Your Rights and Responsibilities

We value you and want to include you as an important member of your health team. Part of giving excellent patient care is making sure our patients are involved and informed. The following information will keep you informed about your rights and responsibilities as a patient. 

Privacy Statement

NHRMC respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your medical information. The information we collect is used in your care and to offer you the best treatment. The Joint Notice of Privacy Practice explains how your medical information can be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. 

Please remain informed and review it carefully.

Accessibility and Non-Discrimination

NHRMC and its affiliates comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. NHRMC does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, ability to pay or payer source. NHRMC does not deny emergency services to a person who needs them but cannot pay for them.

NHRMC and its affiliates:

  • Provide free aids and services to people with disabilities to communicate effectively with us, such as:
    • Qualified sign language interpreters
    • Written information in other formats (audio, accessible electronic formats, other formats)
  • Provides free language services to people whose primary language is not English, such as:
    • Qualified interpreters
    • Information written in other languages

Programs and activities of NHRMC and its affiliates are accessible to and useable by disabled persons, including persons with impaired hearing and vision. Access features include some (if not all) of the following:

  • Accessible handicapped parking
  •  Ground-level entrances and ramps
  •  Level access into first floor level with elevator access to all floors
  •  Wide corridors
  • Wheelchairs available for transportation in hospital
  • Wheelchair accessible bathrooms

Additional auxiliary and communication aids include:

  • Video
  •  Braille signage for bathrooms and offices
  • Portable Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDDs)Courtesy phones with hearing aid compatibility and volume control

If you believe that NHRMC or an affiliate has failed to provide these services or discriminated in another way on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex, you can file a grievance in person with the Compliance/Privacy Officer, or by mail or phone at:

New Hanover Regional Medical Center
2131 S. 17th Street
PO Box 9000
Wilmington, NC 28401

Patient Bill of Rights

  1. A patient has the right to respectful care given by competent personnel.
  2. 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 health care persons having direct contact with the patient.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. A patient has the right to know what facility rules and regulations apply to his conduct as a patient.
  6. The patient has the right to expect emergency procedures to be implemented without unnecessary delay.
  7. The patient has the right to good quality care and high professional standards that are continually maintained and reviewed.
  8. 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.
  9. Except for emergencies, the physician must obtain the necessary informed consent prior to the start of any procedure or treatment, or both.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. A patient has the right to assistance in obtaining consultation with another physician at the patient’s request and expense.
  13. 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.
  14. A patient who does not speak English shall have access, when possible, to an interpreter.
  15. We 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.
  16. A patient has the right not to be awakened by hospital staff unless it is medically necessary.
  17. The patient has the right to be free from needless duplication of medical and nursing procedures.
  18. The patient has the right to medical and nursing treatment that avoids unnecessary physical and mental discomfort.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. The patient has the right to examine and receive a detailed explanation of his bill.
  22. The patient has a right to full information and counseling on the availability of known financial resources for his health care.
  23. A patient has the right to expect that the facility will provide a mechanism whereby he is informed upon discharge of his continuing health care requirements following discharge and the means for meeting them.
  24. 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.
  25. A patient has the right to be informed of his rights at the earliest possible time in the course of his hospitalization.
  26. The patient has the right to receive care in a safe setting that is free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  27. 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 and 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 patient's physical safety and less restrictive interventions have been determined to be ineffective.

Patient Responsibilities

  • 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 the facility.

Tell Us About Your Experience

Our goal is to provide you with excellent care. Your feedback – whether we exceeded your expectations or you have suggestions for improvement - is very important to us. If you have
concerns about your care, we will thoroughly investigate and resolve any complaint or grievance.

Patient compliments or complaints may be filed or initiated:

  • Directly with staff or management
  • Through the Patient Advocate Liaison (PAL):
    • NHRMC: 910.667.6655 or 910.667.7771
    • NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital: 910.667.4888
    • Pender Memorial Hospital: 910.300.4173
    • Spanish-speaking callers (en español): 910.667.5369

If you have concerns about the quality of care or premature discharge, you may contact:

5201 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Suite 900
Tampa, FL 33609

You may also report concerns or complaints directly with:

Division of Health Service Regulation
Complaint Intake Unit
2711 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2711

You may also file a civil rights complaint either electronically, by mail or phone with:

Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office for Civil Rights
200 Independence Avenue SW
Room 509F
HHH Building
Washington, DC 20201
800.537.7697 (TDD)

Complaint forms are available at