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Patient Rights And Responsibilities

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Delivery of effective health care requires collaboration between patients, physicians and other health care professionals. We want you to know what to expect of us and what we expect of you while at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Patient Rights

You have the right to:

Considerate and Compassionate Care

  • Respectful and safe care by competent personnel, free from discrimination related to age, race, color, national origin, religion, culture, language, physical or mentality disability, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or payer.
  • Patients shall have access to religious or other spiritual services through Pastoral Care. You may arrange services by calling pastoral care at x4059.

A Safe Hospital Environment

  • Patients have the right to be in a safe environment that maintains their dignity and adds to a positive self-image.
  • Be free from neglect and exploitation; verbal, mental, physical, and sexual abuse and have access to protective and advocacy services in cases of abuse or neglect.
  • Be free from chemical and physical restraints and seclusion in any form that is not medically necessary. .

Communication You Can Understand

  • Receive information in a manner that he or she can understand. The hospital will provide sign language and foreign language interpreters as needed at no cost. Information will be appropriate to age, understanding, and language.

Access to Communication / Visitation

  • Have a family member, person of his or her choice, and his or her doctor notified promptly of his or her admission to the hospital.
  • Have someone remain with you for emotional support during your hospital stay, unless your visitor’s presence compromises your or others’ rights, safety or health.

Privacy/Confidentiality of Information

  • Security, personal privacy and confidentiality in care discussions, documentation and exams, including the right to ask for an escort during any type of exam.

Know Your Care Providers

  • Know the name of your physicians and other practitioners involved in your care.

Access to Information, Participation in Care Decisions

  • Make informed decisions regarding your plan of care and any changes and to receive information necessary to make decisions.
  • Be involved in your discharge plan and any follow-up care you may need.
  • Be transferred to another facility when medically appropriate and legally permissible, or when you have requested this and are mentally stable.

Informed Consent / Refusal of Treatment

  • Written informed consent before any non-emergency procedure, including the risks and benefits of treatment and alternatives to treatment.
  • Consent to or decline treatment and to be informed of the medical consequences of their refusal.

Advance Directives / Self-Determination

  • An advance directive, such as living will or a durable power of attorney for healthcare, and have the hospital comply with the advance directives unless the hospital notifies the patient of the inability to do so.

Assessment and Management of Pain

  • Appropriate assessment and management of pain.

Protective Services

  • Access to protective services and advocacy services.

Access to Billing Information

  • Receive detailed information about your hospital and physician charges.

Information Contained in the Medical Record

  • Access information in your medical records within a reasonable time frame when requested, subject to limited circumstances.

Health Care Injures or Errors

  • Be informed of any unexpected outcomes of treatment or errors.


  • Voice complaints and file grievances without discrimination or reprisal and have those complaints and grievances addressed.
  • Contact the nurse manager of your unit if you have any questions or concerns to be resolved or you may call patient relations at x4267 between 7:30AM and 4:30PM. After 4:30PM or on weekends and holidays, you may reach the patient care services coordinator through the page operator at x4111.
  • Prompt resolution of grievances and information about the hospital’s grievance procedure, including whom to contact to file a grievance. If your feel your concerns have not been adequately addressed, you have the right to contact the DC Department of Health or the Joint Commission at:
D.C. Department of Health
825 North Capitol Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
Joint Commission One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Ethical Issues

  • Contact the hospital’s ethics committee or other available resources for assistance in decisions regarding care.

Medical Research Studies

  • Agree or refuse to take part in medical research studies and/or to withdraw from a study at any time without impacting your access to care.

Consents for Recordings, Photographs, Films, Other Images

  • Give or refuse consent for recordings, photographs, films or other images to be produced or used for internal or external purposes other than identification, treatment or diagnosis, including the right to withdraw consent up until a reasonable time before the image is used.

Receipt of Written Information Concerning Rights

  • Be informed in writing of your patient rights upon admission to the hospital.

Patient Responsibilities

You have the responsibility to:

  • Act in partnership with their healthcare team and follow instructions, rules, and policies put in place to support a safe environment.
  • Be considerate of other patients and hospital personnel by maintaining civil language and conduct.
  • Provide complete information about current and developing health conditions, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to your health.
  • Inform your physician(s) or other caregivers if you anticipate any problems following prescribed treatment or if you do not understand the treatment course.
  • Supply the hospital with a copy of your advance directive if you have one.
  • Pay the hospital bills promptly, provide information necessary for insurance processing, and asking questions you may have concerning bills.