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Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Patient Rights

Patients have a right to expect certain things about the care they will receive at Mon Health hospitals. Included among these rights are the following:

A patient, or when appropriate, the patient's representative, has the right to be informed of their rights and responsibilities in advance of receiving or discontinuing patient care whenever possible and to know what hospital rules and regulations apply to his or her conduct. A patient has the right to expect proper management techniques to be implemented within the HOSPITAL to effectively utilize his or her time and to avoid personal discomfort. A list of patient responsibilities is included at the end of this document.

Each patient has the right to consent to receive the visitors whom he or she designates, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member or a friend. The patient also has the right to withdraw ordering such consent at any time. The HOSPITALS will not restrict, limit or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. All visitors will enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with patient preferences. The HOSPITALS allow a family member, friend or another individual to be present for emotional support during the course of the stay. Each patient has the right to have a family member or representative of his or her choice and his or her own physician notified promptly of his or her admission, and to involve them in decisions about care, treatment or services. Each patient has the right to request religious and other spiritual services.

A patient has the right to high quality, considerate, dignified and respectful care given by competent personnel and to expect that high professional standards are continually maintained and reviewed. A patient has a right to medical and nursing services without discrimination as noted above. A patient has the right to participate in the development and implementation of his or her plan of care. A patient has the right to personal privacy and to be free from mental, physical, sexual, and verbal abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The HOSPITALS respect the patient's cultural and personal values, beliefs and preferences.

A patient has the right to every consideration of his or her privacy, safety and security concerning his or her own medical care program. Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly, making every attempt to maintain the patient's verbal and visual privacy. A patient has the right to be free from all forms of abuse and harassment and to have his/her care provided in a safe environment.

A patient has the right to freedom from restraints in acute medical and surgical care and/or freedom from seclusion and restraints in behavior management, unless clinically necessary or in an emergency situation to protect the patient or others from harm.

A patient has the right to expect emergency procedures to be implemented without unnecessary delay.

A patient has the right of access to protective services or advocacy groups or to an individual whom, or an agency which, is authorized to act on behalf of the patient to assert or protect the rights set out in this policy.

All patients have the right to all necessary measures as clinically appropriate to assure comfort by the provision of treatment of symptoms, pain management and the acknowledgment of the psychological, social, emotional, cultural and spiritual concerns of the patient and family.

The HOSPITALS prohibit discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, payment source, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.

A patient has the right to review and acknowledge The Notice of Privacy Practices of The Mon Health System. This Notice describes how medical information about the patient may be used and disclosed and how the patient can get access or request amendment to this information. The patient has the right to refuse to acknowledge the Notice of Privacy Practices of The Mon Health System without denial of treatment.

A patient has the right to have all records pertaining to his or her medical care treated as confidential except as otherwise provided by law or third-party contractual arrangements. The HOSPITALS shall provide the patient, upon request, access to all information contained in his or her medical records in accordance with applicable regulations (unless access is specifically restricted by the attending physician for medical reasons or is prohibited by law).

A patient has the right to effective communication and full information in layman's terms concerning diagnosis, treatment and prognosis including information about advantages/disadvantages, alternative treatments, and possible complications of proposed treatments. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to the patient, the information shall be given to the patient's next of kin or other appropriate persons. Except in emergencies, a patient has the right to expect that his or her physician will obtain the necessary informed consent prior to the start of any procedure or treatment.

Patients also have the right to full access to his or her clinical records and information regarding their health status and the outcomes of treatment, whether such outcomes are positive or negative. In accordance with West Virginia law, the HOSPITAL informs the patient or surrogate decision-maker about unanticipated outcomes of care that are considered to be sentinel events.

Medicare patients/families with concerns regarding the quality of care or premature discharge shall be advised that they may contact Livanta, BFCC-QIO Program, Area I, 9090 Junction Drive, Suite 10, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701; or by calling 1-866-815-5440

A patient who cannot communicate with hospital staff because he or she does not speak English or because of hearing, vision, cognitive or speech impairment shall have access, where possible, to an interpreter and/or technology that will facilitate communication and meet the patient's needs.

A patient, next-of-kin, or legally responsible representative has the right to participate in consideration of ethical issues. For more information about the HOSPITALS' Ethics Committees, contact Administration Monday through Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM, or an Administrative Nursing Supervisor. Patients or families may seek spiritual counsel from Pastoral Care by calling the operator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A patient has the right to formulate an Advance Directive (Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare). Provision of care is not conditioned upon whether or not the patient has an Advance Directive. The patient also has the right to receive information about the HOSPITALS' policies and procedures relating to Advance Directives.

A patient has the right to expect that the HOSPITALS will provide a mechanism whereby he or she is informed upon discharge of his or her continuing healthcare requirements, and the means for meeting them.

A patient has the right to refuse any drug, treatment, or procedure offered by the HOSPITALS to the extent permitted by law. A physician shall inform the patient of the medical consequences of his or her refusal of any drug, treatment, or procedure.

