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Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Your Rights

Abington Health and its healthcare network considers you a partner in your care. When you are well-informed, participate in treatment decisions, and communicate openly with your doctor and other health professionals, you help make your care as effective as possible.

We encourage respect for the personal preferences and values of each individual. Your rights as a patient of Abington Health:

  • The right to respectful care given by competent personnel which reflects consideration of your personal values and belief systems, optimizes your comfort and dignity, and is free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  • The right to be informed of your rights as a patient at the earliest possible moment in the course of your hospitalization, and to have a family member and/or physician of your choice notified of your admission.
  • The right, upon request, to be given the name of your attending physician and all other physicians or practitioners directly participating in your care; and the names, functions and professional status of other healthcare personnel having direct contact with you.
  • The right to every consideration of privacy concerning your medical care program. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are considered confidential and will be conducted discreetly.
  • The right to have all records pertaining to your medical care treated as confidential, except as otherwise provided by law or third-party contractual arrangements. Your medical records will be read only by individuals directly involved in your care, by those monitoring the quality of your care, or by those authorized by law or regulation.
  • The right, upon request, to access all information contained in your medical records, by you or your designated/legal representative, unless access is specifically restricted by the attending physician for medical reasons.
  • The right to know the hospital rules and regulations that apply to your conduct as a patient.
  • The right to expect emergency procedures to be implemented without unnecessary delay.
  • The right to good quality care and high professional standards that are continually maintained and reviewed. You have the right to know if this hospital has relationships with outside parties that may influence your treatment and care. These relationships may be with educational institutions, other healthcare providers or insurers.
  • The right, in collaboration with your physician, to make decisions involving your health care. This right applies to the family and/or guardian of neonates, children and adolescents.
  • The right to receive full information, in layman's terms, concerning your diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis, including information about alternative treatments and possible complications. When it is not medically advisable that such information be given to you, the information shall be given on your behalf to your next of kin or your designated/legal representative.
  • Except for emergencies, you have the right to receive, in advance of treatment or contemplated procedure, a full explanation from your physician so that you may exercise your right of informed consent.
  • The right to be advised when a physician is considering you as a part of a medical care research or donor program. No research or donor program will be carried out without your informed consent or that of your designated / legal representative. You, or your designated/legal representative may, at any time, refuse to continue in any such program to which you have previously given informed consent.
  • The right to refuse any drugs, treatment, or procedure offered by the hospital, to the extent permitted by law. A physician shall inform you of the medical consequences of such refusal.
  • The right to assistance in obtaining a consultation with another physician at your request and expense.
  • The right to medical and nursing services without discrimination based upon race, color, religion, gender, sexual preference, age, disability, national origin or source of payment.
  • The right to be communicated with in a clear, concise, and understandable manner. If you do not speak English or are hearing impaired, you shall have access, where possible, to an interpreter or auxiliary aids.
  • The right to expect good management techniques to be implemented within the hospital, the provision of care in an environment that promotes patient safety, and the avoidance of unnecessary delays and personal discomfort.
  • The right to appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  • When medically permissible, you may be transferred to another facility. You, your next of kin, or your legally responsible representative has the right to receive complete information of this transfer, an explanation of its necessity, and alternatives to such a transfer. In addition, the transfer must be acceptable to the other institution.
  • The right to examine and receive a detailed explanation of your bill. Upon request, you have the right to full information and counseling on the availability of known financial resources for your health care.
  • The right to expect that you will be informed of continuing healthcare requirements following discharge and the means for meeting them.
  • The right to have an advance directive, such as a living will or durable power of attorney for health care. These documents express your choices about your future care or name someone to decide if you cannot speak for yourself. Your decisions will be honored by this hospital and its healthcare professionals within the limits of the law and this hospital's mission, values and philosophy. If you have a written advance directive, you should provide a copy to the hospital. You are not required to have or complete an advance directive in order to receive care and treatment in this facility.
  • You cannot be denied the right of access to an individual or agency who is authorized to act on your behalf to assert or protect the rights described here.
  • The right to be free from seclusion and any form of restraint, both physical and drug, that is not medically necessary or is used as means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • The right, without recrimination, to voice complaints regarding your care, to have those complaints reviewed and, when possible, resolved.
  • The right to designate who may or may not visit you. The visitors whom you designate may include, but are not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same sex domestic partner) , another family member, or a friend. You also have the right to change your mind about who may visit you during your hospital stay.
  • As part of the hospital's grievance process, a patient representative is available to provide support and assistance regarding any concerns or problems that you may encounter. A representative can be reached by calling the Patient Advocacy Department at 215-481-2499. Regardless of whether or not you utilize the hospital process, you may address concerns with the PA Department of Health by calling 800-254-5164 or by writing to PA Department of Health, Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care, P.O. Box 90, Harrisburg, PA 17108. You may also contact the Joint Commission at 800-994-6610 or email to complaint@jointcommission.org.

Your Responsibilities

Abington Health works to provide care efficiently and fairly to all patients and to the community. In addition to having rights as a patient, you also have the following responsibilities:

  • To provide information about your health, including past illnesses, hospital stays and use of medicine.
  • To ask questions when you do not understand information or instructions.
  • To tell your doctor if you believe you cannot follow through with your treatment.
  • To follow hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
  • To be considerate of the needs of other patients, staff and the hospital. This includes controlling noise, smoking and the number of visitors.
  • To provide information about your insurance and to work with the hospital to arrange payment, when needed.
  • To recognize the effect of lifestyle on your personal health. Your health depends not just on your hospital care, but also on the decisions you make in your daily life.

A hospital serves many purposes. Hospitals work to improve people's health; treat people with injury and disease; educate doctors, health professionals, patients and community members; and improve the understanding of health and disease. In carrying out these activities, this institution works to respect your values and dignity.

For More Information

If you have questions concerning your rights and responsibilities as a patient, or if you require assistance in resolving a problem or concern, please contact the Patient Advocacy Department at 215-481-2499.

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