Patient rights & responsibilities
Rights alone do not guarantee the achievement of our objectives to provide safe, quality, compassionate care. Each patient has a responsibility to:
- Follow the treatment plan prescribed. It is your responsibility to advise the people treating you whether or not you think you can, or want to, follow a certain treatment plan. You accept the consequences for outcomes if you do not follow instructions for your care;
- Report changes in your health to the people treating you;
- Be honest and direct with the people caring for you. You are the center of the healthcare team. Tell them exactly how you feel about the things that are happening to you;
- Understand your health problems and treatment plans to your satisfaction. Understanding your health problems is important to the success of the treatment plan. If you do not understand them, ask the doctor and other caregivers. You should also recognize the impact of your lifestyle on your health.
- Provide Essentia Health with a copy of your Advance Directive/ Living Will and/or Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.
- Follow Essentia Health’s policies affecting patient care and conduct.
- Provide necessary insurance information and for working with Essentia Health in making arrangements for payment of your bill if necessary.
- Respect all persons and property, and for considering the privacy and rights of others when you have visitors or are using the television, radio or telephone.
When you want to know, please ask. If you have something to say, please speak up. If a concern arises, please let us know immediately.
Thank you for placing your trust in us.
PATIENT RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES
We want to encourage you, as a patient at Essentia Health, to speak openly with your health care team, take part in your treatment choices, and promote your own safety by being well informed and involved in your care. Because we want you to think of yourself as a partner in your care, we want you to know your rights as well as your responsibilities during your stay at our facilities. We invite you and your family to join us as active members of your care team.
Essentia Health is committed to providing safe, quality, compassionate health care. In accordance with this commitment, we believe that patients are entitled to the following rights and have been given a copy:
Care decisions / informed consent
Patients have the right to be informed about and to participate in decision making related to their care.
Patients have the right to obtain from their physician complete, current information concerning diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in terms patients can be reasonably expected to understand. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to patients, the information should be made available to an appropriate person on their behalf. Families are encouraged to participate in decisions regarding care when such participation is appropriate.
Patients have the right to receive from their physician information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment. Where medically significant alternatives for care or treatment exist, or when patients request information concerning medical alternatives, patients have the right to such information. Patients also have the right to know the name of the person responsible for the procedures and/or treatment.
Except in emergencies, patients may not be transferred to another facility without being given a full explanation for the transfer, without provision being made for continuing care, and without acceptance by the receiving institution.
Patients will not be denied appropriate care because of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status or source of payment.
Privacy, respectful care and security
Patients have the right to considerate and respectful care, including privacy, security, safety and freedom from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and harassment
All patients have the right to consideration of privacy during their medical care. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. Paper and electronic medical records and other patient documents will be used in a manner which will preserve the identity of the individual patient from display to persons not authorized to have such information.
Patients have the right to know the identity and professional status of all staff members and physicians providing services. Patients have the right to be treated in an environment that provides for their security and safety.
Advance directives / ethical issues
Advance Directives for medical care such as Health Care Directives, Living Wills or the designation of a surrogate decision maker or agent are respected to the extent provided by law. These documents state your wishes about treatment or name someone to decide for you if you are unable to do so. Patients may receive information about advance directives if they make such a request.
Ethical questions that may arise concerning various treatment options may be first explored with the physician involved with the case and, if necessary, may be taken to the Bioethics Committee. This may be done by staff, providers, patients or their families by speaking to the appropriate manager.
If you have a complaint or grievance regarding an Advance Directive, follow the Grievance Procedure included in this booklet.
Refusal of treatment
Patients have the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action. Patients have the right to refuse to participate in research investigation or clinical trials without limitation.
Cultural and religious practices
Essentia Health respects and accommodates the cultural and religious practices or ceremonies of patients and their families unless such practices would be in direct conflict with the ethics or values of Essentia Health.
Confidential records and information
Patients have the right to expect that all communication and records pertaining to their care be treated confidentially and that requests for access to their records will be met within a reasonable period of time. You may review your medical records, request amendment to, and obtain information on disclosure of your health information, in accordance with law and regulation.
Pain can be a common part of the patient experience. Patients have the right to appropriate assessment and management of pain. Patients’ right to pain management is respected and supported.
Special communication needs: hearing, sight and language
Patients have the right to communication that they can understand. If patients are hearing impaired, Essentia Health will provide, at no cost, a qualified language interpreter and/or auxiliary aids to offer patients effective access to our health care services. Patients should inform staff when the appointment is made if they wish an interpreter, auxiliary aid or telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD).
If patients are sight impaired, appropriate services, information and auxiliary aids will be provided. Patients should notify the registration staff when the appointment is made.
If patients of family members speak a language other than English, Essentia Health is willing to make every attempt to locate an interpreter. Patients may request an interpreter through registration or clinical staff.
Patients have a right to receive a statement of their account if a payment is due from them. Patients with questions about their bill are encouraged to call Business Services – Patient Accounts.
The Affordable Care Act, signed into law March 2010, puts American consumers in charge of their health coverage and care by:
- Stopping insurance companies from limiting the care you need – which will help children (and eventually all Americans) with pre-existing conditions gain coverage and keep it,
- Removing insurance company barriers between you and your doctor – which will protect all Americans’ choice of doctors and end lifetime limits on the care you may receive.
For questions about your benefits and/or how these protections may apply to your health insurance plan contact your Plan Administrator.
To learn more about the new benefits and cost savings available to you under the Affordable Care Act, please visit www.HealthCare.gov. This website will help you make informed decisions about health care coverage by offering easy-to-understand information about what health plans are available in your state; how much they cost; what they cover, and lots more information tailored to your specific needs.
Patients may designate persons who are permitted to visit during their stay at an Essentia Health facility including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend. Essentia Health will not deny visitation on the basis of age, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
Patients also have the right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time.
Relationship with other health services
Patients or their designated representative have the right to receive information upon request about Essentia Health’s relationship with outside providers to which patients may be referred.
Patients have the right to voice their concerns about the care they receive. If you have a problem or complaint, talk to your physician, nurse, or department leader. You may also contact the Patient Relations Department or Patient Advocate.
Please express your concerns about patient care, safety, services, or medical treatment personally, by telephone or in writing to the facility where you received care, or: