Patient Rights & Responsibilities
YOUR RIGHTS AS A PATIENT
Indiana University Health respects the dignity and 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, ethnicity, culture, language, color, national origin, sex, age, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status or source of payment.
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 HEALTHCARE
You have the right to receive information about your condition in terms you can understand, as well as the proposed course of treatment and prospects for recovery. You have the right to receive information about your condition tailored to your age, language and ability to understand.
You have the right for the hospital to provide language interpreting and translation services. Patients with vision, speech, hearing or cognitive impairments have the right to receive information from their provider in a manner that meets their needs.
You have the right to designate a representative to make healthcare 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, your physician or a patient advocate 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
- Develop a pain plan with your caregivers
- Know what medication, treatment or anesthesia you will receive
- 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 PROJECTS
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 projects or experimental procedures 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 healthcare professional is present.
After discharge, you have the right to obtain (for a fee) copies of your complete medical record unless your physician does not think this is medically advisable for you. Your complete medical record will not be available for one week after discharge. You may obtain information about access to your medical records by contacting the Health Information Management department at 574.583.6153.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS
Communication and records about your care will be treated confidentially.
You have the right to authorize 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 a surrounding 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 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.
You have the right to have a family member, friend or other individual be present for emotional support during the course of your stay. You also have the right to refuse to see visitors.
CONTINUITY OF CARE
You will be instructed about how to continue your healthcare routine after you leave the hospital.
If transfer to another healthcare 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.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A PATIENT
Your healthcare is a cooperative effort among you, your physician and the hospital staff. In addition to your rights, the expectation is 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 healthcare 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
If you have questions, suggestions or concerns about your care, please notify your nurse or physician. If your concerns are not managed to your satisfaction, please call:
- IU Health White Memorial Hospital: T 574.583.1780
During the evening, night and weekend hours, ask your nurse to contact the nursing supervisor.
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. A patient advocate 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 by calling 800.246.8909 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact The Joint Commission via:
Mail: Office of Quality Monitoring
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
If you need more information, please call Case Management or the Nursing Supervisor at 574.583.1712.