Patient Rights and Responsibilities - Stamford Health

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patient Rights

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A complete guide to your stay at Stamford Hospital.

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Privacy
You have the right to privacy and confidentiality. People who are not involved in your care may not receive information about you without your permission. You are entitled to know what role any observer has in your care and to have any observers unrelated to your care leave if you so request.

The Joint Notice of Privacy Practices describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully in either English or Spanish.

Respect
You are an important and unique person, and we will respect you, introduce ourselves to you, explain our role in your care, and listen to you. We will respect your individual values and your religious beliefs. If you wish, a member of our Pastoral Care Department will visit you to support your spiritual needs. Each patient has the right to the best medical care available, without consideration of race, color, national ancestry, age, sex, (including, but not limited to, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, sex stereotyping and gender identity), physical or mental disability, religion, sexual orientation or ability to pay.

Information
You have the right to be fully informed about your health status, recommended treatment, alternatives,

benefits and risks, and to be involved in your plan of care and treatment. You may ask questions about your care at any time, and we will answer them honestly and clearly. If you are asked to participate in a research study, you are entitled to a full explanation of the study, including the potential risks, complications, benefits and alternatives. You also have the right to refuse to participate in any research study without such refusal affecting the care provided to you.

You have a right to a copy of your medical record after your discharge and within a reasonable time frame (approximately 30 days) after your written request has been received by the Health Information Management Department. You have the right to request and receive (within 72 hours) a copy of your discharge information via a CD to maintain electronically for your personal files. If your records are required for another treating physician or healthcare provider, Stamford Hospital will supply this information directly to the provider without cost and as quickly as possible.

You have the right to view your medical record during your hospital stay. Upon request, your nurse will arrange a time for you to view the medical record and will be present to answer any questions relating
to information contained in the record and to ensure confidentiality. Approvals may be required prior to releasing behavioral health documentation or the record of a minor child in certain situations. You have the right to detailed information about your bill. You are entitled to inquire about the possibility of financial aid for your hospital bills and to receive information and assistance in obtaining such aid.

Pain Management
As a patient, you have the right to information about pain and pain relief measures. You are entitled to informed and concerned staff who responds quickly to reports of pain with the best method of pain relief that may safely be provided. You are responsible for asking your doctor or nurse about what pain to expect and what options are available for pain management. You will need to ask for pain relief when the pain first begins, help the doctor or nurse measure your pain, and inform the doctor or nurse if your pain is not relieved.

Quality
Trained professionals will work together to care for you.You have the right to know the name of the physician responsible for your treatment and to speak with that physician and others involved in your care. Stamford Hospital is a teaching hospital, and you may therefore meet doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers in training who will participate in your care and treatment under the guidance of their supervisors.

You are entitled to care in a safe and supportive environment, free of abuse or harassment. We will work with you to make your stay as comfortable as possible and to support your right to access protective services. Before you leave the Hospital, we will work with you on your discharge plan and teach you what you need to know to continue to care for yourself at home.

Choices
You are entitled to make choices about your care. Your physician will explain the benefits, risks and alternatives of all treatments so that you can make the decisions that are right for you.

You have the right to request a second opinion regarding your treatment and to request the names of other physicians able to provide such a second opinion.

You may refuse treatment as permitted by law. We will honor your choices and continue to provide you with the best care that the Hospital can offer under the circumstances.

You have the right to prepare advance directives which state your medical treatment wishes and to appoint a person to make medical care decisions for you should you become unable to do so. We will be happy to assist you in documenting your wishes and instructions. The Hospital staff will provide care that is consistent with these directives.

You also have the right to leave the Hospital against your physician’s advice, unless you have certain infectious diseases which may influence the health of others or unless you will be unable to maintain your safety as defined by law. If you choose to leave the Hospital against medical advice, the Hospital will not be responsible for any harm that this may cause.

Visitation
You have the right to receive the visitors you designate, including but not limited to a spouse, domestic partner (including a same sex domestic partner), family member, or friend. You also have the right to withdraw
or deny the consent to visitation at any time. Should you withdraw or deny consent to visitation, staff will act to accommodate such requests, to the extent possible. Your visitors will enjoy full and equal visitation
privileges consistent with your preferences. In addition, you will be informed of any clinical restriction or limitation on your visitation right.

Conflicts
In the event of a conflict concerning the care of a patient, the patient care team will work with the patient and family to reach a resolution. The department chief, patient representative, nursing management, administration and/or Ethics Committee are all available to help resolve the conflict. The Chief Executive Officer or his/her designee retains the final authority for addressing admission, treatment and discharge issues.

Suggestions, Questions, Complaints
Stamford Hospital employs Patient Relations Representatives to ensure the best possible service to our patients and their families. If you have a suggestion, question or complaint about any aspect of your care here, we encourage you to contact a Patient Representative from your patient telephone by dialing extension 2590. You may also ask the staff to contact a Patient Representative for you. The Patient Representative will make every effort to resolve your complaint in a timely manner.

You may also voice your concerns or complaints by contacting the state survey agency, the Division of Health Systems Regulations, Department of Public Health, 410 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06134, (860) 509-7400 and/or The Joint Commission, Office of Quality Monitoring, One Renaissance Blvd., Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181, (630) 792-5000 or toll free (800) 994-6610.

Special Needs
If you need an interpreter, we will provide one. If you need special equipment, we will obtain it for you. We will help you contact friends and family by telephone or by mail. Should you have any other special needs; we will do our best to accommodate them. Please notify your nursing staff.

Autopsy Notice
Connecticut Law requires that we inform you, as part of your patient bill of rights, about autopsy rights. The law provides that your legal next of kin has the right, upon your death, to consent to or refuse an autopsy. If an autopsy is desired, your legal next of kin may:

  • Have the autopsy conducted at Stamford Hospital by Stamford Pathology Consultants
  • Have the autopsy conducted at Stamford Hospital by a qualified pathologist not affiliated with Stamford Hospital; this must be arranged and paid for by your next of kin;
  • Have the autopsy conducted at another Facility; this must be arranged and paid for by your next of kin.

Patient Responsibilities 

  • You are responsible for providing accurate and complete medical information to your physician and other involved staff.
  • You are responsible for following the treatment plan developed by your physician.
  • You are responsible for the health consequences if you refuse medical treatment or do not follow your physician’s treatment plan.
  • You are financially responsible for the care that is provided to you in the Hospital.
  • You are responsible for following Hospital rules and regulations regarding medical care and conduct.
  • You are responsible for being considerate of the rights and needs of other patients and Hospital staff. You are also responsible for your own personal property and for being respectful of the property of other patients, staff, and the Hospital.