Patient Rights & Responsibilities
We believe that the best patients are informed patients – and we want to make sure that patients and their families know their rights and responsibilities as they seek care within the WellStar Health System.
We also value your opinion. You may receive a survey in the mail about your hospital visit. We encourage you to take a few minutes to complete the survey, as we want to ensure we are providing very good service. If you complete and return your survey, you’ll be eligible for our quarterly drawing for a $250 Visa Gift Card, welcome anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. We value your feedback, and carefully consider your opinions as we strive to exceed your expectations and meet your healthcare needs in the very best way possible.
Access to Care
Impartial access to treatment or accommodations that are available or medically indicated regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or any other discrimination prohibited by law.
Respect and Dignity
Considerate, respectful care at all times and under all circumstances, including reasonable attempts to respect spiritual, religious or cultural beliefs and practices and to make efforts to accommodate whenever possible.
Privacy and Confidentiality
- Expect that your personal health information will be protected according to legal and ethical standards related to privacy, security and confidentiality.
- Be interviewed, examined and treated in surroundings designed to provide a reasonable expectation of privacy.
- Expect that your personal privacy will be respected by: closing doors, curtains and by providing adequate coverings/draping to limit patient exposure, knocking or announcing oneself prior to entering patient treatment room/curtained area.
- Respect the presence of one’s own gender during certain parts of a physical examination, treatment or procedure done by someone of the opposite sex.
- (Homecare: Patient care is delivered in the privacy of the client’s environment. Patient privacy and confidentiality are taken into consideration when care is rendered. When requested by the patient, efforts will be made to arrange for staff of same gender.)
- Expect that conversations/interviews related to your care will occur in an area designed to provide privacy and will include only those with a specific “need to know.” If information is considered to be of a sensitive or personal nature, the patient will be taken to a private area prior to discussing/obtaining such information.
- Expect that protected health information, which is displayed/posted in publicly accessible areas, will be limited to the minimum amount necessary for the permitted purpose (i.e., limit information posted outside treatment room to name only; limit information on sign-in logs to time, patient name and physician name).
- Have your medical records accessed and discussed only by those directly involved in your care, in the monitoring of the quality of care or those so designated by the patient.
- Request the right of access to review, inspect and obtain a copy of your protected health information and have this information explained, except when restricted by state or federal law.
Participate in Treatment Decisions
- Be informed and participate in decisions concerning your care.
- Be given a clear and understandable explanation of procedures including the reason why a procedure is needed, the risks and benefits, probability of success and possible alternatives.
- Complete an advance directive to indicate your treatment preferences should you become unable to make your own decisions in the future.
- Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law.
- Be informed of any research activities that affect your care and choose voluntarily to participate. Refusal to participate will not compromise care.
Expect safety related to hospital and office practices and environment.
Access Community Protective Services
Request and be assisted in the contact of advocacy or protective service agencies if you are being neglected or abused in your home and/or need outside support.
- Be informed about your illness, possible treatments and likely outcome.
- Know the names and roles of caregivers.
- Know the relationship the hospital and/or physician has with outside parties (such as healthcare providers or insurers) that may influence your treatment and care.
- Be informed of actual outcomes, including unanticipated outcomes.
- Expect appropriate assessment and management of pain
Expect that high ethical standards be followed in providing your care. Whenever conflicts arise, a mechanism has been established to assist you, your family and caregivers to help resolve any ethical issues surrounding care.
Transfer and Continuity of Care
Expect that the physician and/or the hospital will provide necessary health services to the best of their ability. If a transfer is recommended, you will be informed of the benefits and the alternatives.
You will not be transferred without your consent and until the other institution and/or physician agrees to accept you.
- Be billed fairly for those services provided.
- Request an itemized bill for services rendered.
- Ask questions and receive assistance in understanding charges and payment methods.
- Receive timely notice prior to termination of eligibility for reimbursement by any third-party payer for the cost of care.
Understand Rules and Regulations
Know about WellStar Health System rules that affect your treatment.
- Provide caregivers with accurate and complete information about your health and convey understanding of what is expected in regard to your treatment.
- Inform care providers of any safety issues that need attention.
- Comply with instructions for your treatment plan. If you believe that you cannot follow through with treatment, you are responsible for telling your physician.
- Comply with your hospital or office rules and regulations.
- Meet your financial obligations as promptly as possible.
- Be considerate of the rights of other patients and personnel in the control of noise, number of visitors and the respect of property.