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Your Rights

  • You have the right to receive considerate, respectful and compassionate care regardless of your age, gender, race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disabilities.
  • You have the right to receive care in a safe environment free from all forms of abuse, neglect or harassment.
  • You have the right to be called by your proper name and to be told the names of the doctors, nurses and other health care team members involved in your care.
  • You have the right to have a family member or representative of your choice and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  •  You have the right to be told by your doctor about your diagnosis and possible prognosis, the benefits and risks of treatment, and expected outcome of treatment, including unanticipated outcomes. You have the right to give written informed consent before any non-emergency procedure begins.
  • You have the right to have your pain assessed and to be involved in decisions about managing your pain.
  • You have the right to be free from restraints and seclusion in any form that is not medically required.
  • You can expect full consideration of your privacy and confidentiality in care discussions, examinations and treatments. You may ask for a chaperone during any type of examination.
  • You have the right to access protective and advocacy services in cases of abuse or neglect. The hospital will provide a list of protective and advocacy resources.
  • You, and family members or friends with your permission, have the right to participate in decisions about your care, treatment and services provided, including the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law.
  • You have the right to receive visitors you designate during your stay.  All visitors to HCGH enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with your preferences.  At any time, you may withdraw your consent for visitation.
  • If you leave the hospital against the advice of your doctor, the hospital and doctors will not be responsible for any medical consequences that may occur.
  • You have the right to agree or refuse to take part in medical research studies. You may at any time withdraw from a study.
  • You have the right to sign-language or foreign-language interpreter services. We will provide an interpreter as needed.
  • You have the right to make an advance directive, appointing someone to make health care decisions for you if you are unable. If you do not have an advance directive, we can provide you with information and help to complete one.
  • You have the right to be involved in your discharge plan. You can expect to be told in a timely manner of the need for planning your discharge or transfer to another facility or level of care. Before your discharge, you can expect to receive information about follow-up care that you may need.
  • You have the right to receive detailed information about your hospital and physician charges.
  • All communications and records about your care are confidential, unless disclosure is allowed by law. You have the right to see or get a copy of your medical records and have the information explained, if needed. You may add information to your medical record by contacting the Medical Records Department. Upon request, you have the right to receive a list of who your personal health information was disclosed to.
  • You have the right to give your consent to members of the media about their use of recordings or photographs of you. You have the right to withdraw consent up until a reasonable time before the recording or photograph is used.
  • A member of the Ethics Committee is available on beeper at all times. To reach a member, dial 410-283-6104. After three beeps, enter your phone number and then the pound sign (#). An Ethics Committee member will return your call.
  • You have the right to pastoral and other spiritual services. Chaplains are available to help you directly or to contact your own clergy. You can reach a chaplain at 410-740-7898 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. At other times, please ask your nurse to contact the chaplain on call.
  • You have the right to voice your concerns about the care you receive. If you have a problem or complaint, you may talk with your doctor, nurse manager or a department manager. You may also contact the Service Excellence Department.
Patient Relations
Howard County General Hospital
5755 Cedar Lane
Columbia, MD 21044
If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right to request a review by the following organizations:
Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
Office of Health Care Quality, Hospital Complaint Unit
Spring Grove Hospital Center
55 Wade Avenue, Bland Bryant Building
Catonsville, MD 21228
Tel. 410-402-8000 or toll free 1-877-402-8218
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Toll free 1-800-994-6610, or