Patients Bill of Rights
As a patient of Saint Clare’s Hospital, a New Jersey healthcare facility, you have the following rights under state law and regulations:
Medical Care. You have the right:
- To receive the care and health services that the hospital is required by law to provide.
- To receive an understandable explanation from your physician of your medical condition, recommended treatment, expected results, risks and reasonable medical alternatives. If your physician believes that this information may be detrimental to you or beyond your ability to understand, the explanation must be given to your next of kin or guardian.
- To give informed, written consent prior to non-emergency treatment. You may refuse to participate. Your physician should clearly explain the treatment, risks, recovery time and any alternatives.
- To refuse medication and treatment after possible consequences of this decision have been clearly explained, unless the situation is life threatening or the procedure is required by law.
- To have your pain assessed and adequately managed.
- To be included in experimental research only if you give informed written consent.
Communication and Information. You have the right:
- To be informed of the names and functions of all healthcare professionals participating in your care.
- To receive the services of a translator or interpreter to help you communicate with hospital personnel.
- To be informed of the names and functions of any outside healthcare and educational institutions involved in your treatment. You may refuse to allow their participation.
- To receive, upon request, the hospital’s written policies about lifesaving measures and the use and withdrawal of life support mechanisms.
- To be advised in writing of the hospital’s rules about 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 of whom you can ask questions or to whom you can complain about any possible violation of your rights.
Medical Records. You have the right:
- To have prompt access to the information in your medical records. If your physician feels that this access is detrimental to your health, your next of kin or guardian has a right to see your record.
- To obtain a copy of your record at a reasonable fee within 30 days of written request.
Cost of Hospital Care. You have the right:
- To receive a copy of the hospital payment rates and an itemized bill if you request it. You have a right to appeal any charges.
- To be informed by the hospital if part or all of your bill is not covered by insurance. The hospital must help you obtain any public assistance and private health benefits to which you maybe entitled.
Discharge Planning. You have the right:
- To receive information and assistance from your doctor and other healthcare providers if you need continuing care after discharge.
- To have sufficient time before discharge to arrange for aftercare and to be informed by the hospital how to appeal if you disagree with the discharge plan.
Transfers. You have the right:
- To be transferred to another facility only when you or your family has made the request or the hospital cannot provide the care you need.
- To receive an advance explanation from a physician on the reasons for transfer and possible alternatives.
Personal Needs. You have the right:
- To be treated with courtesy, consideration and respect for your dignity and individuality.
- To have access to private storage space in your room. (The hospital also provides for safe-keeping of your valuables.)
Freedom From Abuse and Restraints. You have the right:
- To freedom from physical and mental abuse.
- To freedom from restraints unless authorized by a physician for a limited time for your safety or that of others.
Privacy and Confidentiality. You have the right:
- To have physical privacy during medical treatment and personal hygiene, unless you need assistance.
- To confidential treatment of information about you. Your records will not be released to anyone without your approval, unless required by law.
Legal Rights. You have the right:
- To treatment without discrimination based on race, age, religion, national origin, sex, sexual preferences, handicap, diagnosis, ability to pay or source of payment.
- To retain and exercise all your constitutional, civil and legal rights.
- To contract directly with a NJ licensed registered professional nurse of your choice for private professional nursing care during your hospitalization. A list of private duty agencies is available in the nursing office.
Questions and Complaints. You have the right:
- To present questions or grievances to a designated hospital staff member and receive a response in a reasonable time. The hospital must provide you with the address and telephone number of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services that handles questions and complaints. You may call the Department’s complaint hotline at 1-800-792-9770.
For any concerns, please call Guest Services or the Shift Administrator. We are always available to assist you.
This synopsis is an abbreviated summary of the current New Jersey law and regulations governing the rights of hospital patients. For more complete information, consult N.J. Department of Health and Senior Services regulations at N.J.A.C.8; 43G-4, or Public Law 1989- Chapter 170, available through your hospital. Effective: February 2003