Rights and Responsibilities

Harris Health System is committed to providing excellent customer service to our patients, visitors and community. The following lists explain what patients can expect to receive during their care (their rights as a patient) and what is expected of patients (patient responsibilities) in return.

PATIENT RIGHTS

You have rights because you get care at Harris Health System:

RIGHT TO A REASONABLE RESPONSE TO REQUESTS FOR TREATMENT. You have the right to have things you ask about at Harris Health be heard and acted on if it is possible, does not go against the Harris Health mission and is legal to do. If you are transferred to another hospital, you have a right to know why and the risks, benefits and alternatives to the transfer.

RIGHT TO EQUAL ACCESS TO TREATMENT. You have the right to treatment or care from all Harris Health System services, programs and facilities no matter what your age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, disability, language, culture, genetic information (including family medical history), or other protected status.

RIGHT TO INFORMATION ABOUT PATIENT RIGHTS. You have the right to get information about Harris Health System’s patient rights policies when you are admitted to the hospital. You also have the right to know how Harris Health System will investigate and when possible, resolve your complaints about quality of care.

RIGHT TO KIND AND RESPECTFUL CARE. You have the right to get kind and respectful care while you are at Harris Health System. This care includes, but is not limited to:

    • Thinking about your psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural needs, wishes or beliefs that guide how you view your illness;
    • Focusing on  your comfort and dignity while treating primary and secondary symptoms that you or your legal representative want treated and there is a treatment for;
    • Managing your pain to the best of our ability; and
    • Accepting you and your family’s psychosocial and spiritual concerns about dying and how you and your family express grief.

RIGHT TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR CARE. You have the right to make decisions about your care with your physician. You have the right to join or share in making and carrying out your plan of care. You have the right to be given facts about your care and to ask those who take care of you to tell you their name and what they are going to do to take care of you. You have the right to accept or to refuse medical treatment, and to be  told of what may happen with your health if you refuse treatment.

RIGHT TO GIVE INFORMED CONSENT. You have the right to get information you need to make choices about your care before the care is given. This includes the name of the treatment and its risks, the name of the person doing the treatment, how long it will take you to get better, and your treatment choices. You and your legal representative also have the right to be included if there are  ethical issues about your care.

RIGHT TO HAVE AN ADVANCE DIRECTIVE. You have the right to have an advance directive (such as a directive to physicians, declaration for mental health treatment, or medical power of attorney) concerning treatment. You also have the right to choose another adult to make health care decisions for you as allowed by law. Your care will not be changed because you do or do not have an advance directive.

RIGHT TO PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY. You have the right to expect that all communications and records about  your care will be treated as confidential, except in cases such as suspected abuse and public health hazards or when reporting is permitted or required by law. You have the right to have a place and equipment for a private telephone conversation, if you wish.

RIGHT OF ACCESS TO YOUR MEDICAL RECORD. You and your designated legal representative have the right to view information contained in your medical record, as allowed by law.

RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM ABUSE. You have the right to get care in a safe setting and to be free from all forms of abuse, harassment, neglect, and exploitation. 

RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM RESTRAINT OR SECLUSION. You have the right to be free from restraint or seclusion, of any form, imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff. Restraint or seclusion may only be imposed to ensure the immediate physical safety of you, a staff member, or others and must be stopped at the earliest time possible.

RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN RESEARCH. You have the right to consent to or refuse to be part of any human experimentation or other research or educational projects that may affect your care or treatment or that require your direct involvement. You also have the right to have the research or educational projects fully explained to you before you consent to or refuse to be in them. If you refuse, your care will not change.

RIGHT TO RECEIVE EXPLANATION OF YOUR BILL. You have the right to have your bill explained to you, no matter who paid or will be paying the bill.

RIGHT OF ACCESS TO INTERPRETER AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES. You have the right to an interpreter that speaks your language. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, you have the right to communication services which meet your needs.

RIGHT TO A LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE. You have the right to have your legal guardian, next of kin, or legal representative use your rights, as allowed by law, if you are:

    • Judged incompetent by law;
    • Found by your physician to not be able to understand your needed treatment or procedure because of a medical condition; 
    • Not able to communicate your wishes regarding treatment; or 
    • A minor.

RIGHT OF NOTIFICATION. You have the right to have a family member or representative of your choice and your physician told promptly of your admission to a Harris Health hospital.

RIGHT TO HAVE VISITORS. You have the right to decide who may or may not visit you while you are in the hospital, as clinical conditions permit. Subject to your consent, you have the right to have visitors whom you name/list including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including same-sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend. You have the right to say you no longer want to have a named visitor  at any time. Harris Health does not restrict, limit, or otherwise deny anyone the chance to visit on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. Harris Health will ensure that all visitors enjoy full and equal chance to visit using your stated list.

ADDITIONAL RIGHTS OF PATIENTS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 AT QUENTIN MEASE HOSPITAL. You have the right to ask to be given care away from adult patients and to have regular communication with your family.

PATIENT RESPONSIBILITIES

RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVIDE INFORMATION. You or your legal representative are responsible for giving full and honest facts about your health and your health history. Your health history includes any illness, hospital stay, medicines you take or have taken, instructions to your doctor about your care, and other health matters.

RESPONSIBILITY TO FOLLOW TREATMENT PLAN. You and your legal representative are responsible for being a partner in your healthcare plan. Talk about your treatment. Follow the plan of care. Tell your doctor if you cannot follow the plan of care. Tell your doctor about any changes in your health.

RESPONSIBILITY TO ASK QUESTIONS. You and your legal representative are responsible to ask questions when you do not understand. Go to classes to learn about your health. You may bring a written list of questions to your appointment.

RESPONSIBLIITY TO KEEP YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION UP-TO-DATE. You or your legal representative are responsible to tell us about changes in your address, phone number and insurance. Give us the correct address and phone number for you and your next of kin.

RESPONSIBILITY TO USE OUR SERVICES CORRECTLY. You and your legal representative are responsible to use our services to get well and stay well. Refill your medicine on time. Make regular health appointments. Call us for an appointment if you feel sick or need help filling out a form. Keep your appointments. Call at least two days before to cancel your appointment, or as soon as you know that you cannot keep your appointment.

RESPONSIBILITY TO PAY YOUR BILL. You are responsible to pay your part of the bill. Apply for help to pay your medical bills, if you need help.

RESPONSIBILITY TO BE CONSIDERATE OF RIGHTS OF OTHERS. You, your legal representative, and your visitors are responsible to treat the people who take care of you, other patients and our property with respect and courtesy. Maintain a clean and quiet area. Respect the privacy of other patients. Limit your use of cell phones in patient care areas. Do not take pictures or record conversations without first talking with staff.



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