Patient Rights and Responsibilities
All patients have a right to the following:
A. Access - The right to receive care without discrimination due to race, color, religion, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, culture, physical or mental disability, language, genetic information, source of payment or socioeconomic status.
B. Respect and Dignity - The right to considerate, respectful care given by competent personnel that reflects consideration of the patient’s cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, personal values, beliefs and preferences and that optimizes the patient’s comfort and dignity while contributing to a positive patient self-image.
C. Communication - The right to:
- Be informed of Patient Rights and Responsibilities at the earliest possible time of the patient’s treatment in a manner and form that the patient understands.
- Know what health center rules and regulations apply to patient conduct.
- Know the name of the provider who has primary responsibility for the patient’s care, and the identity and function of all individuals providing his/her care, treatment and services.
- Request a specific health care provider at UHS and to change primary or specialty providers. The UHS clinician staff includes physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
- Be communicated with in a manner that is clear, concise and understandable. Information provided will be appropriate to the age and cognition of the patient.
- Be provided with an interpreter through Language Line if the patient does not speak English.
- Be provided with alternative communication techniques for patients with vision, speech, hearing and cognitive impairments.
- Be informed about unanticipated outcomes of care, treatment and services that relate to sentinel events considered reviewable by the AAAHC. The provider responsible for the patient’s care, or his or her designee, informs the patient about the unanticipated outcome when the patient is not already aware of the occurrence or when further discussion is needed.
D. Quality Care Delivery - The right to:
- Receive care in a safe and secure environment which incorporates current standards of practice for patient environmental safety, infection control and security.
- Be free from all forms of mental, physical, sexual, and verbal abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- Expect good management techniques to be implemented to effectively use the patient’s time and to avoid the personal discomfort of the patient.
- Receive high quality care based on professional standards that are continually maintained and reviewed.
E. Participation in Care - The right to:
- Participate in decisions concerning your health care except in the rare circumstance when your participation is against the best medical practice and therefore is potentially harmful to you.
- Be informed about proposed care options including the risks and benefits, other care options, what could happen without care, and the expected outcome(s) of any medical care provided, including any outcomes that were not expected.
- Be involved in all aspects of care and to take part in decisions about care.
- Request care. This right does not mean the patient can demand care or services that are not medically needed.
- Participate in the consideration of ethical issues surrounding his/her care.
- Receive a prompt and safe transfer to the care of others when UHS is not able to meet the patient’s request or need for care or service. Patients have the right to know why a transfer to another health care facility might be required, as well as learning about other options for care.
- Receive assistance to obtain consultation with another provider at the patient’s request and own expense.
F. Pain Management - The right to appropriate assessment, management and relief of pain, including providing feedback on pain control.
G. Consent - The right to:
- Give informed consent. Except for emergencies, the provider must obtain the necessary informed consent prior to the start of any procedure or treatment or both. This information shall include the name of the person performing the procedure or treatment, a description of the procedure or treatment, the medically significant risks involved, alternate course of treatment or non-treatment and the risks involved in each.
- Refuse any care, therapy, drug, treatment or procedure that a provider is recommending. The provider will discuss the medical consequences of such refusal. There are times when care must be provided by law or regulation.
- Give consent prior to the start of any experimental, research, donor program or educational activities in which the patient may be asked to participate. The patient or the patient’s legal representative may, at any time, refuse to continue in any such study/program to which informed consent has previously been given. Refusal to participate or discontinuation of participation will not compromise the patient’s right to access care, treatment or services.
- Give consent for UHS providers and/or staff to take photos, make recordings, or film patients if the purpose is for something other than patient identification, care, diagnosis or treatment.
H. Advance Directive - The right to formulate an advance directive, revise an existing advance directive or to appoint a surrogate to make healthcare decisions on the patient’s behalf. These decisions will be honored within the limits of the law and UHS’ mission. The patient is not required to have or complete an advance directive in order to receive healthcare.
I. Privacy - The right to:
- Check-in, be interviewed, examined, treated and have care discussed in places designed to protect privacy.
