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Patient rights and responsibilities

Patient rights

  • The patient has the right to safe, considerate and respectful care and the integrity of clinical decision making, regardless of how the hospital compensates or shares financial risk with its leaders, managers, clinical staff and licensed independent practitioners.
  • The patient has the right to have a family member or representative of his or her choice and physician notified promptly of admission to the hospital.
  • The patient has the right to, and is encouraged to, obtain from physicians and other direct caregivers relevant, current and understandable information concerning diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  • Except in emergencies when the patient lacks decision-making capacity and the need for treatment is urgent, the patient is entitled to the opportunity to discuss and request information related to the specific procedures and/or treatments, the risks involved, the possible length of recuperation, and the medically reasonable alternatives and their accompanying risks and benefits.
  • The patient has the right to know the identity of physicians, nurses and others involved providing care, as well as when those involved are students, residents or other trainees. The patient also has the right to know the immediate and long-term financial implications of treatment choices, insofar as they are known.
  • The patient has the right to make decisions about the plan of care prior to and during the course of treatment and to refuse a recommended treatment or plan of care to the extent permitted by law and Hospital policy and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action. In case of such refusal, the patient is entitled to other appropriate care and services that the hospital provides or transfer to another hospital. The hospital should notify patients of any policy that might affect patient choice within the institution.
  • The patient has the right to have an advance directive (such as a living will, healthcare proxy or durable power of attorney for healthcare) concerning treatment or designating a surrogate decision maker with the expectation that the hospital will honor the intent of that directive to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy.
  • Healthcare institutions must advise patients of their rights under state law and hospital policy to make informed medical choices, ask if the patient has an advance directive and include that information in patient records. The patient has the right to timely information about hospital policy that may limit its ability to implement fully a legally valid advance directive.
  • The patient has the right to every consideration of privacy. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment should be conducted so as to protect each patient's privacy. Patients may be treated as a no-publicity patient upon their request (see the no-publicity policy for additional information).
  • The patient has the right to have a family member, friend or other individual be present during the course of his or her stay. The patient also has the right to receive or deny visitors.
  • The patient has the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to his or her care will be treated as confidential by the Hospital, except in cases such as suspected abuse and public health hazards when reporting is permitted or required by law. The patient has the right to expect that the hospital will emphasize the confidentiality of this information when it releases it to any other parties entitled to review information in these records.
  • The patient has the right to access, request amendment to and obtain information on disclosure of his or her health information and to have the information explained or interpreted as necessary, in accordance with law and regulation.
  • The patient has the right to expect that, within its capacity and policies, the hospital will make a reasonable response to the request of a patient for appropriate and medically indicated care and services. The hospital must provide evaluation, service and/or referral as indicated by the urgency of the case. When medically appropriate and legally permissible, or when a patient has so requested, a patient may be transferred to another facility. The institution to which the patient is to be transferred must first have accepted the patient for transfer. The patient must also have the benefit of complete information and explanation concerning the need for, risks and benefits of, and alternatives to such a transfer.
  • The patient has the right to ask and be informed of the existence of business relationships among the hospital, education institutions, and other healthcare providers or payers that may influence the patient's treatment and care.
  • The patient has the right to consent to or decline to participate in proposed research studies or human experimentation affecting care and treatment or requiring direct patient involvement, and to have those studies fully explained prior to consent. A patient who declines to participate in research or experimentation is entitled to the most effective care that the hospital can otherwise provide.
  • The patient has the right to expect a reasonable continuity of care when appropriate and to be informed by physicians and other caregivers of available and realistic patient care options when hospital care is no longer appropriate.
  • The patient has the right to be informed of hospital policies and practices that relate to patient care, treatment and responsibilities. The patient has the right to be informed of available resources for resolving disputes, grievances and conflicts, such as ethics committees, patient representatives or other mechanisms available in the institution. The patient has the right to be informed of the hospital's charges for services and available payment methods.
  • The patient has the right to have pain assessed and appropriately managed.
  • The patient has the right to be free from restraints of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation.
  • The patient has the right to have cultural and personal values, beliefs and preferences respected and to be free from neglect, exploitation, and all forms of abuse or harassment.
  • The patient has the right to know what patient support services are available, including but not limited to the right to language interpretation and translation services and religious and other spiritual services.
  • The patient has the right to be given full information and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for care.
  • The patient has the right to know whether the healthcare provider or facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate, if the patient is covered by Medicare.
  • The patient has the right to request an estimate of charges for his or her elective nonemergency medical care prior to receiving treatment. The facility has 7 days to provide the estimate. Patients also have the right to a copy of an understandable itemized bill and, if requested, have the charges explained.
  • The patient has the right to receive medical treatment or accommodations regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
  • The patient has the right to receive treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment.
  • CFHA facilities are The Joint Commission-accredited. If you have any concerns about patient care and/or safety, please contact patient relations at 352.751.8008, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. During evening hours and weekends, contact the operator and ask for the nursing supervisor. If your concerns are not addressed by the hospital, you may file a concern with The Joint Commission by emailing patientsafetyreport@jointcommission.org or mailing to the Office of Quality and Patient Safety for The Joint Commission at 1 Renaissance Blvd., Oakbrook Terrace, IL, 60181.

