Patient Rights & Responsibilities
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Allegiance Health strives to preserve the rights of each of our patients. And while we recognize that no listing of rights can guarantee patients the kind of treatment to which they are entitled, we continue to carry out all aspects of patient care with concern for the value and dignity of each patient.
If you would like to speak with someone regarding this information, call your Allegiance Health Patient Representative at (517) 788-4800, ext. 4740.
Your Rights as a Patient
Please use this information as a guide to your rights and responsibilities at Allegiance Health. Your most important right as a patient is to understand that you can ask questions at any time about your care or your condition. We treat all patients with dignity, respect and courtesy. Here are other important patient rights:
Adequate, appropriate, compassionate care
The effectiveness and safety of care, treatment and services does not depend on your ability to pay. You will not be discriminated against on the basis of your race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, handicap, marital status, sexual preference or source of payment.
You may expect that the people caring for you will introduce themselves and explain their role in your care.
Information about your medical condition and health care
- Your caregivers should give you information about your condition in terms you can understand, as well as the proposed course of treatment, procedures and prospects for recovery. If your physician withholds this information because it is not medically advisable, he or she must record the reason in your medical record.
- You have the right to designate a representative to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
- If a patient is diagnosed as medically incapacitated and has executed a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, the directives to the Patient Advocate shall ordinarily be respected.
- You or your designated representatives have the right to participate in the consideration of ethical issues surrounding your care.
Pain management rights
Pain management is part of medical treatment, both during your stay and upon discharge. When you are in pain, you have the right to have your pain reduced based on the duration and intensity you are willing to endure or tolerate. You have the right to:
- Have your pain history taken.
- Be believed when you say you have pain.
- Have your questions answered freely.
- Be informed of alternatives.
- Know what medications, treatment or anesthesia will be given and the risks, benefits and side effects.
- Choose which pain control method you wish to try, consistent with medical practice.
- Develop a pain plan with your caregivers, ask for changes if pain persists.
- Receive medication in a timely manner.
- Have your pain assessed and reassessed on a regular basis using an appropriate pain scale.
- Seek a second opinion or request a pain care specialist.
- Choose comfort over potential physiological response, even though life may be shortened as an unintended effect.
Privacy – personal and informational
- You are entitled to privacy in treatment and in caring for your personal needs. This includes the right to be interviewed and examined in surroundings that assure reasonable privacy.
- You have the right to talk privately with anyone you wish (subject to hospital visiting regulations) unless your physician does not think this is medically advisable and documents this reason in your medical record. You also have the right to refuse visitors.
- Federal and state laws protect your right to keep your individually identifiable health information private.
- You have the right to inspect or receive a copy of your records. You have the right to look at or get a copy of medical information about you that we use to make decisions about you. You must make this request in writing.
- You have the right to request that we send communications to you in a confidential manner, such as at a different address than your home address. You must make this request in writing. You do not have to tell us why you are making this request.
- You have the right to request restrictions. You may request restrictions on how we use and disclose your protected health information for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations, including disclosures to persons involved in your care, except when specifically authorized by you, when required by law or in emergency circumstance. You must make this request in writing. We will make every effort to honor your request. However, in rare circumstances, we may not be legally permitted to do so.
- You have the right to correct or update (amend) your medical records.
- You have the right to ask us to correct existing information or add missing information to your records if you think there is a mistake or important information is missing. You must make this request in writing and provide a reason for your request. We will consider your request, but are not required by law to agree to your request if we think the record is correct and complete.
- You have a right to an accounting. You have the right to receive a list of the disclosures of your medical information that we have made without your written authorization for reasons other than for treatment, payment or healthcare operations.
- If you would like more information on how to exercise these rights, please contact the Privacy Office at (517) 841-7850.
Refusal of treatment
- You have the right to refuse treatment to the extent provided by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of that refusal. If you refuse care or treatment, you are responsible for the results of that decision.
- If Allegiance Health or its staff decides that your refusal of treatment prevents you from receiving appropriate care according to ethical and professional standards, the relationship with you may be terminated upon reasonable notice.
Refusal to take part in research or experimental procedures, or educational efforts
If experimental procedures are being considered as part of your care, your caregivers will explain these to you. You have the right to refuse to take part in any research or experimental projects, and to withdraw from such projects in which you previously agreed to participate. Also, some of the caregivers involved in your care may be students. If so, this will be explained to you and you have the right to refuse to allow students to be involved in your care.
Freedom from restraints
Allegiance Health is committed to the prevention, reduction and whenever possible, the elimination of the use of restraints. In keeping with this philosophy, you have the right to:
- Have other alternatives attempted prior to restraint, except in an emergency situation where the safety of yourself or others is in jeopardy.
- If restraint is used, your basic physical needs met (fluids, nutrition, comfort, safety, dignity) and to be closely monitored.
- The least restrictive form of restraint used that is effective and to have it discontinued at the earliest possible time.
Access to your medical records
Generally, you have the right to read your medical record while you are a patient in the hospital if a physician or designated healthcare professional is present. After discharge, you have the right to obtain (for a fee) copies of your completed medical record.
Information about access to your medical records may be obtained by contacting the hospital’s Health Information Management Department at (517) 788-4936. You can also download and fill out this Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information form.
Confidentiality of records
- Communication and records about your care will be treated confidentially.
- You have the right to determine in writing who may receive copies of your medical record, except as required by law.
Continuity of care
- You will be instructed about how to continue your healthcare after you leave the hospital.
- If transfer to another healthcare facility is necessary, you will receive an explanation as to why the transfer is required. You will be given assistance in making arrangements for transfer.
Information about your hospital bill
- You have the right to receive an explanation of your bill except where prohibited by law.
- Whenever possible, you will be notified when you are no longer eligible for insurance.
- You may ask staff to give you information about financial help for your hospital bill.
You have the right to have your cultural, psychological, spiritual and personal values, beliefs and preferences respected.
Your healthcare is a cooperative effort among you, your physician and the staff of Allegiance Health. This includes your understanding of the patient responsibilities listed below and your willingness to follow them to the best of your ability.
As a patient, you are responsible for:
- Providing a complete and accurate medical history when asked to do so.
- Reporting unexpected changes in your condition to your physician or nurse.
- Following the recommendations and advice given by your physician (or designate) about your treatment.
- Listening to any rules your caregivers explain to you, or reading any printed information you are given, so that you can follow the rules and regulations.
- Telling your doctor or nurse if you do not understand your treatment or if you do not understand what you are expected to do.
- Being considerate of other patients and of Allegiance Health staff and property.
- Reporting any perceived safety risks in your care to your doctor or nurse.
Pain management responsibilities
As a patient at Allegiance Health, we expect that you will:
- Ask your doctor or nurse what to expect.
- Discuss pain-relief options with your doctor and nurse.
- Work with your doctor and nurse to make a pain-relief plan.
- Ask for pain-relief drugs when pain first begins.
- Help the doctor and nurse measure your pain.
- Tell the doctor and/or nurse about any pain that will not go away.
- Not worry about getting “hooked” on pain medications.
We need your cooperation to further our goal of patient satisfaction. We strongly urge you to contact the Patient Representative at (517) 788-4800, ext. 4740 if you have questions, suggestions, concerns, complaints about your care or believe that you have been mistreated, denied services or discriminated against in any aspect of services. You can freely voice complaints and recommend changes without being subjected to coercion, discrimination, reprisal or unreasonable interruption of care, treatment and services. If concerns arise after normal business hours or on the weekend, please contact your nurse.
If you are not satisfied with our response, you may file a formal grievance. The Patient Representative is available to assist you with that process. You should also be aware that you can lodge a complaint directly with:
Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services, Bureau of Health Systems
P.O. Box 30664
Lansing, MI 48909
Tel: (800) 882-6006
You may also report a complaint directly to Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations:
Office of Quality Monitoring
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Tel: (800) 994-6610
If you desire more information, please call the Patient Representative at (517) 788-4800, ext. 4740.
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