Patient Rights and Responsibilities
As a patient of the Western Maryland Health System you have the right to:
Patients can expect to obtain from their physician and other direct caregivers relevant, current and understandable information concerning diagnosis, treatment and prognosis/medical condition.
Patients can expect to know by name and functions, the identity of physicians, nurses and others involved in their care.
Patients can expect to obtain from their physician, information needed to give informed consent to any procedure and/or treatment. Except in emergencies, this information should include the nature of the procedure and/or treatment, possible consequences, the name of the person who is responsible for it, and the nature of any medically important alternatives for care or treatment.
Patients have the right to review the records pertaining to his/her medical care, and to have the information explained or interpreted as necessary, except when restricted by law.
Patients have a right to communicate, such as visitors, mail, telephone call and other forms of communication. Any restrictions on communication are evaluated for therapeutic effectiveness and are fully explained to patient and family.
Patients have the right to know the existence of business relationships among the hospital, educational institutions, and other health care providers or payers that may influence the patient's treatment or care.
Patients have the right to be informed of the immediate and long-term financial implications of their treatment choices and insofar as they are known, information on hospital charges of services and available payment methods.
Patients have the right to be informed of all services available in our facilities.
Patients have the right to be informed about relevant hospital policies that affect their care.
Patients being transferred to another facility have the right when medically permissible, to first receive complete information on the move, including an explanation of the need for and the alternatives to the transfer. Patients must be accepted by the receiving facility before they are transferred.
Patients have the right to be consulted about their transfer to another room, discharge or change in roommate.
Patients have the right to a reasonable continuity of care and to be informed by their physician about health care requirements after discharge.
Patients have the right to expect every consideration of privacy. Only authorized staff will be directly involved in the patient's care. Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment should be conducted so as to protect each patient's privacy.
Patients have the right to meet privately with whomever they wish.
Patients have the right to expect all communications and records pertaining to his/her care will be treated confidentially by the hospital, except in cases such as suspected abuse and public health hazards when reporting is permitted or required by law.
Patients or surrogate decision makers have the right to make decisions about their plan of care prior to and during the course of treatment.
Patients have the right to expect timely information about hospital policy that may limit their ability to make decisions concerning health choices.
Patients have the right to choose whether or not to participate in experimental or research programs.
Patients have the right to execute an Advance Directive (Living Will, appointment of a health care agent, or verbal discussion with physician) with the expectation the hospital will honor the intent of that directive to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy.
Patients or surrogates have the right to make decisions about care, including the right to refuse treatment once the risks of that choice have been explained to patient or surrogates.
Quality Care and Dignity
Patients have the right to be informed of available resources for resolving disputes, grievances, and ethical concerns. Such resources include: patient representatives, the patient complaint management program, the hospital's Ethics Committee, or other mechanisms available in the institution.
Patients have the right to access to care without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability.
Patients have the right to reasonable continuity of care after discharge through discharge plans and needed referrals to other services.
Patients and the family have a right to psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural consideration based on their understanding of illness. Requests for religious or cultural symbols will be accommodated to the best of the hospitals' ability; patients or families may also request the removal of symbols or icons in a patient room.
Patients have the right to effective pain management.
Freedom from abuse and restraint
Patients have the right to expect a safe and secure environment.
Patients have the right to respectful treatment.
Patients have the right to freedom from mental, physical, and verbal abuse.
Patients have the right to freedom from physical or chemical restraints, according to pre-established policies.
Patients have the right to be able to move around freely.
Patients have the right to access to protective services for domestic violence, elder or child abuse.
As a patient of the Western Maryland Health System, you have the responsibility to:
- Provide information about past illnesses, hospitalization, medications, and other matters related to your health status as completely and accurately as possible.
- Ask questions about your health status or treatment if you do not fully understand information and instructions given to you.
- Ensure that the health care institution has a copy of your witnessed written Advance Directive.
- Inform your physician or caregiver if you anticipate problems following your treatment plan.
- Treat the property of other patients and the health system with respect.
- Provide necessary information for insurance claims and work with the health system to make payment arrangements as promptly as possible.
- Recognize the impact of your life style on your personal health.
- Accept responsibility for your action if you refuse treatment or do not follow the practitioner's instructions after being fully advised of the potential risk.