These rights can be executed on the patient's behalf by a designated surrogate or proxy decision maker if the patient lacks decision-making capacity, is legally incompetent or is a minor.

Rights specific to children and adolescents

  • Children have the right to have a parent, relative, guardian or other person assuming the parenting role stay with them during the course of hospitalization. Such individuals shall also have unlimited visitation rights, as long as such visitations do not interfere with the provision of patient care.
  • Children and adolescents have a right to wear appropriate personal clothing as long as it does not interfere with the provisions of patient care.
  • Children and adolescents have the right to expect all aspects of their care will be delivered, taking into consideration age-specific needs, in a safe environment.
  • Children and adolescents have a right to request and receive, if available, their favorite foods at mealtime or as a snack or nourishment, providing such foods are consistent with the physician's nutritional orders.
  • Children or adolescents who are expected to remain in the hospital for a prolonged period of time have a right to have their education needs assessed by the hospital staff, who will also implement an appropriate educational plan in cooperation with the child's parent or guardian and the school system.

Patient responsibilities

Physicians and hospital staff care for the sick and injured. They recognize that to be efficient, the effort must be a partnership with the patient and the healthcare team working together for the common goal. Patients are expected, within the limits of their abilities, to assume a share of the responsibility of their healthcare.

For the patient, these responsibilities include the following:

  • You have the responsibility to bring with you information about past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to your health to the best of your ability.
  • You have the responsibility to cooperate with all hospital personnel caring for you and to ask questions if you do not understand any directions given to you.
  • You have the responsibility to be considerate to other patients and to see that your visitors are considerate as well, particularly in regard to noise and the number of visitors, which may be annoying to other patients. Please remember that CFHA is a smoke-free facility.
  • You have the responsibility to keep appointments or to telephone the hospital when you cannot keep a scheduled appointment.
  • You have the responsibility to be prompt in your payment of hospital bills, to provide the information necessary for insurance processing, to cooperate and be helpful to the hospital in its efforts to collect from other 3rd parties, and to be prompt about asking questions you may have concerning the bill.
  • You have the responsibility to be respectful of others and other people's property and that of the hospital.
  • You have the responsibility to abide by hospital rules and regulations and to see that your visitors do likewise.
  • You have the responsibility to help your physicians, nurses and allied medical personnel in their efforts to return you to health by following their instructions.
  • After you leave the hospital, you have the responsibility to maintain the treatment recommended by your physician and to notify him or her of any changes.
  • You have the responsibility to inform your physician or patient relations at 352.751.8008 as soon as possible regarding any complaint. Unresolved complaints may be referred to the Agency for Healthcare Administration, 2727 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32308, 888.419.3456ahca.myflorida.com.