- Expect all communications and records related to care to be treated as confidential except as otherwise provided by law or third-party contractual arrangements.
- Receive written notice that explains how personal health information will be used and shared with other health care professionals involved in the patient’s care.
- Be informed about any circumstances in which information about the patient must be disclosed or reported due to law or regulation.
- Limit who can receive information about the patient, including demographic information, the patient’s presence or location in the clinical area or information about the patient’s medical condition.
- Approve or refuse release of information to the fullest extent provided by law.
J. Medical Record - The right to:
- Access all information contained in the patient’s medical record other than psychotherapy notes, unless access is restricted by the attending provider for medical reasons.
- Request a copy of the patient’s medical record (note: there may be a fee for the copying of the medical record). If the patient feels that the information is incorrect, he/she may request that the information be amended. UHS may deny the request to amend information under certain specific circumstances as permitted by law.
K. Financial Charges - The right to:
- Examine and receive a detailed explanation of the patient’s bill.
- Full information and counseling on the availability of known financial resources to help the patient in payment of healthcare bills.
L. Complaint/Grievance/Feedback - The right to:
- Voice complaints/grievances/feedback, either verbal or written, regarding the patient’s care and recommend changes without being subject to coercion, discrimination, reprisal or unreasonable interruption of care, treatment or services.
- Have the complaint and/or grievance be addressed in a timely and reasonable manner. Those complaints and/or grievances regarding situations that endanger the patient are reviewed immediately. For all others, attempts will be made to respond within 7 business days.
- Be provided with UHS’ determination regarding the complaint/grievance
- Grievances may be made directly to UHS administration:
502B Student Health Center
University Park, PA 16802
- Utilize “How Was Your Visit” confidential comment forms and collection boxes located in reception areas of the Student Health Center.
The following patient responsibilities are presented to the patient and family in the spirit of mutual trust and respect.
A. Provision of Information - Patients and their families must provide, to the best of their knowledge accurate and complete information about:
- Present complaints
- Past illnesses
- Medications (including over-the-counter products/dietary supplements)
- Allergies or sensitivities
- Living will, medical power of attorney or other directives
- Any other matters relating to the patient’s health.
- Patients and their families must report perceived risks in the patient’s care and unexpected changes in the patient’s condition.
B. Asking Questions
- Patients and their families must ask questions when they do not understand their care, treatment and service or what they are expected to do. The patients and families are responsible for reporting whether they clearly comprehend a contemplated course of action.
- Become informed, through available printed and/or electronic material and/or discussion with Health Service staff, about the scope of basic services offered, their cost and the necessity for additional medical insurance
C. Following Instructions
- Patients and their families must follow the care, treatment and service plan developed. They are expected to help the providers, nurses and allied health personnel in their efforts to care for the patient by following their instructions and medical orders.
- Patients and families should express any concerns about their ability to follow the proposed care plan or course of care, treatment or services. UHS makes every effort to adapt the plan to specific needs and limitations of the patient. When such adaptations to the care, treatment or service plan are not recommended, the patients and their families are informed of the consequences of the care, treatment and service alternatives of not following the proposed course.
- The patient and their families are responsible for the outcomes if they refuse care or do not follow the care, treatment and service plan
D. Following UHS Rules and Regulations
- Patients and their families must follow UHS rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
- Patients are expected not to take drugs that have not been prescribed by their provider and administered by clinical staff.
E. Respect and Consideration
- Patients and their families or other visitors are expected to be considerate of the rights of other patients and UHS personnel. This includes obtaining consent from all individuals before including them in patient or family-generated audiovisual activities.
- Arrive as scheduled for appointments or notify UHS in advance in case of canceled appointments.
- Patients and their families or visitors are expected to observe the no smoking policy and fragrance-free policy of the organization.
- Patients and their families or visitors are expected to respect the property of other persons and that of UHS.
- Maintain a healthy life-style and actively engage in their health care.
F. Financial Charges - The patient is responsible for assuming financial responsibility of payment for all services rendered through third party payors (insurance companies), as applicable, and being personally responsible for payment of any services that are not covered by his/her insurance.