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Highland Hospital / Patients & Visitors / Your Hospital Stay / Patients Rights & Responsibilities

Patients' Rights & Responsibilities

Understanding Your Rights & Responsibilities

Patients' Bill of Rights

As a patient in a hospital in New York State, you have the right, consistent with law, to:

  • Understand and use these rights. If for any reason you do not understand or need help, the hospital must provide assistance, including an interpreter.
  • Receive treatment without discrimination as to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, source of payment or age.
  • Receive considerate and respectful care in a clean and safe environment free of unnecessary restraints.
  • Receive emergency care if you need it.
  • Be informed of the name and position of the doctor who will be in charge of your care in the hospital.
  • Know the names, positions, and functions of any hospital staff involved in your care, and refuse their treatment, examination, or observation.
  • Receive complete information about your diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
  • Receive all the information that you need to give informed consent for any proposed procedure or treatment. This information shall include the possible risks and benefits of the procedure or treatment.
  • Receive all the information you need to give informed consent for an order not to resuscitate. You also have the right to designate an individual to give this consent for you if you are too ill to do so. If you would like additional information, please ask for a copy of the pamphlet, Do Not Resuscitate Orders: A Guide for Patients and Families.
  • Refuse treatment and be told what effect this may have on your health.
  • Refuse to take part in research. In deciding whether or not to participate, you have the right to a full explanation.
  • Privacy while in the hospital and confidentiality of all information and records regarding your care.
  • Participate in all decisions about your treatment and discharge from the hospital. The hospital must provide you with a written discharge plan and written description of how you can appeal your discharge.
  • Review your medical record without charge and obtain a copy of your medical record for which the hospital can charge a reasonable fee. You cannot be denied a copy solely because you cannot afford to pay.
  • Receive an itemized bill and explanation of all charges.
  • Complain, without fear of reprisals, about the care and services you are receiving and to have the hospital respond to you, and if you request it, a written response. If you are not satisfied with the hospital’s response, you can complain to the New York State Department of Health. The hospital must provide you with the Department of Health telephone number.
  • Authorize those family members and other adults who will be given priority to visit consistent with your ability to receive visitors.
  • Make known your wishes regarding anatomical gifts. You may document your wishes in your health care proxy or on a donor card, available from the hospital.

Your Responsibilities as a Patient

At Highland Hospital, we believe patients and families are partners in ensuring that the best possible care is provided in a healthful, safe environment. Your role as a member of the team is to exercise your rights and to take responsibility by asking for clarification of things you do not understand. We count on you to participate in your care in the following ways:

  • To the best of your knowledge, provide accurate and complete information about your present symptoms, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to your health.
  • Provide, upon admission, a copy of your health care proxy or any other advance directives or power of attorney forms, if you have them.
  • Report any changes in your condition to your nurse or doctor.
  • Inform your nurse or doctor if you do not clearly understand the proposed plan of care and what is expected of you.
  • Follow the treatment plan that you and your doctor have developed. This may include following the instructions of nurses or other health care staff who are involved in your care.
  • Keep appointments. When you are unable to do so for any reason, notify the office appointment center in advance.
  • Provide accurate insurance information and promptly pay balances not covered by your insurance.
  • Treat other patients and staff with consideration and respect.
  • Be considerate of the rights of other patients and our hospital staff by assisting with the control of noise and the number of visitors to the hospital.
  • Be respectful of other patients' right to privacy.
  • Be respectful of the property of other persons and of the hospital.
  • Refrain from smoking, and using alcoholic beverages, street drugs, and weapons while at Highland Hospital.

Visitor Responsibilities

Highland Hospital's visiting hours are dependent on the health of the community. We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for patients and their families. To maintain that environment, we count on visitors, family members and friends, to assist us by observing the following guidelines:

  • Observe any limits or restrictions on visiting established by patients and healthcare providers in the area you are visiting.
  • Please respect our patients' right to privacy and leave the patient room or care area when asked by hospital staff.
  • Please be considerate of the rights of our patients and hospital staff by treating them with courtesy and respect and assisting with the control of noise.
  • Please do not visit if you are not feeling well, or if you have an illness which could be spread to our patients. If you are not sure, please check with your health care provider.
  • Please be respectful of the property of other persons and of the hospital.