Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Your Rights as a Patient

Indiana University Health West Hospital is committed to fostering human dignity and preserving the rights of each patient.

Adequate, appropriate, compassionate care

  • You have the right to appropriate and compassionate care at all times.
  • You have the right to be free from mental, physical, sexual, and verbal abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
  • You will not be discriminated against on the basis of your race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, handicap, marital status, sexual preference or source of payment.

Staff identification

You may expect that the people caring for you will introduce themselves and explain their roles in your care.

Information about your medical condition and health care

  • You have the right to receive information about your condition in terms you can understand, as well as the proposed course of treatment, procedures and prospects for recovery. If your physician withholds this information because it is not medically advisable, he or she must record the reason in your medical record.
  • You have the right to formulate advance directives and to have hospital staff comply.
  • You have the right to designate a representative to make health care decisions on your behalf.
  • You or your designated representative have the right to participate in the consideration of ethical issues surrounding your care.We encourage you to contact your nurse, physician or patient liaison to assist you.

Pain management is part of medical treatment, both during your hospital stay and upon discharge. When you are in pain, you have the right to:

  • Have your pain and medication history taken
  • Have your pain questions answered freely
  • Develop a pain plan with your caregivers
  • Know what medication, treatment or anesthesia will be given
  • Know the risks, benefits and side effects of treatment
  • Know what alternative pain treatments may be available
  • Be believed when you say you have pain
  • Have your pain assessed on an individual basis and at regular intervals
  • Have your pain assessed using an appropriate pain scale
  • Ask for changes in treatment if pain persists
  • Receive pain medication on a timely basis
  • Seek a second opinion or request a pain care specialist
  • Include your family in decision making, if desired

Refusal of treatment

  • You have the right to refuse treatment to the extent provided by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of that refusal. If you refuse care or treatment, you are responsible for the results of that decision.
  • If the hospital or its staff decides that your refusal of treatment prevents you from receiving appropriate care according to ethical and professional standards, the relationship with you may be terminated upon reasonable notice.

Refusal to take part in research or experimental procedures

If experimental procedures are being considered as part of your care, these will be explained to you.You have the right to refuse to take part in any research or experimental projects, and to withdraw from such projects in which you previously agreed to participate.

Freedom from restraints

You may not be restrained unless a physician has given written authorization for this, or it is deemed necessary in an emergency situation to protect you from injuring yourself or others.

Access to your medical records

Generally, you have the right to read your medical record while you are a patient in the hospital, if a physician or designated health care professional is present.

After discharge, you have the right to obtain (for a fee), copies of your completed medical record unless your physician does not think this is medically advisable for you. Information about access to your medical records may be obtained by contacting the hospital's medical records department.

Confidentiality of records

Communication and records about your care will be treated confidentially. You have the right to determine in writing who may receive copies of your medical record, except as required by law.

Privacy - personal and informational

You are entitled to privacy in treatment and in caring for your personal needs. This includes the right to be interviewed and examined in surroundings designed to assure reasonable privacy.You have a right to an environment which preserves your dignity and contributes to a positive self-image.

You have the right to talk privately with anyone you wish (subject to hospital visiting regulations) unless your physician does not think this is medically advisable and has documented this reason in your medical record.You also have the right to refuse to see visitors.

Continuity of care

You will be instructed about how to continue your health care after you leave the hospital. If transfer to another health care facility is necessary, you will receive an explanation as to why the transfer is required.You will be given assistance in making arrangements for transfer.

Information about your hospital bill

  • You have the right to receive an explanation of your hospital bill except where prohibited by law.
  • Whenever possible, you will be notified when you are no longer eligible for insurance.
  • You may ask hospital staff to give you information about financial help for your hospital bill.

Other rights

You have the right to take part in religious and/or social activities while in the hospital, unless your physician thinks these activities are not medically advisable.

Your Responsibilities as a Patient

Your health care is a cooperative effort among you, your physician and the hospital staff. In addition to your rights, it is expected that you will assume the following responsibilities to the best of your ability.

You are responsible for:

  • Following the hospital's rules and regulations as explained to you or as described in printed material.
  • Providing a complete and accurate medical history when requested to do so.
  • Telling the physician or nurse if you do not understand your treatment or if you do not understand what you are expected to do.
  • Following the recommendations and advice given by your physician (or health care team) about your treatment.
  • Paying your hospital bill or telling the hospital if you cannot pay the bill so that other arrangements can be made.
  • Being considerate of other patients and of hospital staff and property.
  • Reporting unexpected changes in your condition to your physician.

Your care

We need your assistance to further our goal of patient satisfaction. If you have questions, suggestions, concerns or complaints about your care, we strongly urge you to call our patient liaison at 317-217-3183. If your concerns arise after normal business hours or on the weekend, please contact your nurse.

If you believe that you have been mistreated, denied services or discriminated against in any aspect of services because of a handicap, you may file a grievance.The patient liaison is available to assist you with that process. A written response will be provided upon request.

You should also be aware that you can lodge a complaint directly with the Indiana State Department of Health. If you desire more information, please contact the patient liaison at 317-217-3183 .