In the 1970s, the American Hospital Association created a document called “A Patient’s Bill of Rights.“
Although this wasn’t codified into law, the AHA strongly encouraged all healthcare facilities in the United States to adopt these standards and adjust the wording as needed to fit their particular patient community.
In 2003, the AHA replaced their Patient’s Bill of Rights with “The Patient Care Partnership” to emphasize the importance of patients and their healthcare team working together toward the best possible health outcomes. It shouldn’t be a one-sided relationship in either direction.
These guidelines explain the rights and responsibilities you can expect in a healthcare setting.
High Quality Hospital Care
You can expect to be provided with the care you need, when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.
You have the right to know the identity of your doctors, nurses, and care team, and you have the right to know when these individuals are students, residents, or trainees.
A Clean and Safe Environment
You also have the right to a safe environment, free from unnecessary hazards, abuse, and neglect.
If you have any concerns about your care or the hospital environment, tell your caregivers or another hospital staff member.
Involvement In Your Care
You have the right to make informed decisions about your care in collaboration with your doctor. They will help you understand the risks and benefits of each treatment, potential long-term effects, whether or not it is an experimental treatment, as well as any financial considerations involved in the treatment plan.
You have the right to consent to or refuse a treatment, and you can expect your doctor to explain the medical consequences of that decision.
You are responsible for providing your care team with complete and correct information about your health so that they can provide you with the best possible care.
Your care team will also take into account your health goals, values, and spiritual beliefs, as well as living wills and advanced directives that you have in place.
Protection of Your Privacy
State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of your medical records and other health information.
You have the right to access your own medical records, and you can expect the hospital to protect the privacy of your sensitive medical information.
Help When Leaving The Hospital
Successful treatment often requires a team effort that doesn’t end when you leave the hospital.
Your care team can help you identify sources of follow-up care and will provide you with the information or training you need regarding self-care for your condition.
Help With Your Billing Claims
Bills and insurance coverage can be complex, overwhelming, and confusing.
The hospital will provide you with information about your bill and help you understand your insurance coverage and benefits.
If you don’t have health coverage, they will try to get you financial help or make alternative arrangements.
You are responsible for fulfilling the obligations of your coverage and assistance.