Patient Rights and Responsibilities
The Verity Health System hospitals support the belief that every patient deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and concern regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, or source of payment, and it is our goal to assure that your rights as a patient are observed.
As a patient at Seton Medical Center, your rights shall include but not be limited to:
- Notification to a family member or representative of your choice and your own physician upon your admission to the hospital. Expectation that the hospital will provide a reasonable response to your requests and needs for treatment/service within our capacity, stated mission, philosophy, and applicable laws/regulations during your hospitalization and post-discharge in order to ensure a reasonable continuity of care. You will be promptly transferred to another facility if we cannot meet your requests/needs for treatment; and you will receive a complete explanation about the need for transfer and of alternatives to the transfer.
- Receipt of considerate care that respects your psychosocial, spiritual, cultural values or belief systems, provided they do not harm others or interfere with your medical treatment, and freedom from abuse or harassment. You may wear appropriate personal clothing and religious/symbolic items, provided they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures/treatments. You may request a transfer to another room if a patient or visitor in the room is unreasonably disturbing you, provided another room equally suitable for your care needs is available.
- Communication with people inside/outside of the hospital. If you do not speak/understand English, you have the right to an interpreter. If you have a hearing impairment, you have access to a TDD or interpreter. Restrictions on communication will be fully explained to you and determined with your participation; and such restrictions will be evaluated on a regular basis for therapeutic effectiveness.
- Respectful responsive care if you are dying, including consideration of your comfort, dignity, spiritual, cultural and psychosocial needs and aggressive management of your pain, as desired by you or your designated representative.
- Informed participation in decisions regarding your care. You have the right to know the names/professional status of persons providing service to you; which physician or other practitioner is primarily responsible for your care; the most complete/current information regarding your diagnosis, recommended treatment or procedure, including the name of the person who will perform it; prognosis; and any alternative course of treatment/non-treatment and the risks involved in each. Information shall be presented in language reasonable and understandable to you. You also have the right to consult with a specialist at your expense and request.
- Accept/decline treatment to the extent permitted by law after receiving clear, concise information from your physician and to be informed of the consequences of refusing treatment. You should not be subjected to any non-emergency procedure without voluntary, competent and understanding consent on your part. Although we never recommend that patients assume the personal risk of rejecting their physician’s advice by refusing treatment or by leaving the hospital, you have the right to leave the hospital against your physician’s advice.
- Receipt of information about Advance Healthcare Directives allowing you to give directions about future medical care or to designate another person to make decisions if you should lose decision-making capacity; to receive assistance from the hospital in the formulation of an advance directive; and, to have said advance directive documented in your medical record and reviewed periodically with you or your surrogate decision maker. Provision of your care shall not be conditional on the existence of any advance directive.
- Receipt of personal/informational privacy in surroundings designed to assure reasonable visual/auditory privacy. Communication about your hospitalization should be limited to those involved in your direct care, and such communication should be conducted discreetly without individuals present who are not directly related to your care.
- Access, within the limits of the law, to information in your medical record and to have your medical record read only by those directly involved in your treatment or monitoring of its quality, except as otherwise permitted by law. Others may review your medical records only with your written authorization. You should expect all communications and records pertaining to your care to be treated as confidential.
- Be informed of any human experimentation or other research/educational projects affecting your care/treatment with the right to refuse participation in any such activity.
- Receipt of information upon admission about the hospital’s Patient’s Rights Policy and the process for communicating complaints/concerns that arise in the provision of your care, without the threat of discrimination or reprisal. A grievance/complaint can be communicated verbally, by phone, or in writing to a staff member, nurse manager, or to Patient Relations. Your complaint will be investigated and the appropriate person(s) will respond to you in a timely manner.
- Participation in any ethical issues that arise in the provision of your care and to receive information on ethical issues related to your healthcare in consultation with members of the hospital Ethics Committee by asking your nurse, physician or other hospital staff to assist you.
- Designation of visitors of your choosing. This right may be limited by the hospital’s establishment of reasonable restrictions upon visitation, including restrictions on the hours of visitation and the number of visitors; or, if the hospital determines that the visitor(s) may endanger your health and safety, the safety of a hospital staff member or other visitor, or significantly disrupt the operation of the facility.
- Freedom from psychotherapeutic drugs and physical restraints used for the purpose of patient discipline or staff convenience.
- Appropriate assessment and management of pain.
- Reasonable safety insofar as the hospital practices and environment is concerned, and to be placed in protective privacy when considered necessary for your personal safety.
- Examination and receipt of an explanation of your total bill for services rendered in the hospital.
- All these rights shall also apply to the patient’s designated legal representative.
As a patient, you are responsible for the following:
- To provide accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to your health and for reporting whether you clearly understand your treatment plan. Also to report unexpected changes in your condition to your physician or member of the healthcare team.
- To follow the treatment plan recommended by your physician and to express any concerns you may have about your ability to follow a proposed course of treatment. This will include following the instructions of nurses and other healthcare personnel as they carry out the coordinated plan of care, implement your physician’s orders and enforce the applicable hospital policies.
- For asking questions if you do not understand any instructions you are given.
- For the outcomes if you refuse treatment or refuse to follow instructions.
- For following the hospital policies affecting patient care and conduct.
- For being considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel, and for assisting in control of noise and the number of visitors.
- Providing information for insurance and working with the hospital to arrange payment, when needed.
For more information, call the Patient Relations Manager or Patient Advocacy Representative at (650) 991-6544.