Patient Rights and Responsibilities

All patients who receive services through University Hospital or its affiliates have inherent legal and moral rights and responsibilities. These rights include the choice of physicians, choice of treatment, confidentiality, timely information, dignified care and personal safety. Responsibilities include following the rules and regulations of the hospital, providing accurate information, following treatment plans and fulfilling obligations. All patients are entitled to fair, considerate care and courtesy that recognizes and respects the individual. Likewise, all staff members are entitled to courtesy from patients.

Patient Rights

You have the right to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care. You have the right to be informed of the consequences of modifying or not complying with the agreed-upon plan of care.

Consent and Refusal
You have the right to make informed decisions regarding your care. Inherent in this right is the right to consent to treatment, the right to refuse treatment and the right to be informed about what will be occurring during the hospitalization.

You have the right to formulate advance directives.

You have the right to know the identity of your attending physician and other members of the health care team rendering your personal care. You have the right to communicate with all persons rendering care. This right includes the right to meaningful and understandable communication for patients who are sensorially deprived or have low English proficiency. You have the right to identify the family member or representative and personal physician of your choice whom you wish to have promptly notified of your admission to the hospital.

You have the right to personal privacy. Inherent in this right is the right to respect, dignity and comfort. Privacy extends to privacy from view, privacy of communication and privacy in treatment consistent with the capabilities, resources and nature of treatment, as well as the location of treatment as recognized as reasonable in the Guidelines published by the Office of Civil Rights, CMS, July 6, 2001. You have the right to confidentiality of your medical information and medical record. You have the right to access the information contained in your clinical records within a reasonable time of your request. You may request a copy of the Notice of Privacy Practices when you register or by contacting the Privacy Officer at 706-774-8044. The Notice of Privacy Practices also is available here.

You have the right to receive care in a safe setting. You will be kept informed of your responsibilities for personal safety and maintenance of a safe environment for your care. You have the right to be informed of the rules and regulations of the facility and to be informed of the responsibilities of patients.

You have the right to be free from restrictions on your liberty and freedom of movement consistent with your own well-being and medical treatment needs. You have the right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.

You have the right to have your religious, spiritual and cultural beliefs respected and to have honored the outward expressions of those beliefs and values to the extent such expressions are consistent with all patient safety, comfort and law. You have the right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.

You have the right to participate in research/educational projects affecting your care and treatment. The decision is voluntary and is made after being fully informed of the nature of the research/educational project.

You have the right to obtain full access to your hospital bill, to receive an explanation of charges upon request, and to be informed of probable charges to the extent such may be projected.

You have the right to present concerns and grievances, to be informed of the procedures relating to resolution of such concerns and grievances, and to be assured that your access to care and treatment will not be compromised solely for exercising this right. Concerns may be addressed to Patient Care staff, the Care Line (706-774-2273) and other offices identified in the hospital Guide to Guest Services, including the GA Department of Community Health (404-656-4507) and The Joint Commission (630-792-5800).

You have the right to be included in the process of planning pain management treatment. You have a right to receive education on pain management.

You have the right to consent to and receive the visitors you designate either orally or in writing. You have the right to withdraw or deny your consent to receive specific visitors, either orally or in writing. You have the right to be informed of any clinical restrictions or limitations to these visita­tion rights. You have the right to designate a sup­port person who can both visit you and exercise your visitation rights on your behalf with respect to other visitors when you are unable to do so.

Additional Patient Rights

Patients participating in various state and federal programs are afforded additional rights that are posted by "Notice" throughout the hospital and identified in the Hospital Guest Guide.

Grievance Polley as stated in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Policy No. G-90 contains University's current grievance procedure:

Any person(s) who believes that he or any class of individuals has been subjected to discrimination pro­hibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 may file a complaint on his own behalf or on behalf of handicapped persons as a class. The procedures below have been developed for this purpose.

All persons are free to and encouraged to use these procedures for handling problems and filing com­plaints. Your filing a complaint will not result in any form of adverse personnel action, reprimand, or re­taliation by University Hospital personnel.

A patient who has a complaint concerning a matter involving access to care and accommodation of disability as a patient should contact the Care Line representative and present the concern (ext. 4-2273).

If you do not have health care insurance, we are able to review your financial status electronically to determine if you qualify for help with your bill. Ask us for more information or call 706-828-2333.

Patient Responsibilities

Each patient seeking services has responsibilities to the hospital and staff in recognition of and compliance with policies and procedures that will protect other patients and hospital resources.

Patients have the responsibility to provide accurate and complete information relating to their health and are responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by the practitioners responsible for their care. Patients are responsible for accepting the consequences of failing to follow the instructions for the plan. Each patient is responsible for keeping his or her care staff informed of changes in condition, changes in pain and changes in decisions with regard to care and the treatment plan.

Each patient is responsible for behaving in a manner that respects the rights of staff and of other patients. Each patient is responsible for following the rules and regulations of the hospital, as are all hospital visitors.

Patients are responsible for reporting any circumstances that they believe create an unsafe environment or that are perceived to compromise their personal care.

Patients are responsible for fulfilling financial obligations for care.

Patients are responsible for assuring their own understanding of their treatment plan and should ask questions to ensure understanding. Patients are responsible for following the care, service or treatment plan developed.

The consequences of not following such plan(s) are the patient's responsibility. Participate in your care by having an updated and complete list of all medications you take. The list should include the names, dose, frequency and reason for each medication. Please give this list to your nurse upon admission and ask that you be given a revised list upon discharge.

Advanced Directives
It is the policy of University Hospital to honor in accordance with law each adult patient's right to make decisions regarding treatment, including the right to consent to, refuse or alter treatment plans and the right to formulate advance directives, which will be honored if the patient becomes un­able to make decisions. In compliance with state and federal laws, hospitals are required to provide this information to every patient who is admitted to the hospital.

Questions about medical care at the end of life are very important today because of the ability of medical technology to prolong life. The best way for you to be in control of your medical treatment in such a situation is to record your preferences in advance.

If you have an advance directive, such as a living will or durable power of attorney for health care, a copy will be made and placed on your medical record. You do not need an advance directive to receive medical care; however, if you wish to obtain a form while you are hospitalized, please ask your nurse. Should you decide to sign the documents while hospitalized. you or your family is responsible for obtaining witnesses other than hospital employees to be present when you sign the forms.