Patient Rights & Responsibilities
The following basic patient rights are recognized by North Oaks: For the purposes of defining the scope of the rights and responsibilities set forth in this brochure, “You” shall mean the patient, and if the patient is not capable of or if the patient allows otherwise, the patient’s legally authorized or designated representative.
Access to Care
You shall be accorded impartial access to treatment and/or accommodations that are available and medically indicated, regardless of race, sex, sexual preference, national origin, age, religion, handicap or diagnosis. No patient will be denied emergency or stabilization treatment based on sources of payment.
Respect, Dignity and Comfort
You have the right to considerate, respectful care at all times and under all circumstances, with recognition of your personal dignity and comfort, cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values, beliefs and preferences. You have the right to be protected from mental, physical, sexual and verbal abuse, neglect, harassment or exploitation.
Privacy and Confidentiality
You have, within the law, rights to personal and informational privacy, as described below:
- To have your personal privacy protected during personal hygiene activities, treatments and when requested, as appropriate. (Your right to privacy may be limited in situations that require continuous observation.)
- To refuse to talk with or see anyone not officially connected with North Oaks, including visitors, or persons that are officially connected with North Oaks, but not involved in your care.
- To wear appropriate personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items, as long as they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatments.
- To be interviewed and examined in surroundings designed to afford reasonable visual and auditory privacy. This includes the right to have a person of one’s own sex present during certain parts of a physical examination, treatment or procedure performed by a health care professional of the opposite sex; and the right not to remain disrobed any longer than is required for the medical purpose for which you were asked to disrobe.
- To expect that any discussions involving your care will be conducted discretely and that individuals not involved in your care will not be present without your permission.
- To expect that access to all personal health information, including your medical record, is limited to those individuals designated by law, regulatory policy or authorized as having a “need to know.” Other access will be granted by your authorization. We will make all reasonable efforts to limit use and disclosure of personal health information to the minimum necessary to provide effective care and services.
- To expect all communications and other records pertaining to your care, including the source of payment for treatment, to be treated as confidential.
- To request a transfer to another room if another patient or visitors in that room are unreasonably disturbing you, or to be placed in protective privacy when considered necessary for personal safety.
Safety and Security
You have the right to a reasonable expectation of safety with regard to our practices and your environment. It is strongly recommended that all valuables be sent home and not kept at
North Oaks; however, you have the right to safe storage of valuables that you request be placed in the North Oaks safe.
You have a right to a tobacco-free environment.
You have the right to access protective services. Your care manager can assist you with this need. As a patient, you are considered to be a vital, contributing member of your patient safety team – made up of the many individuals involved in your care. As a member of that team, you have a right to receive care according to the many policies and procedures that have been developed to foster a culture of safety for each patient. Further, as a member of your patient safety team, you have a right to disclosure of information regarding outcomes of your care as they relate to the plan of care directed by your physician.
You have the right to freedom from restraints used in the provision of care unless deemed clinically justified after comprehensive individual assessment.
Your reports of pain will be acknowledged and responded to in a timely manner. Actions taken will be monitored for effectiveness. You have a right to participate in care decisions regarding your pain management.
Identification of Caregivers
You have a right to know the identity and professional status of individuals providing service to you, and to know which physician or other practitioner is primarily responsible for your care. This includes your right to know of the existence of any professional relationship among individuals who are treating you, as well as a relationship to any other health care or educational institutions involved in your care. Participation by patients in clinical training programs or in the gathering of data for research purposes is voluntary.
You have the right to obtain, from the practitioner responsible for your care, complete and current information concerning your diagnosis (to the degree known), treatment, any known prognosis, and anticipated or unanticipated outcomes. You have the right have the right to be involved in your care planning and treatment. Medical information should be communicated in terms you can reasonably be expected to understand. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to you, the information will be made available to a legally authorized individual.
You have a right to inspect, make copies of and request amendment of your medical record. Access to medical records will be granted within a reasonable timeframe. Very limited legal restrictions apply to personal access to medical records.
