Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

As Our Patient, You Have The Right To:

  • Receive care and treatment, as needed, which the Health System is able to provide, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference, where you were born or how you pay for your care.
  • Be told of your rights before you are treated and before your treatment is stopped, and to designate a representative in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
  • Be told about care in a way that you can understand. Information will be given appropriate to your age, understanding and communication abilities. You have the right to an interpreter or translator, if needed, at no cost to you.
  • Personal dignity, including a safe environment and respectful care that is free from abuse and harassment.
  • Know the names and the jobs of those who give you care.
  • Privacy, to the extent we are able, while giving you treatment and care. Your care and treatment are only discussed with those you have designated and those who need to know.  
  • Have your records kept private and read only by people with a need to know. Portions of your record may be released with written consent from you. They may also be released if needed by law or as needed to advance your care.
  • Request that your confidential medical information be given additional privacy protections or be amended, if required by law.       
  • Be given a list of where and to whom your record was released. 
  • Refuse the recording, photographing or filming of care and the right to request that recording stop any time during the filming or recording process even if prior consent was given.    
  • Emergency care without unnecessary delays. 
  • Complete and current information about your diagnosis (to the degree known), treatment and any known outcome of your treatment from your caregiver. 
  • Other types of treatments discussed including no treatment. You may refuse care to the extent allowed by law, and the relationship with you may be stopped after you have been given notice.
  • Discharge yourself from the facility, if you are mentally competent and the facility is not required by law to detain you.       
  • Have a family member or agent of your choice and your own doctor called soon after you are admitted. 
  • Have visitors remain with you, but there may be times when visitors will be restricted for privacy and providion of care. You may choose those you wish to have visit you, and may withdraw or change your choices during the course of your stay. You may select someone to assist you with designation of visitors. 
  • Make choices about your care and to include individuals you designate in those choices.
  • Be told what you need to know from your doctor in order to make informed choices about your care. (This may not be possible in an emergency.)
  • Full information about research studies and/or experimental procedures that you may be given and the option to participate. The risks, benefits and alternatives are explained. You may refuse to participate in research studies without any effect on your access to health care.
  • See and receive a copy of your bill within 30 days of requesting it, regardless of the source of payment.
  • Receive information and advice about any sources of assistance for paying for your healthcare that the Health System may know about.
  • Help in planning for your discharge so that you will know about healthcare needs after discharge and how to meet them. You may discharge yourself from the facility if you are mentally competent and if the facility is not required by law to detain you.
  • Be transferred to another place only after care and arrangements have been made and you have been told what the hospital has to do under law.
  • Access people or agencies to act on your behalf or to protect your rights under law.
  • Have protective services contacted.
  • Practice your cultural and spiritual beliefs as long as it does not get in the way of the well-being of others or the planned course of care for you. 
  • Make advance directives (such as a living will, healthcare power of attorney and advance instruction for mental health treatment) and to have those directives followed as allowed by law or within certain clinical settings.
  • See the chaplain and/or seek other spiritual services.
  • Have your pain assessed and managed in a timely fashion and be told about pain relief measures.
  • Be free from the use of seclusion or restraint of any form that is not medically needed. 
  • Good quality care and high professional standards that are reviewed on a regular basis to see that they are maintained.
  • Ask for and obtain help in receiving consultation (clinical opinion) with another physician. This consultation is charged to you or your insurance company like all other appropriate services.
  • Look at and have explained to you all information in your medical record. Limiting the sharing of information in the record can only be done by your physician if he has written in the patient record sound medical reasons to do this.
  • Name someone (designee) to be given information about your care if the physician has limited information available to you for sound medical reasons.
  • Not be awakened by medical staff unless it is medically necessary, and to be protected from medical or nursing treatment that causes unnecessary physical and mental discomfort.
  • Not have medical or nursing procedures or tests performed on you that are not needed.
  • Expect the Health System to follow ethical behavior in its care, treatment, services and business practice.
  • Contact Clinical Ethics Support Service at 615-6703 to ask for help with ethical issues about your care.
  • Have your complaint or grievance resolved. Complaints and grievances can be communicated to the Health System's staff; the Patient Relations Department at 615-6120; the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service Division of Facility Services Licensure and Certification Section at 1-800-624-3004; and The Joint Commission at 1-800-994-6610. Persons with disabilities may contact the Governor's Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities at 1-800-821-6922.

The Rights of Children and Adolescents

  • The family/guardian of a child or adolescent patient has the right and responsibility to be involved in decisions about the care to the child. A child or adolescent has the right to have his or her wishes considered in the decision-making as limited by law. 
  • A child or adolescent patient has the right to expect the care and the setting to fit his or her age, size and needs.
  • A child or adolescent patient whose treatment requires a long absence from school has the right to educational services. These services may be arranged with the patient's school system or other licensed school system.

As Our Patient, You Are Responsible For:

  • Following Health System rules and regulations affecting your care and conduct.
  • Providing a complete and accurate medical history, to the extent that you know.
  • Reporting changes in your general health status, symptoms or allergies to your caregiver.
  • Immediately reporting any allegations of abuse, neglect, harassment, or exploitation to the physician or nurse in charge, Corporate Risk Management, Patient Relations or Administration.
  • Reporting if you do not understand the planned treatment or your part in the plan.
  • Following the treatment plan you have agreed to, including teaching from nurses and other health personnel. If you do not follow the plan of care, you are responsible for the resulting outcome.
  • Keeping appointments.
  • Treating others with respect.
  • Providing us with correct and timely information about your sources of payment and ability to pay.
  • Respecting the belongings and the rights of others.
  • Assisting in the control of noise and the number of visitors in your room.
  • Asking the doctor or nurse what you may expect regarding pain management, discussing pain relief options and giving input into the plan. You also need to ask for relief when pain begins and tell the doctor or nurse if pain is not relieved.  
  • Providing a copy of any Advance Directives that you have.  If a copy is not available, please tell staff about your wishes regarding care.

Contacts For Patients

For comments, complaints or grievances, you may contact the Patient Care Manager of the Nursing Unit or call the Patient Relations Department at 615-6120. 

You have the right to contact the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, N.C. Division of Health Service, Complaint Intake Unit, 2711 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-2711, phone number 1-800-624-3004.

You may also contact Office of Quality Monitoring, The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, IIllinois 60181, phone number 1-800-994-6610 or fax (630) 792-5636 or email to complaint@jointcommission.org.

Persons with disabilities may contact Disability Rights North Carolina, 3724 National Drive, Suite 100, Raleigh, North Carolina 27612, phone number (919) 856-2195 or Toll Free (877) 235-4210 or email to info@disabilityrightsnc.org.