Patient Rights & Responsibilities
Patient Bill of Rights:
- A patient has the right to respectful care given by competent personnel.
- A patient has the right, upon request, to be given the name of his attending physician, the names of all other physicians directly participating in his care, and the names and functions of other healthcare persons having direct contact with the patient.
- A patient has the right to every consideration of his privacy concerning his own medical care program. Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment are considered confidential and should be conducted discreetly.
- A patient has the right to have all records pertaining to his medical care treated as confidential except as otherwise provided by law or third party contractual arrangements.
- A patient has the right to know what facility rules and regulations apply to his conduct as a patient.
- The patient has the right to expect emergency procedures to be implemented without unnecessary delay.
- The patient has the right to good quality care and high professional standards that are continually maintained and reviewed.
- The patient has the right to full information in laymen's terms, concerning his diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, including information about alternative treatments and possible complications. When it is not possible or medically advisable to give such information to the patient, the information shall be given on his behalf to the patient's designee.
- Except for emergencies, the physician must obtain the necessary informed consent prior to the start of any procedure or treatment, or both.
- A patient has the right to be advised when a physician is considering the patient as a part of a medical care research program or donor program. Informed consent must be obtained prior to actual participation in such program and the patient or legally responsible party, may, at any time, refuse to continue in any such program to which he has previously given informed consent.
- A patient has the right to refuse any drugs, treatment or procedure offered by the facility, to the extent permitted by law, and a physician shall inform the patient of his right to refuse any drugs, treatment or procedures and of the medical consequences of the patient's refusal of any drugs, treatment or procedure.
- A patient has the right to assistance in obtaining consultation with another physician at the patient's request and expense.
- A patient has the right to medical and nursing services without discrimination based upon age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability (actual or perceived), socioeconomic status (or ability to pay), sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
- A patient who does not speak English shall have access, when possible, to an interpreter.
- PMH shall provide a patient, or patient designee, upon request, access to all information contained in the patient's medical records. A patient's access to medical records may be restricted by the patient's attending physician. If the physician restricts the patient's access to information in the patient's medical record, the physician shall record the reasons on the patient's medical record. Access shall be restricted only for sound medical reason. A patient's designee may have access to the information in the patient's medical records even if the attending physician restricts the patient's access to those records.
- A patient has the right not to be awakened by hospital staff unless it is medically necessary.
- The patient has the right to be free from needless duplication of medical and nursing procedures.
- The patient has the right to medical and nursing treatment that avoids unnecessary physical and mental discomfort.
- When medically permissible, a patient may be transferred to another facility only after he or his next of kin or other legally responsible representative has received complete information and an explanation concerning the needs for and alternatives to such a transfer. The facility to which the patient is to be transferred must first have accepted the patient for transfer.
- The patient/family has a right to choose from among qualified providers for their continued care needs and a right to have their preferences respected when they are expressed.
- The patient has the right to examine and receive a detailed explanation of his bill.
- The patient has a right to full information and counseling on the availability of known financial resources for his health care.
- A patient has the right to expect that the facility will provide a mechanism whereby he is informed upon discharge of his continuing healthcare requirements following discharge and the means for meeting them.
- A patient cannot be denied the right of access to an individual or agency who is authorized to act on his behalf to assert or protect his rights.
- A patient has the right to be informed of his rights at the earliest possible time in the course of his hospitalization.
- The patient has the right to receive care in a safe setting that is free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
- A patient has the right to designate visitors who shall receive the same visitation privileges as the patient's immediate family members, regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to the patient. In addition, visitation will not be restricted, limited, or otherwise denied on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. However, visitation may be restricted for the following reasons:
. At patient request, or legal guardian request if patient is under age or becomes incapacitated
. Patient is observed by his or her nurse to be resting
. Patient is undergoing a medical or therapeutic procedure
. At the discretion of the caregiver
. Behavior that is disruptive to the patient's care
Restraints in Acute Medical & Surgical Care
The patient has the right to be free from any form of restraints (physical restraint or drug being used as a restraint) that is not medically necessary or is used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff.
