieve this aim and into how you can participate in advancing and sustaining it.

If you feel you would like to obtain further information about these rights and responsibilities or to express your point of view on any aspect of your health care program, please ask to speak to the nurse manager or house supervisor, or you may write or call a representative of administration.

Please note that if a patient is a minor and unable to make these determinations, this information applies to the parent or guardian, or if the patient is for any reason incapable of participating in the decision-making process regarding medical therapy, this information applies to the designated responsible adult or health care surrogate.

Filing a Grievance or Complaint:

You have the right to report a complaint to the state agency that has oversight of the hospital. In Alabama, contact the Alabama Department of Public Health at 1-800-356-9596. In Florida, contact the Agency for Health Care Administration at 1-888-419-3456.