MedStar Washington Hospital Center wants you to receive quality care. As a patient at the Hospital Center, it is important to understand that you have both rights and responsibilities. This summary of patients’ rights and responsibilities describes how you can participate in receiving quality care. Complete information regarding your rights and responsibilities is available from the Center for Ethics at 202-877-0246.
Feel free to discuss this list with your doctor or the nurse manager on your unit. If you have further questions, call the Customer Care Line at 202-877-4YOU (202-877-4968), TDD Relay Number 711. If you have any concerns about patient care or safety in the hospital that have not been addressed by hospital management, you may report those concerns to The Joint Commission by calling 1-800-994-6610. To report discrimination concerns, please call 202-877-0064.
- To be treated with respect and courtesy.
- To receive safe, considerate, ethical and cost-effective medical care.
- To have your individual cultural, spiritual and psychosocial needs respected.
- To have your privacy and personal dignity maintained.
- To expect that information regarding your care will be treated as confidential.
- To respect hospital personnel.
- To respect caregivers’ efforts to provide care for other patients.
- To respect hospital property.
- To be considerate of other patients and to see that your visitors do the same.
- To receive treatment regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other discrimination prohibited by law.
- To receive emergency treatment regardless of ability to pay.
- To expect reasonable continuity of care, and to be informed of available and realistic care options when hospital care is no longer appropriate.
- To have your needs for pain management addressed and treated.
- To be free from the use of restraints and/or seclusion unless clinically necessary.
- To follow your caregivers’ instructions, and help them in their efforts to return you to health.
- To inform your caregivers if you think there may be problems in following their instructions.
- To participate in decision-making about your medical care.
- To recognize the impact of lifestyle on your personal health.
- To ask your treating physician if he/she has any conflicts of interest that may directly affect your care.
- To have an advance directive (Living Will and/or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions).
- To obtain information regarding an advance directive.
- To have your advance directive (if you have one) included in your medical record.
- To have your advance directive followed to the extent that is medically appropriate and lawful.
- To inform the hospital if you have an advance directive.
- To give the hospital a copy of your written advance directive (if you have one).
- To understand your diagnosis and treatment, as well as the possible outcomes, risks and benefits of your care.
- To have information regarding your medical treatment explained to your family member, same-sex partner or other appropriate individual when you are unable to participate in decisions about your care.
- To have access to foreign language or American Sign Language interpreter and/or adaptive equipment (including TDDs) if necessary.
- To be advised of hospital policies, procedures, rules and regulations that may affect your care.
- To be aware of any proposed hospital research in which you may be involved.
- To be aware that the hospital’s Bioethics Committee is available to you to discuss ethical issues related to your care.
- To understand that your caregivers may be both teachers and students.
- To know the names and titles of your caregivers.
- To see your medical records (in accordance with hospital policy and/or the law).
- To review your bill and to have any questions or concerns you have adequately addressed.
- To provide the hospital with accurate and complete information about your medical history.
- To ask your caregivers for more information if you do not understand your illness or treatment.
- To provide the hospital with necessary payment and/or insurance information.
- To be involved in decisions concerning your care.
- To have your family members, same sex-partner and/or others involved in decisions about your care.
- To have your family members, same-sex partner and/or others excluded from participating in decisions about your care.
- To discuss any treatment planned for you.
- To give your informed consent or informed refusal for treatment.
- To leave the hospital or request a transfer (in accordance with hospital policy and/or the law).
- To refuse to be treated by a student.
- To consent or decline to participate in clinical research.
- To abide by hospital rules and regulations.
- To keep your appointments.
- To pay your bills on time.
- To inform the hospital if you believe your rights have been violated.
Revised Version Approved by the Bioethics Committee: May 20, 2004
MedStar Washington Hospital Center promotes and supports a patient and family centered approach to care delivered in a context sensitive to the importance of relationships. All hospitalized patients have the right to have visitors of their choice during their stay, unless visitation interferes with the well-being, rights or safety of others, or is not medically indicated in the patient’s care. MedStar Washington Hospital Center will not deny visitation privileges based on race, religion, ethnicity, language, culture, size, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, physical or mental ability or disability. Patients will be informed of these rights upon admission to the hospital.
Patient Non-Discriminatory Notice
Under District of Columbia law, MedStar Washington Hospital Center has an important obligation to make its services available to all people in the community. MedStar Washington Hospital Center does not discriminate against a patient for services because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, sexual preference, gender identity, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, physical handicap, source of income, place of residence or business, or because a patient or applicant for services is covered by a program such as Medicare or Medicaid. The Hospital Center is also obligated to provide a reasonable volume of services without charge or at a reduced charge to persons unable to pay.