You have the right to have your physician and a family member or representative of your choice notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
You have the right of access to mail and telephone services.
You have the right of access to interpreters and translators, as necessary. This right is demonstrated by North Oaks’ provision of interpreters or translators for patients who do not speak or understand the predominant language of the community, and for speech- and/or hearing- impaired patients.
You have the right to consent to receive the visitors whom you designate, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member or a friend. You have the right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time. Any restrictions due to your medical condition will be explained to you and implemented as a joint provider-patient decision, when possible. Visitation restrictions also may be necessary due to room accommodations and/or the nature of care provided. North Oaks Health System will also accommodate the wishes of outpatients to have a support person present during their visit, when possible.
North Oaks will accommodate your right to pastoral and other spiritual services. If you wish to be visited by a member of the clergy, notify your nurse.
Participation in Ethical Issues
You have the right to participate in the investigation of ethical questions which may arise during the course of your care. This includes issues of conflict resolution, withholding of resuscitative services, forgoing or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment and other end-of-life decisions.
You have the right to be reasonably informed and to participate in decisions involving your health care, including, but not limited to, information on the formulation of living wills and information on decisions regarding durable health care power-of-attorney. When you provide us with a copy of your advance directive, you have the right to expect North Oaks to comply with your wishes.
One additional type of advance directive is a psychiatric advance directive. This is a legal document stating your choices for mental health care when you are in crisis. This type of advance directive might be prepared by an individual who is concerned that at some time he or she may be subject to involuntary psychiatric commitment or treatment. A psychiatric advance directive may be created only after an evaluation by a physician who declares that you are capable of making reasoned decisions. If you have concerns or questions regarding the psychiatric advance directive, you may contact the Mental Health Advocacy Service at (800) 428-5432.
The existence or lack of an advance directive does not determine your access to care, treatment or services. You have the option to review and revise advance directives. The hospital staff will comply with the physician's orders, unless there is clear evidence available to the hospital personnel that such orders are inconsistent with the patient's declaration or are illegal. In the event the attending physician chooses not to comply with the declaration of a patient, the Chief Medical Officer will be contacted to intervene. With regard to “Do Not Resuscitate” orders during invasive procedures, the anesthesiologist and/or physician will communicate and agree with the patient and family, if available, in the pre-procedure discussion, on the extent of cardiopulmonary resuscitation during the perioperative period. Regarding a psychiatric advance directive, your choices may be disregarded if they have not worked to lessen the crisis, and if you present an immediate danger of physical harm.
You have the right to know who is responsible for authorizing and performing procedures or treatment. To the degree possible, decisions about your health care will be based on a clear, concise explanation of your condition and all proposed technical procedures. This includes the possibilities of any risk of mortality or serious side effects, problems related to recuperation and probability of success. Where medically significant alternatives exist, you shall be so informed. You will not be subjected to any procedure, including video monitoring during examination, without the voluntary, competent and understanding consent of you or your legally authorized representative except where specified in your operative consent.
You have the right to participate in decisions regarding participation in investigational or clinical trial studies. You shall be informed if North Oaks proposes to engage in or perform experimentation or research/educational projects affecting your care or treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in any such activity.
At your own request and expense, you have the right to consult with a specialist regarding your care.
Involvement in Treatment
You have a right to be involved in the planning and treatment decisions regarding your care. You have a right to refuse treatment, to the extent permitted by law.
When refusal of treatment by a patient or his/her legally authorized representative prevents the provision of appropriate care in accordance with professional standards, the relationship with the patient may be terminated upon reasonable notice. A patient’s request for treatment may be denied if the patient’s physician deems it medically unnecessary or inappropriate.
You have the right to receive education regarding treatment requests or refusals. If you refuse treatment or fail to follow the practitioner’s instructions, you will be responsible for outcomes.
Mental Health Rights
For patients who receive treatment for mental illness or developmental disability, in addition to the rights listed herein, have the rights provided in the Louisiana Mental Health Law.