When medically permissible a patient may be transferred to another facility, only after the patient or next-of-kin or other legally responsible representative has received complete information and an explanation concerning the needs for and alternatives to such a transfer. The institution to which the patient is to be transferred must accept the patient for transfer in advance. The necessary medical information will be sent to the transfer facility.

A patient has the right to designate a surrogate decision maker when the patient is unable to make decisions regarding health care. Alternatively, the patient has the right to include or exclude family members from participating in his or her health care decisions. A surrogate decision maker may refuse care, treatment or services.

A patient has the right to expect that his or her consent will be obtained for recording or filming made for purposes other than the identification, diagnosis or treatment of patients. A patient also has the right to request that recording or filming cease and to rescind consent at a later date. Any person participating in such filming or recording who is not a HOSPITAL employee shall sign a confidentiality agreement in accordance with hospital policy.

A patient (or in the event the patient is unable to give informed consent, a legally responsible party) has the right to be advised when a physician is considering him or her as part of a medical care research program or donor program. The patient, or legally responsible party, must give informed consent prior to participation in such a program. The patient or legally responsible party may at any time refuse to continue in any such program to which he or she has previously given informed consent. Such refusal will not compromise access to services. Informed consent will consist of expected benefits, potential discomforts and risks, a description of alternative services that might also prove advantageous and a full explanation of procedures to be followed.

A patient has the right, upon request, to be given the name of his or her attending physician, the names of all other physicians directly participating in his or her care, and the names and functions of other healthcare personnel having direct contact with him or her.

A patient has the right to assistance in obtaining consultation with a physician other than the attending physician at the patient's request and own expense.

A patient has the right to examine and receive a detailed explanation of hospital bills. He or she has a right to full information and counseling on the availability of financial resources for healthcare.

A patient has the right to communicate complaints regarding his or her care without being subject to coercion, discrimination, reprisal, or unreasonable interruption of care, treatment, and services. A patient can voice complaints to his or her physician, case manager, nurse team member, or hospital management or administration. Complaints may also be communicated to:

  • the Compliance Officer at 304-598-1571;
  • or the Compliance Hotline at 1-844-536-2373;

Mon Health shall perform an effective and fair investigation of any alleged violations of patient's rights in accordance with adopted procedures in order to ensure the enforcement of patient's rights.

For any complaints about clinical care for Medicare beneficiaries, patients may call the Livanta, BFCC-QIO Program, Area 1, 9090 Junction Drive, Suite 10, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701 1-866-815-5440.

Issues concerning safety and quality of care may be reported online, by fax or mail. Online at
www.jointcommission.org, using the "Report a Patient Safety Event" link in the Action Center on the homepage. Fax: 630-792-5636. Mail: Office of Quality and Patient Safety, The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Blvd., Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 or Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification, 408 Leon Sullivan Way, Charleston, WV 25301-1713 (304) 558-0050.

Reports of patient safety events to The Joint Commission must include the health care organization's name, street address, city and state. In the course of evaluating a report, The Joint Commission may share the information with the organization that is the subject of the report.

Patient safety event reports can be submitted anonymously and confidentially. However, those who provide their name and contact information enables The Joint Commission to contact them for more information, if necessary, and to confirm how the report is handled.

Patient Responsibilities

In addition to having rights, patients also have responsibilities to assist in assuring that their care, and the care of other patients, is provided appropriately. Included among these responsibilities are the following:

A patient must provide, to the best of his or her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalization, medications, pain and other matters relating to his or her health that facilitates care, treatment and services. Unexpected changes in condition are also to be reported to the appropriate individual.

A patient must ask questions and acknowledge whether or not he or she clearly understands a contemplated course of action and what is expected.

A patient must follow the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily responsible for his or her care. This may include following the instructions of nurses and allied health personnel as they carry out the coordinated plan of care and implement the responsible practitioner's orders, and as they enforce the applicable rules and regulations. The patient is responsible for resulting outcomes if he or she refuses treatment or does not follow the practitioner's instructions.

A patient must assure either personally or through a legally responsible party that the financial obligations of his or her stay are fulfilled as promptly as possible, subject to the provisions of EMTALA.

A patient must be considerate of the rights of other patients and personnel and is responsible for assisting in the control of noise and number of visitors. This includes being respectful of the property of other patients, staff and the hospital and maintaining civil language and conduct in all interactions with staff, physicians and other patients and their families.

A patient and their family must follow the hospital's rules and regulations. A copy of the Visitor Standard of Behavior is located online, in the patient handbook or on request.

The patient's Medical Power of Attorney or surrogate decision maker assumes the above responsibilities for the patient if the patient has been found by his or her physician to be incapable of understanding these responsibilities, has been judged incompetent in accordance with law, or exhibits a communication barrier.

Preston Memorial Hospital prohibits discrimination based on age, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
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