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patient rights and responsibilities

As a patient receiving services from a DRHS facility or agency, you have the right to (in accordance with law and regulation, as applicable):

  • Healthcare services which are equally accessible to all persons without bias related to age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, cultural beliefs and personal values, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or payment source.
  • Respectful, considerate and courteous care which preserves patient dignity and right to personal privacy.
  • Be shown respect for cultural, religious and spiritual preferences, personal values and beliefs and social needs.
  • Effective communication from the staff and physicians, using the language or the method in which the patient prefers to receive information, is tailored to your age, ability to understand, and meets your needs.
  • A clear understanding of your health status, diagnosis, and progress and of all recommended tests and procedures.
  • Give or withhold informed consent, including the risks, benefits and alternatives of any recommended procedure, and the risks and benefits and side effects, if any, to both, and the risks related to not receiving the proposed care, treatment or service.
  • Participate in decisions, development and implementation regarding your plan of care.
  • Designate an individual to act as your representative who will also have the right to participate in the development and implementation of the patient’s plan of care. The representative may be anyone of the your choosing but if no one is specified by the patient, the family will be involved in decisions regarding care, treatment or services to the extent permitted by the patient.
  • Be informed by the licensed independent practitioner responsible for managing your care about the effectiveness of care and any unanticipated outcomes of care and/or treatment.
  • Choose whether you receive any experimental treatments or procedures. You must be able to understand and consent to participation in experimental therapies or research.
  • Refuse care, treatments or services. You have the right to receive a clear explanation of the consequences of refusal of treatment
  • Emotional support by a family member, friend or other individual of your choice through the course of your visit (unless the presence of the individual infringes on others’ rights, safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated).
  • Confidentiality regarding your medical care. Protected health information will not be released without the patient’s permission.
  • Complete an Advance Directive and to have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care comply with these directives.
  • Appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  • A statement of charges for healthcare services and available payment options.
  • Know the identity of each member of your healthcare team.
  • Reasonable continuity of care and coordination of patient care services when discharging home or transferring to another facility or agency.
  • Access, request amendment to, and receive an accounting of disclosures regarding your own health information as permitted under applicable law.
  • Be free from seclusion and restraints of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by the staff.
  • Participate in discussions about ethical issues arising from your plan of care. You may contact the Ethics Committee by dialing 404.501.2739.
  • Access protective and advocacy services.
  • Voice safety or quality of care concerns to the patient care management staff or have those concerns addressed by a DRHS representative by calling the Director of Patient Relations at 404.501.5810. Concerns may also be voiced to the Georgia State regulatory agency, Office of Regulatory Service, Healthcare Section, 2 Peachtree St. NE, 33rd floor, Atlanta, GA 30303 or at 404.657.5726/5728 and/or the Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring by calling 800.994.6610 or e-mailing the complaint to “complaint@jointcommission.org”.

As a patient receiving services from a DRHS facility, you have the responsibility to:

  • Give complete, correct information about your medical complaints, past illnesses and hospitalizations, medications and treatments, lifestyle habits and other matters that relate to health.
  • Inform the staff of pain so that it can be appropriately assessed and treated.
  • Follow the hospital rules that are established to ensure patient safety, privacy and comfort.
  • Provide a copy of your written Advance Directive if you have one.
  • Inform your healthcare providers about any changes in your condition and inform them if you do not understand your treatment or instructions given to you or if you anticipate problems in following prescribed treatment after discharge.
  • Inform your healthcare providers of any perceived safety or quality concerns regarding your care.
  • Follow the plan of care agreed upon by you and your medical providers, including follow-up appointments after discharge from inpatient care.
  • Accept the consequences if treatment is refused or medical instructions are not followed. These consequences may include being directed to find another physician or healthcare facility.
  • Treat the property of others and the healthcare system respectfully.
  • Respect the rights of other patients and healthcare personnel. Show consideration for others by controlling noise; limiting the number of visitors at any one time; not smoking anywhere on campus; and refraining from other behaviors that negatively impact others.
  • Arrange payment for all fees for healthcare services rendered by the healthcare system, including providing accurate information about insurance coverage. You are ultimately responsible for all fees for services provided.

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