Friday, May 23, 2014

Know Your Rights!

The Patient Self-Determination Act was passed in 1990 in an effort to increase awareness of patient rights.  For many years, the Patient Bill of Rights was followed by most health care facilities, but in 2003, the American Hospital Association adopted the Patient Care Partnership, which summarizes patient rights into several categories:

1.  High quality hospital care:  patients have the right to expect considerate and respectful care from health care professionals.
2.  Clean and safe environment: patients can expect that health care facilities maintain appropriate levels of cleanliness, including clean equipment and wearing gloves.
3.  Involvement in your care: 
       To be informed of treatment options, as well as benefits and risks
       To be able to refuse treatment options
       To be informed of advance directives
       To be able to view your medical record
4.  Protection of privacy:  All health care facilities must comply with HIPAA’s Privacy Rule, which requires the safeguarding of any protected health information.
5.  Help when leaving the hospital: assistance with any follow-up care required.
6.  Help with billing claims.

It is important to know your rights as a health care consumer.  Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions, request clarification, or to stand up for yourself in a health care setting.  Your involvement in your own care is essential for a positive outcome!

For more information regarding the Patient Care Partnership, please see:

Valerie J Connor, MA CCC-SLP


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