Know your rights and responsibilities.
At Hancock Regional Hospital, our associates, medical staff, and volunteers jointly affirm and recognize the following rights and responsibilities of our patients and clients. If a patient is a minor or mentally incapacitated, these rights and responsibilities apply to the parent(s), guardian(s), next of kin, or other authorized representatives, in accordance with the law.
Each patient has the right to:
- Receive impartial access to treatment, accommodations, or care that is available and medically indicated, regardless of race, national origin, creed, color, gender identity, sex, sexual preference, physical or mental status, religion, handicap, or source of payment.
- Effective communications. If the patient does not speak or understand the English language, an interpreter will be provided. If he/she has a communication disability, he/she has the right to an alternative means of communication.
- Be informed of his/her health status, be involved in all aspects of his/her care, and participate fully in healthcare planning and treatment.
- Know which hospital regulations and rules apply to his/her conduct and care.
- Be informed in language he/she understands about the nature of his/her illness and treatment options, including potential benefits, medically significant risks, alternatives, costs, and probable duration of the recovery process, so that informed consent may be given prior to the treatment or procedure.
- Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law after being adequately informed of the medical consequences of his/her actions, benefits, risks of, and alternatives to treatment.
- Be advised of any proposed research or experimental treatment, including benefits, risks, and alternatives considered in his/her care or treatment. The patient has the right to consent or refuse to participate in such projects.
- Receive considerate, respectful care that optimizes dignity and comfort, including timely response to a report of pain, and appropriate pain management, treatment of symptoms, and attention to psychosocial and spiritual concerns.
- Have the people caring for him/her introduce themselves and explain their role in his/her care, and to be told the reasons for any proposed change in the professional staff responsible for his/her care.
- Formulate an advance directive, such as a living will, or to appoint a healthcare representative, to express individual wishes regarding life sustaining procedures, and to have care provided that is consistent with his/her directives to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy.
- Have his/her family give informed consent of donation of organs and tissues.
- Access appropriate resources to assist in resolving ethical concerns or conflicts regarding medical/clinical dilemmas. An Ethics Committee representative is available at all times and may be accessed through the nursing staff or the hospital operator. Pastoral care is also available.
- Prompt resolution of complaints or grievances.
- Personal privacy.
- Expect that all communications and records pertaining to his/her care will be treated as confidential except as required or allowed by law.
- Refuse visitors and/or request that no information be provided regarding the stay at Hancock Regional Hospital.
- Have a family member or representative of their choice and their own physician notified promptly of their admission to the hospital.
- Be free from all forms of abuse, coercion, harassment, or corporal punishment. Receive care in a safe setting and be placed in protective privacy if necessary for personal safety. Upon request, the Social Services Department will provide addresses and telephone numbers of State Ombudsman programs or other patient advocacy or protective resources.
- Be free from restraint or seclusion, of any form, imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff, and to have the use of restraint or seclusion discontinued as soon as possible based on an individualized patient assessment and re-evaluation. Restraint or seclusion may not be used unless the use of restraint or seclusion is necessary to ensure the immediate physical safety of the patient, a staff member, or others.
- Access individuals outside the hospital by means of visitors, and verbal and written communications. Any decision to restrict communication (to prevent personal injury, damage to property, or infringement on the rights of others) will be fully explained and made with participation of the patient/family/legal representative.
- Take part in religious, spiritual and/or social activities while in the hospital unless the practices are disruptive to hospital operations and/or the physician deems these activities in conflict with the patient’s plan of care.
- Expect a reasonable response to requests for medically indicated services, within the hospital’s mission and capacity. The hospital will provide evaluation, service, stabilizing medical screening, treatment, and/or referral as indicated by the urgency of the case. The patient can expect reasonable continuity of care throughout his/her stay and upon discharge, including appropriate arrangements for home care, equipment, or other alternatives to hospitalization.
- Access information contained in the clinical record within a reasonable amount of time.
- Receive and examine an explanation of his/her bill regardless of the source of payment.
- Be advised in a timely manner if the hospital is notified by his/her insurance provider about any restrictions in coverage for his/her care and treatment.
- Be informed about the existence of business or professional relationships among the hospital, educational institutions, or other healthcare providers or payers that may be involved in his/her care. Clinical decisions will be based on identified needs, regardless of any financial relationships among the hospital, physicians or third-party payers. For business-related concerns, patients should ask for the Corporate Compliance Officer who will assure review of concerns and a written response.
- Have their concerns addressed in a timely and responsive manner. Hancock Regional Hospital encourages and empowers staff to resolve concerns at the point of discovery, if at all possible. If a concern cannot be immediately resolved, Hancock Regional Hospital has an established grievance procedure that will be implemented.
- Enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with patient preferences. Such privileges shall not be restricted, limited or otherwise denied based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Justified clinical restrictions may be imposed as necessary to provide safe care to patients.
In order to assist in meeting healthcare needs and the provision of appropriate care, each patient/clinic or his/her legal/authorized representative is responsible for:
- Providing accurate and complete information regarding matters related to his/her health.
- Participating as fully as possible in his/her care including: Asking questions pertaining to medications, tests and procedures, etc., and informing the physician if the plan of treatment is not clearly understood.
- Following the plan agreed upon by patient and caregivers, and/or assuming responsibility for his/her actions if he/she agrees to treatment not fully understood, refuses treatment, or does not follow the physician’s instructions.
- Assuring that the financial obligations of his/her healthcare are fulfilled.
- Understanding the coverage of his/her individual insurance policies and contacting the insurance provider directly if there are questions concerning coverage.
- Paying his/her portion of the hospital bill.
- Asking to speak to a hospital representative to discuss options for paying for hospital services.
- Determining physicians’ participation in patient’s/client’s health plan or network.
- Following hospital regulations and rules regarding patient care and conduct.
- Being considerate and respectful of the rights and property of other patients, staff, and the hospital.
- Informing hospital staff if he/she believes that any of his/her rights have been violated.
Concerns About Care? Here’s What to Do
If you have a concern about your care, or if you or your healthcare representative feel that your rights have been violated, please inform your nurse immediately or ask the hospital operator to have the Patient Advocate contact you. We’ll make every effort to resolve your complaint promptly.
You have the right to have concerns addressed in a timely, responsive manner. Associates are empowered to resolve concerns at the point of discovery if at all possible. If a concern can’t be immediately resolved, our associates will follow the established grievance process.
You may also contact the vice president of nursing and Inpatient care/chief nursing officer at Hancock Regional Hospital by calling (317) 468-4410 or Acute Care Services at (800) 246-8909.