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.

We would also encourage you to review the social services we offer, as well as our privacy notice as it applies to your rights. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

Patient Rights

Each patient has the right to:

  • Participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care, including being informed of your
    medical status, diagnosis and prognosis, being involved in care planning and treatment, being able to request or refuse treatment, and being able to request a discharge plan at any time during your hospitalization. This right does not cover the demand for treatment or services determined to be medically unnecessary or inappropriate.
  • 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 your
    directives to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy.
  • Have a family member or representative of your choice and your own physician notified promptly of your
    admission to the hospital.
  • Be provided reasonable privacy during examination, consultation and treatment.
  • 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 all forms of abuse, coercion, harassment, or corporal punishment.
  • Expect that all communications and records pertaining to your care will be treated as confidential except as
    required or allowed by law.
  • Access information contained in the clinical record within a reasonable amount of time.
  • 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 reevaluation. Restraint and seclusion may not be used unless the use of restraint or seclusion is necessary to ensure your, a staff member’s or another’s immediate physical safety.
  • Be informed in language you understand, the nature of your illness and treatment options, including potential
    benefits, medically significant risks, alternatives, costs and 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 your actions, benefits and 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 without compromising access to services.
  • Know the professional status of any person providing services.
  • Have the people caring for you introduce themselves and explain their role in your care and to be told the reasons for any proposed change in the professional staff responsible for your care.
  • Be informed of the reason for transfer within or outside the hospital.
  • 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 your 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, you should ask for the Corporate Compliance Officer who will assure review of concerns and a written response.
  • Access cost, itemized when possible, of services in a reasonable time period.
  • Be informed of the source of the Hospital’s reimbursement and of any limitations which may be placed on the
    care provided.
  • Receive considerate, respectful care that optimizes dignity and comfort, including timely response to a report
    ofpain, and appropriate pain management, treatment of symptoms and attention to psychosocial and
    spiritual concerns.
  • 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 your/your family’s/your authorized representative’s participation.
  • Subject to consent, to receive the visitors whom the patient designates, including but not limited to spouse,
    domestic partner (including a same sex domestic partner), another family member or friend, and the right to
    withdraw or deny such consent at any time.
  • Enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with your preference. Visitation will not be restricted based
    on race, color, national origin, religion, non-religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or a disability.
  • Refuse visitors and/or request that “no information” be provided regarding your stay at Hancock Health
  • Have your family give informed consent of donation of organs and tissue.
  • Receive impartial access to treatment, accommodations or care that is available and medically indicated, regardless of race, national origin, creed, color, gender, age, sexual preference, gender identity, physical or mental status, religion, non-religion, handicap or source of payment.
  • Effective communications. If you do not speak or understand the English language, an interpreter will be provided. If you have a communication disability, you have the right to an alternative means of communication.
  • Know what hospital regulations and rules apply to your conduct and care.
  • 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
  • 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 your plan of care.
  • Expect reasonable response to request 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 your condition.
  • Expect reasonable continuity of care throughout your stay and upon discharge, including appropriate arrangements for home care, equipment or other alternatives to hospitalization.
  • Receive and examine an explanation of your bill regardless of source of payment. Have access to cost, itemized when possible, of services rendered within a reasonable time.
  • Be advised in a timely manner if the hospital is notified by your insurance provider about any restrictions in coverage for your care and treatment.
  • Have your concerns addressed in a timely and responsive manner. Hancock Health encourages and empowers staff to resolve concerns at the point of discovery, if at all possible. If a concern cannot be immediately resolved, Hancock Health has an established grievance procedure which will be implemented.

Patient Visitation Rights

Hancock Health embraces a philosophy of open and flexible visitation that welcomes and encourages the involvement of family and significant others in your care and is respectful of your rights and needs. Accordingly, the hospital has adopted this Statement on Patient Visitation Rights:

  1. Patients may receive visitors of their choosing, including, but not limited to, a spouse, domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member or a friend.
  2. Patients may refuse to consent to a person visiting them, or may withdraw consent to see a visitor at any time.
  3. Hancock Health will ensure that all visitors enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with
    patient preferences. Without limiting the previous sentence, the hospital 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, nor will it permit anyone else to do so.
  4. Patients may designate a “Support Person” to exercise their visitation rights on their behalf. Patients may
    designate a Support Person in any manner, including orally, in writing or through non-verbal communications
    (such as pointing).
  5. This hospital can apply reasonable clinical restrictions and other limitations on patient visitation.
    Reasonable restrictions may be based upon, but are not limited solely to, any of the following:
    a. A court order limiting or restraining contact
    b. A visitor’s behavior presenting a direct risk or threat to the patient, hospital staff or others in the immediate environment
    c. Visitor behavior that is disruptive to the functioning of the patient care unit involved
    d. The patient’s risk of infection by the visitor
    e. The visitor’s risk of infection by the patient
    f. A patient’s need for privacy or rest
    g. The need for privacy or rest by another patient in the patient’s shared room
    h. Any special restriction rules that apply to special patient care units
    (mental health/behavioral health, drug and alcohol, etc.)
    i. When visitation would otherwise interfere with the care of the patient and/or the care of other patients

Patient Responsibilities

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:

  • Provide accurate and complete information regarding matters related to your health.
  • Participate as fully as possible in your 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 you and caregivers, and/or assuming responsibility for your actions
      if you agree to treatment not fully understood, refuse treatment or do not follow the physician’s instructions.
  • Assure that the financial obligations of your healthcare are fulfilled. − Understanding the coverage of your individual insurance policies and contacting the insurance provider directly if there are questions concerning coverage.
    • Paying your portion of the hospital bill.
    • Asking to speak to a hospital representative to discuss options for paying for hospital services.
  • Determine physicians’ participation in your health plan or network.
  • Follow hospital regulations and rules regarding your care and conduct.
  • Be considerate and respectful of the rights and property of other patients, staff and the hospital.

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.