NCH Healthcare System Patient Rights and Responsibilities  

About Your Right As A Patient

The NCH Healthcare System recognizes the rights of the newborn infants, children, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients and those of their family or guardian.  These rights are supported by the NCH Healthcare System on behalf of its patients as an integral part of the healing process.  Observance of the rights and responsibilities listed here will contribute to more effective patient care and greater satisfaction for the patient and family, their clinical staff and the organization.

Patient Rights: As a Patient, you have the right to:

  • Receive considerate and respectful care.
  • Expect reasonable access to and continuity of care.
  • Know the identity of physicians, nurses and others involved in your care.
  • Receive information as to any relationship of the NCH Healthcare System to any healthcare and educational institutions involved in your care.
  • Obtain information as to the existence of any professional relationships among individuals who are treating you.
  • Know if your medical treatment is for purposes of experimental research, and to give consent or refuse to participate in experimental research.
  • Be given information concerning diagnosis, planned course of treatment, alternatives, risks, and prognosis in terms you may be reasonably expected to understand.
  • Receive information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment.
  • Receive a complete explanation of the need for a transfer – or the alternatives – to another facility or organization before being transferred.
  • Be informed by your healthcare provider of continuing healthcare requirements after your discharge from your treatment program.
  • Receive a copy of a reasonably clear and understandable itemized bill and, upon request, have the charges explained.
  • To receive, upon request prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care.
  • Know what rules and regulations apply to your conduct as a patient.
  • Know what support services are available, including translation and audio devices if you do not speak English, or have a hearing impairment.
  • Receive treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment.
  • Have the right to be given, upon request, full information and necessary counseling on the availability of financial resources for your care.
  • Participate in the consideration of ethical issues related to your care by having the right to access the hospital Ethics Committee.
  • Impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations regardless of race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, type of disability, or source of payment.
  • Be informed about your right to, and the procedures for reporting abusive, neglectful or exploitative practices.
  • Expect reasonable safety in the healthcare system’s practices and environment.
  • Expect that care is not dependent on the presence or absence of an advance directive.
  • Be informed of your rights as a patient; or when appropriate under state law for your representative to be informed of these rights, in advance of care being provided or discontinued whenever possible.
  • Be informed about the healthcare system’s complaint processes and who you can contact to file a complaint.  To also know that you can express a complaint regarding your care or any violation of your rights and that your doing so will not adversely affect the quality of care provided.
  • Receive every consideration of personal privacy.
  • Make informed decisions regarding your medical care and to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care.
  • Be involved in care planning and treatment and be able to request or refuse any treatment, except as otherwise provided by law.
  • Formulate healthcare advance directives and to have the healthcare system’s staff and practitioners who provide your care comply with these directives in accordance with state/federal laws and regulations.
  • Be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  • Have a family member (or representative of your choice) and your physician be promptly notified of your admission to the hospital.
  • Be free from the use of restraints or seclusion of any form that are not medically necessary.
  • Have confidentiality regarding your treatment and with respect to your medical records.
  • Access information contained in your medical records within a reasonable time frame, in accordance with state/federal laws and regulations.
  • Retain and use personal clothing and possession, unless contraindicated for medical, safety, space or programmatic reasons.
  • Patients eligible for Medicare have the right to know, upon request and in advance of treatment, whether a healthcare provider or facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate.

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Problem Resolution/Complaint Process

Any member of the Management Team will respond to your concerns.  The NCH Healthcare System has established a process for prompt resolution of patient complaints.  To file a complaint, please contact the Patient Relations Department at 239-624-4921.  After 5:00 p.m., on weekends or a holiday, you may contact an On-Call Administrator by dialing zero or 624-4000.  The Patient Relations Department will coordinate a timely review of and response to your concerns.

The NCH Healthcare System supports a patient’s rights to have access to and information about protective services.  A list of consumer complaint services is available through the Quality Management Department, and it will be provided to a patient upon request.

The NCH Healthcare System also supports a patient’s right to file a complaint with the Agency for Healthcare Administration, regardless of whether or not you have first used our healthcare system’s complaint procedures.
Patients who wish to file a complaint against a healthcare professional should contact the following office to receive a complaint form:

                        Florida Department of Health
                        Consumer Services Unit
                        4052 Bold Cypress Way, Bin C75
                        Tallahassee, FL  32399-3275
                       

Patients who wish to file a complaint against a healthcare facility should contact the following office:
                        Agency for Health Care Administration
                        Consumer Assistance Unit
                        2727 Mahan Drive
                        Tallahassee, FL  32308
                        1-888-419-3456- (Press1)
 
The NCH Healthcare System encourages any individual who has concerns about patient care and safety in the organization to contact Joint Commission.  Individuals wishing to report a concern may contact Joint Commission by phone at 1-800-994-6610 or by email at complaint@jointcommission.org.

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Bioethics Committee

The hospital has an Ethics Committee composed of community members, physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, administrative and other professional staff. The Committee is advisory in nature and available for consultation regarding such issues as end of life care, withdrawal of life support and other healthcare dilemmas. A patient, patient’s family member, physician, hospital staff or other interested person involved in the patient’s care may request a consult by calling an NCH operator at (239) 624-5000 and requesting the on call bioethics committee member.


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