Continuity of Care/Transfer
You may not be transferred to another facility unless you have received a complete explanation of the need for the transfer and the alternatives to such a transfer, and unless the transfer is acceptable to the other facility.
You have the right to be informed by the practitioner responsible for your care, or his/her designee, of any continuing health care requirements following your discharge. You have the right to receive assistance from the physician and appropriate hospital staff in arranging for required follow-up care after discharge.
Regardless of the source of payment for your care, you have the right to request and receive an itemized and detailed explanation of your total bill for services rendered at North Oaks. You have the right to timely notice prior to termination of your eligibility for reimbursement by any third-party payer for the cost of your care.
Hospital Policies & Procedures
You will be informed of North Oaks’ policies and procedures applicable to your conduct as a patient. You are entitled to information about North Oaks’ mechanism for the receipt, review and resolution of patient complaints.
Concerns for your care can be voiced to your nurse, department director/coordinator, the nursing supervisor, or administrative representative. An administrative representative can be reached at (985) 230-6605 to address your unresolved concerns. Written concerns may be sent to the Vice President of Performance Management in North Oaks’ Performance Management Department at Post Office Box 2668, Hammond, LA, 70404. Because your concerns are important to us, we will attempt their immediate resolution. In the event we are unable to do so, a grievance will be filed on your behalf. All attempts will be made to contact you or your legally authorized representative regarding your grievance within 7 working days. The written resolution of your grievance will be sent to you or your legally authorized representative as soon as the investigation is complete. Grievances can usually be resolved in approximately 7 working days; however, if an extensive investigation is warranted, this process may take longer. If that is the case, you will be contacted regarding the progress of our investigation. Patients also have the right to file grievances with the state’s Department of Health and Hospitals, Health Standards Section, Post Office Box 3767, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821-3767, email@example.com, (866)280-7737. Medicare beneficiaries may contact the peer review organization eQhealth Solutions for grievances concerning the quality of care or non-coverage at (800)433-4958 or (225)926-6353. If you wish to speak with The Joint Commission regarding any concerns, call (800) 994-6610.
The following basic responsibilities are recognized by North Oaks:
Provision of Information
As a vital member of your patient safety and care planning team, you have the responsibility to provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, care directives and other matters relating to your health. You have the responsibility to report unexpected changes in your condition to your doctor and/or caregiver. You are responsible for asking questions and/or making it known as to whether you clearly comprehend a planned course of action and what is expected of you.
Compliance with Instructions
You and your family are responsible for following the treatment plan developed with the practitioner(s) primarily responsible for your care. This may include following the instructions of doctors, nurses and others as they carry out your plan and as they enforce North Oaks’ rules and regulations.
You are responsible for expressing any concerns you may have about your ability to follow the proposed treatment plan. You are responsible for reporting any perceived risks or problems with your care, to include pain management. North Oaks will make all reasonable efforts to adapt your treatment plan to your specific needs and limitations. When requested changes are not recommended, you will be informed of the consequences of failing to follow your recommended treatment plan and will accept responsibility for that decision.
You are responsible for keeping appointments, and when unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the responsible practitioner or North Oaks.
North Oaks’ Charges
You, and in some circumstances your family, are responsible for assuring that the financial obligations resulting from your health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible. A patient account representative is available at (985) 230-4567 to assist you.
North Oaks’ Policies & Procedures
You and your family are responsible for following North Oaks’ rules and regulations regarding patient care and conduct.
Respect and Consideration
You and your family are responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and North Oaks’ personnel, for assisting in the control of noise and the number of visitors you receive, and for being respectful of both the property of other persons and North Oaks’ property.
You are responsible for observing the tobacco-free policy at all North Oaks’ properties.
Department Directors/Coordinators, and Nursing Supervisors are available to assist you during your stay. Also available are Administrative Representatives and Officers to provide additional assistance. Please feel free to call the operator by dialing “O” should you have the need to speak with any of the above individuals.
At North Oaks, we consider it a privilege to be involved in your care. If we can, in any way, assist you in your understanding of these rights and responsibilities or with any other aspect of your care, please let us know.