Rights & Responsibilities
As a patient of St. Joseph Health, you are considered a partner in developing
and carrying out your plan of care. Below, you will find access to a list
of your rights as a patient, and a summary of responsibilities that are
expected of you.
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You as a patient have the right to the following:
- Considerate and respectful care, and to be made comfortable.You have the
right to respect for your cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal
values, beliefs and preferences.
- Have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your
own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
- Know the name of the licensed health care practitioner acting within the
scope of his or her professional licensure who has primary responsibility
for coordinating your care, and the names and professional relationships
of physicians and nonphysicians who will see you.
- Receive information about your health status, diagnosis, prognosis, course
of treatment, prospects for recovery and outcomes of care (including unanticipated
outcomes) in terms you can understand. You have the right to effective
communication and to participate in the development and implementation
of your plan of care. You have the right to participate in ethical questions
that arise in the course of your care, including issues of conflict resolution,
withholding resuscitative services, and forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining
- Make decisions regarding medical care, and receive as much information
about any proposed treatment or procedure as you may need in order to
give informed consent or to refuse a course of treatment. Except in emergencies,
this information shall include a description of the procedure or treatment,
the medically significant risks involved, alternate courses of treatment
or nontreatment and the risks involved in each, and the name of the person
who will carry out the procedure or treatment.
- Request or refuse treatment, to the extent permitted by law. However, you
do not have the right to demand inappropriate or medically unnecessary
treatment or services. You have the right to leave the hospital even against
the advice of members of the medical staff, to the extent permitted by law.
- Be advised if the hospital/licensed health care practitioner acting within
the scope of his or her professional licensure proposes to engage in or
perform human experimentation affecting your care or treatment. You have
the right to refuse to participate in such research projects.
- Reasonable responses to any reasonable requests made for service.
- Appropriate assessment and management of your pain, information about pain,
pain relief measures and to participate in pain management decisions.
You may request or reject the use of any or all modalities to relieve
pain, including opiate medication, if you suffer from severe chronic intractable
pain. The doctor may refuse to prescribe the opiate medication, but if
so, must inform you that there are physicians who specialize in the treatment
of pain with methods that include the use of opiates.
- Formulate advance directives. This includes designating a decision maker
if you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or become
unable to communicate your wishes regarding care. Hospital staff and practitioners
who provide care in the hospital shall comply with these directives. All
patients’ rights apply to the person who has legal responsibility
to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf.
- Have personal privacy respected. Case discussion, consultation, examination
and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. You
have the right to be told the reason for the presence of any individual.
You have the right to have visitors leave prior to an examination and
when treatment issues are being discussed. Privacy curtains will be used
in semi-private rooms.
- Confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to
your care and stay in the hospital. You will receive a separate “Notice
of Privacy Practices” that explains your privacy rights in detail
and how we may use and disclose your protected health information.
- Receive care in a safe setting, free from mental, physical, sexual or verbal
abuse and neglect, exploitation or harassment. You have the right to access
protective and advocacy services including notifying government agencies
of neglect or abuse.
- Be free from restraints and seclusion of any form used as a means of coercion,
discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
- Reasonable continuity of care and to know in advance the time and location
of appointments as well as the identity of the persons providing the care.
- Be informed by the physician, or a delegate of the physician, of continuing
health care requirements and options following discharge from the hospital.
You have the right to be involved in the development and implementation
of your discharge plan. Upon your request, a friend or family member may
be provided this information also.
- Know which hospital rules and policies apply to your conduct while a patient.
Designate a support person as well as visitors of your choosing, if you
have decision-making capacity, whether or not the visitor is related by
blood, marriage, or registered domestic partner status, unless:
• No visitors are allowed.
• The facility reasonably determines that the presence of a particular
visitor would endanger the health or safety of a patient, a member of
the health facility staff, or other visitor to the health facility, or
would significantly disrupt the operations of the facility.
• You have told the health facility staff that you no longer want
a particular person to visit. However, a health facility may establish
reasonable restrictions upon visitation, including restrictions upon the
hours of visitation and number of visitors. The health facility must inform
you (or your support person, where appropriate) of your visitation rights,
including any clinical restrictions or limitations. The health facility
is not permitted to restrict, limit, or otherwise deny visitation privileges
on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, or disability.
- Have your wishes considered, if you lack decision-making capacity, for
the purposes of determining who may visit. The method of that consideration
will comply with federal law and be disclosed in the hospital policy on
visitation. At a minimum, the hospital shall include any persons living
in your household and any support person pursuant to federal law.
- Examine and receive an explanation of the hospital’s bill regardless
of the source of payment.
- Exercise these rights without regard to sex, economic status, educational
background, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation,
gender identity/expression, disability, medical condition, marital status,
age, registered domestic partner status, genetic information, citizenship,
primary language, immigration status (except as required by federal law)
or the source of payment for care.
File a grievance. If you want to file a grievance with this hospital,you
may do so by writing or by calling (name, address and
phone number of hospital): The grievance committee will review each grievance
and provide you with a written response within days. The written response
will contain the name of a person to contact at the hospital, the steps
taken to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance process,
and the date of completion of the grievance process. Concerns regarding
quality of care or premature discharge will also be referred to the appropriate
Utilization and Quality Control Peer Review Organization (PRO).
- File a complaint with the California Department of Public Health regardless
of whether you use the hospital’s grievance process. The California
Department of Public Health’s phone number and address is: (local
address and phone number of CDPH)
- You are responsible for providing complete and correct information about
your medical history and current health condition. You are responsible
for reporting changes in your condition. You are also responsible for
reporting any concerns that you may have about the safety of your care.
- It is important to follow the instructions of your doctor and care team.
If you cannot follow your care instructions, you should discuss it with
a member of your care team.
- You are responsible for keeping your appointments and letting your doctor
know when you are not able to keep them.
- You are responsible for financial costs relating to your care. These costs
must be paid in a timely manner.
- You are expected to follow Medical Center rules about care and conduct.
Please respect the rights and property of facility staff and other patients.
You are also expected to follow facility rules such as those regarding
noise, smoking and visitation.
- You or your representative should let us know if you have an Advance health
care Directive. If you have one, please bring a copy to the Admitting
Office. At the time of admission, we will need to know the identity of
your agent and the general nature of your preferences for your care. A
clinical social worker can help you prepare an Advance Directive if you
have not done so.
- You are responsible for asking questions when you do not understand what
you have been told about your medical care or what is expected of you.
Asking questions will help your care team provide the safest possible care.
Patient Rights & Responsibilities Brochure