Confidentiality & Patient Records
The patient has the right:
- To the confidentiality of all communication, case discussion, consultation, examination, treatment and his/her clinical records, except as otherwise provided by law or third party contractual arrangements.
- To access information contained in his/her clinical record within a reasonable time frame during the hospital stay under the guidance of a physician, or following discharge by placing a request with the Medical Records Department.
- Pender Memorial Hospital will actively seek to meet the requests of individuals who wish to gain access to their own medical records, and process such requests as quickly as the medical record system permits.
All rights are applicable and extended to the person who has legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on behalf of the patient.
- To provide to the best of their knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, allergies, and other matters relating to the patient’s health.
- To report unexpected changes in the patient’s condition to the responsible practitioner.
- To make informed decisions regarding the patient’s health care including communicating that he/she understands the course of treatment.
- To follow the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner responsible for the patient’s care, including the instruction of nurses and other health care personnel as they carry out the coordinated plan of care.
- To keep follow-up appointments, and when unable to do so for any reason, notify the practitioner.
- To accept the consequences if the patient refuses treatment or does not follow the practitioner’s instructions.
- To ensure that the financial obligations of the patient’s health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
- To abide by the rules and regulations affecting the patient’s care and conduct.
- To be considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel and for assisting in the control of noise, smoking, and the number of visitors.
- To respect the property of other persons and of Pender Memorial Hospital.
Pender Memorial Hospital will not deny access or medically necessary services to patients on the basis of ability to pay, race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, or actual or perceived disability. This facility and its programs and activities are accessible to and useable by disabled persons.
Access features include:
- Accessible handicapped parking
- Ground-level entrances and ramps
- Level access into first-floor level with elevator access to second floor
- Wide corridors
- Wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, designated by signage
Auxiliary and communication aids are available to disabled persons with impaired hearing or speech. They include:
- Wheelchair assistance for transportation within the hospital
- Sign language interpreters for the deaf
- Spanish interpreters for patients who do not speak or understand English
- Braille signage is available throughout the Emergency Department Area
If you require any of the aids listed above, please let registration desk personnel or your nurse know.
North Carolina and federal law give every competent adult, 18 years or older, the right to make their own health care decisions, including the right to decide what medical treatment, to accept, reject or discontinue. If you do not want to receive certain types of treatment or you wish to name someone else to make health care decisions for you, you have the right to make these desires known to your doctor, hospital or other healthcare providers, and in general, have these rights respected.
What are advance medical directives?
Advance directives are documents, made in advance that allow you to give directions for your future medical care. Patients of sound mind have a right to make choices. They are called ‘advance’ directives because they are signed in advance to let your doctor and other healthcare providers know your wishes concerning medical treatment. Through advance directives, you can make legally valid decisions about your future medical care.
Do I have to have an Advance Directive?
No, it’s entirely up to you whether you want to prepare any documents. But if the questions arise about the kind of medical treatment that you want or do not want, advance directives may help to solve these important issues.
It’s your right to accept or refuse medical care.
Advance directives help to protect this right. They help make your choices known if you become physically or mentally unable to do so yourself.
Advance directives are valuable tools.
Advance directives can help your family, by freeing them of the responsibility and stress of having to make difficult decisions for you by giving your health-care providers directions for your care.
North Carolina law recognizes 3 types of advance directives.
1. Living Will—A living will is a document containing instructions that explain your wishes for health care if you can’t communicate as a result of a terminal condition or irreversible coma.
2. Health Care Power of Attorney—HCPA is a legal document that allows you to appoint another individual to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to do so.
3. An Advance Instruction for Mental Health Treatment—Legal document which allows you to tell your doctor/healthcare providers about your preferences and instructions regarding your mental health care treatment, if you are no longer able to make these decisions for yourself.
Where can I get more information?
If you would be interested in more information or assistance in initiating an advance directive, we can assist you. Please inform your nurse and she will provide additional information.