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Patient Bill of Rights
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Patient Bill of Rights

Medical Care

To receive appropriate assessment, management and treatment of your pain.

To receive an understandable explanation from your physician of your complete medical condition, recommended treatment, expected results, risks involved, and reasonable medical alternatives. If your physician believes that some of this information would be detrimental to your health or beyond your ability to understand, the explanation must be given to your next of kin or guardian.

To be given informed, written consent prior to the start of specified, nonemergency medical procedures or treatments. Your physician should explain to you — in words you understand — specific details about the recommended procedure or treatment, any risks involved, time required for recovery, and any reasonable medical alternatives.

To refuse medication and treatment after possible consequences of this decision have been explained clearly to you, unless the situation is life-threatening or the procedure is required by law.

To be included in experimental research only if you give informed, written consent. You have the right to refuse to participate.

To receive the care and health services that the hospital is required by law to provide.

Communication and Information

To be informed of the names and functions of all health care professionals providing you with personal care.

To receive, as soon as possible, the services of a translator or interpreter if you need one to help you communicate with the hospital's health care personnel.

To be informed of the names and functions of any outside health care and educational institutions involved in your treatment. You may refuse to allow their participation.

To receive, upon request, the hospital's written policies and procedures regarding lifesaving methods and the use or withdrawal of life support mechanisms.

To be advised in writing of the hospital's rules regarding the conduct of patients and visitors.

To receive a summary of your patient rights that includes the name and phone number of the hospital staff member to whom you can ask questions or complain about any possible violation of your rights.

Medical Records

To have prompt access to the information in your medical record. If your physician feels that this access is detrimental to your health, your next of kin or guardian has the right to see your record.

To obtain a copy of your medical record, at a reasonable fee, within 30 days after a written request to the hospital.

Transfers

To be transferred to another facility only when you or your family has made the request, or in instances where the transferring hospital is unable to provide you with the care you need.

To receive an advance explanation from a physician of the reasons for your transfer and possible alternatives.

Privacy and Confidentiality

To have physical privacy during medical treatment and personal hygiene functions, unless you need assistance.

To confidential treatment of information about you. Information in your records will not be released to anyone outside the hospital without your approval, unless it is required by law.

Cost of Hospital Care

To receive a copy of the hospital payment rates. If you request an itemized bill, the hospital must provide one, and explain any questions you may have. You have a right to appeal any charges.

To be informed by the hospital if part or all of your bill will not be covered by insurance. The hospital is required to help you obtain any public assistance and private health care benefits to which you may be entitled.

Discharge Planning

To receive information and assistance from your attending physician and other health care providers if you need to arrange for continuing health care after your discharge from the hospital.

To receive sufficient time before discharge to arrange for continuing health care needs.

To be informed by the hospital about any appeal process to which you are entitled by law if you disagree with the hospital's discharge plans.

Freedom from Abuse and Restraints

To freedom from physical and mental abuse.

To freedom from restrains, unless they are authorized by a physician for a limited period of time to protect the safety of you or others.

To freedom from restraints and seclusion in any form when used as a means of coercion, discipline or convenience for the staff as retaliation.

Personal Needs

To be treated with courtesy, consideration, and respect for your dignity and individuality.

To have access to storage space in your room for private use. The hospital must also have a system to safeguard your personal property.

Legal Rights

To treatment and medical services without discrimination based on age, religion, race, national origin, sex, sexual preferences, handicap, diagnosis, ability to pay, or source of payment.

To exercise all your constitutional, civil, and legal rights. Professional Services

To contract directly with a New Jersey licensed registered professional nurse of your choosing for private professional nursing care during your hospitalization. A registered professional nurse so contracted shall adhere to hospital policies and procedures so long as these requirements are the same for private duty and regularly employed nurses. The hospital, upon request, shall provide the patient or designee with a list of local non-profit professional nurses association registries that refer nurses for private professional nursing care.

Patient Visitation

To be advised in writing of the hospital rules and regulations that apply to the conduct of patients and visitors. The partner in a civil union of a patient, and/or the domestic partner of a patient, shall have the same visitation privileges as if the visitor were the patient's spouse and the facility shall not require proof of that partnership status as a condition of affording visitation privileges. Visitation privileges shall not be denied on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, familial status, disability, nationality, sex, gender identity or expression or source of lawful income. Visitation may be restricted in medically appropriate circumstances or based on the clinical decision of a health care professional charged with the patient's care.

Questions and Complaints

To present questions or grievances to a designated hospital staff member and to receive a response in a reasonable period of time. The hospital must provide you with the address and telephone number of the New Jersey Department of Health agency that handles questions and complaints. You may directly contact the N.J. Department of Health Complaint Hotline at 1-800-792-9770. If you have any questions about your rights as a patient or concerns about the quality of care or service provided, you can reach the JFK Message Center at 732-321-7566. If your concern about the quality or safety of care has not been resolved by our staff, you may additionally contact the Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring at 800-994- 6610 to report a concern and/or register a complaint. The list of Patient Rights is an abbreviated summary of the current New Jersey law and regulations governing the rights of hospital patients. For more complete information, consult the N.J. Department of Health Regulations at N.J.A.C. 8:43b-4, or Public Law 1989-Chapter 170, available through your hospital.