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Patient Rights

Patient Rights Statement

Guided by our mission and values, the hospitals of Community Healthcare System – Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital, St. Mary Medical Center - have an overriding concern for the values and dignity of patients, and believe that our patients have the right to:

  1. Impartial access to treatment regardless of race, color, religion, ethnicity, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, marital status, or disability. 
  2. Respectful care that takes into consideration their psychological, spiritual and physical needs, cultural beliefs and practices.  
  3. Choose who visits them, including, but not limited to, both different sex and same sex spouse or domestic partner, child, sibling, both different sex and same sex parents, family and friends.  The patient also has the right to deny visitors at any time.  
  4. Know the identity of physicians, healthcare providers and others involved in their care.
  5. Obtain honest, understandable information concerning their diagnosis, treatment options or alternatives and prognosis from physicians and other authorized healthcare providers. This information may be given to a legally authorized individual under the appropriate circumstances. 
  6. Participate in decisions about their care and agree to or refuse the recommended treatment to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy. This includes the right to consent or decline to participate in proposed research studies affecting care and treatment.
  7. Exercise rights while receiving competent, considerate care or treatment in a safe setting that fosters the patient's comfort and dignity and is free from all forms of abuse and harassment, including abuse or harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, or other non-medically relevant factors.
  8. Be free from seclusion and restraints imposed by a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  9. Request another opinion regarding the plan of care proposed by the healthcare providers. 
  10. Receive information from their healthcare providers regarding their continued treatment or plan of care following discharge from the hospital.
  11. Expect appropriate assessment and effective management of their pain by healthcare providers educated in the treatment of pain. 
  12. Have or draft an advance directive regarding their treatment or name a healthcare decision maker with the expectation that the hospital and healthcare providers will honor its intent within the limits of the law and hospital policy.
  13. Receive every consideration of privacy, security and safety in their physical surroundings.
  14. Expect that all communications and records pertaining to their care will be treated as confidential by the hospital and healthcare providers within the limits of the law.
  15. Expect continuity of care and be informed by healthcare providers of available and realistic options when acute hospital care is no longer appropriate.
  16. Receive a complete explanation of the need for a transfer to another facility or the alternatives to such a transfer when medically appropriate or requested by the patient.
  17. Access their medical records and be able to request amendments. Be informed upon request of the existence of any relationships between the hospital, educational institutions, other healthcare providers or payers that may influence the patient's treatment or care. 
  18. Know the immediate and long-term financial implications of
    treatment choices, and be informed of their charges for services and available payment methods.
  19. Be informed of the hospital policies and practices that relate to the responsibilities of the hospital and the patient. Discuss any concerns with administrative personnel and utilize available resources for resolving disputes or grievances, including, when appropriate, the ethics committee.
  20. Have these rights exercised on the patient's behalf by a designated surrogate or proxy decision maker without coercion, discrimination or retaliation, if the patient lacks decision-making capacity, is legally incompetent, or is a minor.

Patient Responsibilities:

The hospitals of Community Healthcare System – Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital, St. Mary Medical Center - believe that patients are responsible to:

  1. Provide accurate information regarding their health, medical history and past hospitalizations to the best of their ability.
  2. Cooperate in following the treatment plan proposed by the physicians and healthcare providers.
  3. Report promptly any change in condition or pain that they experience to the healthcare providers. 
  4. Question physicians and healthcare providers regarding any treatment or instructions they do not understand.
  5. Accept responsibility for their actions if they refuse treatment or do not follow the healthcare providers' instructions.
  6. Share any concerns with the healthcare providers or administration regarding safety or confidentiality.
  7. Show consideration for other patients by following all hospital policies pertaining to smoking, visiting and general conduct as outlined in the Patient Information Guide.
  8. Show consideration for the healthcare system staff members and property.
  9. Provide a copy of their advance directives.
  10. Recognize the impact of lifestyle on their personal health. A person's health depends on much more than health care services.
  11. Pay for healthcare services in a timely manner. Patients are responsible for providing necessary information for insurance claims and for working with the hospital to make payment arrangements when necessary.

Parents or guardians of minor children should accept the above listed responsibilities for their children and themselves in a spirit of cooperation with hospital staff that provides for the best interest of our young patients. If you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of your medical treatment, it is your right and responsibility to consult with your physician.