Patient Rights & Responsibilities

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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patients, their families, and the parents or legal guardians of the hospital’s pediatric population, have the right to express their concerns regarding patient care and safety.

Useful Patient Responsibilities

Rights and Responsibilities

The patient has the right…
  1. The patient has the right to necessary medical care, regardless of payment source, race, creed, age, sex, or national origin.
  2. The patient has the right to participate in the development and implementation of his or her plan of care.
  3. The patient or his or her representative (as allowed under State law) has the right to make informed decisions regarding his or her care. The patient’s rights include:
    • being informed of his or her health status,
    • being involved in care planning and treatment,
    • being informed of the risks, benefits, and alternatives to treatment before deciding (especially for research or experimental treatments),
    • being aware of who is authorizing and performing treatments, including any relationships among healthcare providers,
    • and being able to request or refuse treatment.

    This right must not be construed as a mechanism to demand the provision of treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate.

  4. The patient has the right to formulate advance directives and to have them obeyed.
  5. The patient has the right to have a family member or representative of his or her choice and his or her own physician notified promptly of his or her admission to the hospital. While in the hospital, the patient has the right to talk and visit with friends and family.
  6. The patient has the right to visitors who are not restricted or denied visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
  7. The patient has the right to personal privacy. Healthcare should be given with consideration and respect for the patient’s personal values and beliefs.
  8. The patient has the right to receive care in a safe setting.
  9. The patient has the right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  10. The patient has the right to the confidentiality of his or her clinical records.
  11. The patient has the right to access information contained in his or her clinical records within a reasonable time frame.
  12. The patient has the right to be free from restraints or seclusion of any form that are not medically necessary. Restraints will not be used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff.
  13. The patient has the right to use the Case Management Department for aide in finding help if it is needed outside the hospital.
  14. The patient has the right to file a grievance. Patients are encouraged to share any concern with a member of the Hugh Chatham Health staff.
  15. The patient has the right to have pain managed effectively.
  16. The hospital environment of care supports the patient’s positive self-image and dignity.
  17. The patient has the right to have a chosen support individual which will allow support during course of stay unless the presence infringes on rights of others or is medically or therapeutically contract indicated.
  18. The patient has the right to interpreters.
  19. The patient has the right to receive information in manner tailored to the patient.
The patient is responsible for…

The patient is responsible for providing, to the best of his or her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, advance directives and other matters relating to his or her health. He or she has the responsibility to report unexpected changes in his or her condition to the responsible practitioner. The patient is responsible for making it known whether he or she clearly comprehends a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him or her.

The patient is responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily responsible for his or her care. This may include following the instructions of nurses and allied health professionals as they carry out the coordinated plan of care and implement the responsible practitioner’s orders, and as they enforce the applicable hospital rules and regulations. The patient is responsible for keeping appointments and, when he or she is unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the responsible practitioner of the hospital.

The patient is responsible if he or she refuses treatment or does not follow the practitioner’s instructions.

The patient is responsible for ensuring that the financial obligations of his or her health care be fulfilled as promptly as possible.

The patient is responsible for following hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.

The patient is responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel and for assisting in the control of noise and the number of visitors.

The patient is responsible for being respectful of the property of other people and of the hospital.

The patient and family…

The patient and family are encouraged to ask questions when they do not understand what they have been told about the patient’s care or what they are expected to do.

Dying patients

Dying patients have special needs, which are unique. Hugh Chatham Health staff will provide respectful, responsive patient care, as well as support for the psychological, social, emotional and spiritual needs of the individual and family that demonstrates respect for the individual’s values, belief system and life philosophy.

  • Care will be provided to ensure the patient’s comfort and dignity.
  • Appropriate treatment will be provided, by following the physician’s orders, for primary and secondary symptoms that respond to treatment as desired by the patient or designated representative.
  • Pain will be managed appropriately, and every effort will be made to keep the patient comfortable. The nursing staff will monitor the patient’s pain and notify the physician if the patient is uncomfortable.
  • Care will be provided that responds to the patient’s and family’s psychological, spiritual and cultural value concerns.
  • Nursing staff will provide care and support for the patient and family during the patient’s illness and death, enabling all involved to cope during the grief process.
  • Hospital chaplain services and social services are available as needed.
  • Staff will contact the patient’s minister or other parties, upon request.

Your Right to File a Grievance

Patients, their families, and the parents or legal guardians of the hospital’s pediatric population, have the right to express their concerns regarding patient care and safety. This may be done without fear of reprisal by the hospital or compromised care now or in the future.

You may report your concerns to any HCMH employee or you may contact:

Hugh Chatham Health
Attn. Hospital Administration
180 Parkwood Drive
Elkin, NC 28621
336-527-7381 or 336-527-7000 (24 hours/day)

The investigation of a concern will be initiated within three business days. Concerns will be handled at the receiving level and resolved at that level when appropriate. Any concern meeting the definition of a “grievance” as outlined by Medicare will be addressed through the hospital’s formal grievance process. The grievance will be forwarded to the Quality office to ensure proper investigation, resolution, and follow-up. A written response will be sent to the patient/family within 10 business days.

If you have notified the hospital of your concerns about patient care and safety, but your concerns were not resolved by the hospital, you should contact the hospital Administrator at 336-527-7381; or you may contact the Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring at 800-994-6610 or by email at

Patients/families also have the right to address their concerns to the State Survey Agency regardless of whether or not they have used the hospital’s formal grievance process. You may contact:

Customer Service Outreach Coordinator
Medicare Part A Office
Durham, NC 27702-3824
8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Monday – Friday)

  • The name of the hospital contact person;
  • The steps taken on behalf of the patient to investigate the grievance;
  • The results of the grievance process; and
  • The date of completion.
You may lodge a grievance directly with the following:

North Carolina Division of Health, Service Regulation
Attention: Rita Horton
2711 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-2711
919-855-4500 (local and outside NC)

S.C. DHEC Health Regulation
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
803-898-DHEC (3432)

The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

For Medicare patients only, in the event that you still have concerns after the Grievance Committee has attempted to resolve a matter regarding either the quality of care provided or premature discharge, you may notify the Peer Review Organization for North Carolina:

Medical Review of North Carolina
100 Regency Forrest Drive, Suite 200
Cary, NC 27511