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.
- NHRMC 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
Patient Bill of Rights for the Pediatric Patient
We recognize the extraordinary circumstances involved in the care of infant, child and adolescent patients. There are certain rights and responsibilities that are unique to parents and guardians of these patients. In addition to the rights and responsibilities afforded the adult patient, minor patients and their parents or guardians have the following right and responsibilities.
- Parents and guardians have the right and responsibility of providing informed consent for their minor children.
- Parents and guardians have the right and responsibility to participate in the treatment process. This includes planning and course of treatment, remaining informed about the progress of the treatment and physical participation in the delivery of certain types of care and treatment.
- Except when restricted by medical necessity, each minor patient has the right to attend school and take part in recreational activities.
Exercise of Rights
The patient or his/her representative has the right to:
- Be involved in care planning and treatment, and actively participate in decisions regarding medical care, including decisions to withhold or withdraw treatment if the patient has a terminal condition.
- Participate in the development and implementation of his/her plan of care.
- Formulate advance directives and have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives.
- Have a family member or representative of his/her choice and his/her own physician notified of his/her admission to the medical center.
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.
Seclusion and Restraint for Behavior Management
The patient has the right to be free from seclusion and restraint, in any form, imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff.
Seclusion or restraint may be used in emergency situations, if needed, to ensure the patients' physical safety and less restrictive interventions have been determined to be ineffective.
- 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.
- For abiding 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 New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center will not deny medically necessary services to patients on the basis of ability to pay, race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex or actual or perceived disability.
The medical center and its programs and activities are accessible to and useable by disabled persons, including the persons with impaired hearing and vision. Access features include:
- Accessible handicapped parking.
- Ground-level entrances and ramps.
- Level access into first floor level with elevator access to all floors.
- Valet parking and shuttle services with wheelchair accessibility.
- Wide corridors.
- Wheelchair accessible bathrooms.
Auxiliary and communication aids are available to disabled persons with impaired hearing, vision or speech, and include:
- Sign language interpreters for the deaf
- Wheelchair assistance for transportation in hospital
- Braille signage for bathrooms and offices
- Wheelchair accessible TDD pay phones
- Portable TDDs are available for use in patient rooms or at wheelchair accessible phone stations
- Language Line Services
- Courtesy phones with hearing aid compatibility and volume control
Complaint / Grievance / Patient Advocate Line
NHRMC will thoroughly investigate and resolve any complaint/ grievance. Patient complaints may be filed or initiated:
- Directly with staff or management;
- Through the Patient Advocate Liaison (P.A.L.):
For the New Hanover campus, ext. 6655 (internally) or Ph. 910-343-7771 (externally)
For the Cape Fear campus, Ph. 910-343-4888
For Spanish-speaking patients, Ph. 910-815-5369
If the patient has concerns about quality of care or premature discharge, he/she may contact:
The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence
100 Regency Forest Drive, Suite 200
Cary, NC 27518-8598
The patient also has the right to report concerns or complaints directly with:
Division of Health Service Regulation
Complaint Intake Unit
2711 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2711
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations