Your Rights as a Patient

It is very important for you to understand that you have the right to ask questions at any time about your care and your condition.

Allegiance Health provides appropriate, compassionate care for all. 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 also have the right to have your cultural, psychological, spiritual and personal values, beliefs and preferences respected.

Staff Identification

People caring for you will introduce themselves and explain their role in your care. Each staff member will also wear have an identification badge. To further help you identify your care team, all nurses wear light blue scrubs, nursing assistants wear burgundy scrubs and the room service ambassadors wear black and white.

Patient Visitation

Generally, all patients have the right to receive visitors of their own choosing, including a spouse, domestic partner, other family members or friends. There may be special circumstances, however, where visitation is restricted, based on the best clinical judgment of hospital professionals who are acting in the best interest of the patient’s care. These include: situations where the patient is undergoing care, testing or a procedure; issues of infection control; interference with the care of other patients; the patient’s need for privacy or rest; court orders restricting contact; disruptive or violent behavior; minimum age requirements; and limitations with regard to inpatient substance abuse treatment.

Allegiance Health does not restrict or not deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. The patient and his or her support person, however, do have the right to withdraw or deny consent to visitation at any time.

Medical Condition & Health Care Information

  • Your caregivers should give you information about your condition and treatment in terms you can understand. If your physician decides it is not medically advisable to give you this information, he or she must record the reason in your medical record.
  • You have the right to designate a representative to make health care decisions on your behalf.
  • If a patient is diagnosed as medically incapacitated and has a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, the instructions to the Patient Advocate will be respected.
  • You or your designated representatives have the right to participate regarding ethical issues about your care. 

Pain Management Rights

When you are in pain, you have the right to have your pain reduced. You also have the right to:

  • Have your pain history taken.
  • Be believed when you say you have pain.
  • Have your questions answered.
  • Be informed of alternatives.
  • Know the risks, benefits and side effects of medications, treatment or anesthesia that will be given.
  • Choose which recommended pain control method you wish to try.
  • Develop a pain management plan with your caregivers and 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 possible side effects, even though life may be shortened as an unintended effect.

Privacy

  • You are entitled to privacy. 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 documents in your medical record the reason that this is not medically advisable.
  • You also have the right to refuse visitors.
  • Federal and state laws protect your right to keep your identifiable health information private.
  • You have the right to inspect or receive a copy of your medical records as well as any information about you that is used to make decisions about your care. You must make this request in writing.
  • You have the right to request us to 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 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 consider your request, but we are not required by law to agree to your request.
  • You have the right to correct or update 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 we are not required by law to agree to your request if we think the record is correct and complete.
  • You have the right to receive a list of any disclosures of your medical information that we have made without your written authorization, for reasons other than  treatment, payment or health care operations.

If you would like more information on how to exercise these rights, please contact the Allegiance 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 outcome 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, our relationship with you may be ended with reasonable notice.

Refusal to Take Part in Research or Experimental Procedures

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 projects in which you previously agreed to participate.

Medical Residents and Students

Allegiance Health is proud to be a teaching hospital. Our care team includes medical residents. These licensed doctors have completed medical school – including two years of clinical experience. They are here for advanced education in their chosen specialties, and they are well-qualified to provide you with exceptional medical care.

Our care team may also include medical students, nursing students and physician assistant students who are gaining clinical experience under the supervision of Allegiance doctors and nurses. Your comfort, safety and satisfaction are very important to us. If you prefer not to have students caring for you, please let us know.

Freedom from Restraint

Allegiance Health is committed to reducing and eliminating, whenever possible, the use of restraint. You have the right to:

  • Have other alternatives attempted prior to restraint, except in an emergency situation where your safety or the safety of others is in jeopardy.
  • Have your basic physical needs met (i.e., fluids, nutrition, comfort, safety and dignity) and to be closely monitored if restraint is used.
  • Have the least restrictive form of restraint that is effective and have restraint discontinued at the earliest possible time.

Continuity of Care

  • You will be instructed about how to continue your health care after you leave the hospital.
  • If transfer to another health care facility is necessary, will explain why the transfer is required and assist in making transfer arrangements.
  • You have the right to receive an explanation of your hospital bill, except where prohibited by law.
  • Whenever possible, you will be notified when you are no longer eligible
  • for insurance.
  • You may ask staff for information about financial help for your hospital bill. 

Severe chest pain is not always present with a heart attack, especially for older adults, people with diabetes and women. They may experience sudden shortness of breath, coughing, dizziness, fatigue or weakness. Don’t take a chance. Call 9-1-1.