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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

The following basic patient rights are recognized by North Oaks. For the purposes of this information, “You” means the patient, and if the patient is not capable of understanding, or if the patient allows otherwise, the patient’s legally authorized or designated representative.

Access to Care

You shall receive impartial access to treatment and/or accommodations that are available and medically indicated, regardless of race, sex, sexual preference, national origin, age, religion, disability 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 and 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 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 where others who are not involved in your care cannot see or hear. 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 away from others and that people 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 release of personal health information to the minimum necessary to provide effective care and services.
  • To expect all communications and other records about 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 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.

Restraints

You have the right to freedom from restraints used in the provision of care unless deemed clinically justified after comprehensive individual assessment.

Pain Management

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 people providing services to you, and to know which doctor or other practitioner is primarily responsible for your care. This includes your right to know of any professional relationship among people who are treating you, as well as any relationship to 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.

Information

You have the right to receive, 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 to be involved in your care planning and treatment. Medical information should be communicated in terms you can 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 changes to 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.

Communication

You have the right to have your doctor and a family member or representative of your choice notified promptly of your admission to the hospital. If you are incapacitated, North Oaks will promptly make reasonable attempts to identify and notify a family member and your doctor of your admission.

You have the right to mail access and telephone services.

You have the right to interpreters and translators, as necessary. North Oaks provides 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.

Visitation

You have the right to agree 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 permission for an individual to visit 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.

Pastoral Care

You have the 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.

Advance Directives

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 a living will 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.

Whether or not you have 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 doctor’s orders, unless there is clear evidence available to the hospital personnel that such orders do not follow the patient’s wishes or are illegal. In the event the attending physician chooses not to comply with the patient’s wishes, the Chief Medical Officer will be contacted to intervene. With regard to “Do Not Resuscitate” orders during invasive procedures, the anesthesiologist and/or doctor will talk to the patient and family, if available, before the procedure, and agree 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.

Informed Consent

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 death or serious side effects, problems related to recovery and probability of success. Where medically significant treatment choices 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.

Consultation

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 the right to request a discharge planning evaluation to identify any care needs you may have after you leave the hospital. Please communicate your needs to the nurse or case manager.

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 doctor 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

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 after you leave North Oaks. You have the right to receive help from the doctor and appropriate hospital staff in arranging for required follow-up care after you leave North Oaks.

Hospital Charges

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 provided to you at North Oaks. You have the right to timely notice before you become ineligible 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 how North Oaks receives, reviews and resolves patient complaints.

Concerns

Please speak to your nurse, department Director/Manager, the Nursing Supervisor, or Administrative Representative about any concerns you have about your care. 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 to address them right away. If 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, Health Standards Section, Post Office Box 3767, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821-3767, hss.mail@la.gov, (866) 280-7737.

Medicare beneficiaries may contact the quality improvement organization KEPRO for grievances concerning the quality of care or non-coverage toll-free at 1 (888) 315-0636. If you wish to speak with The Joint Commission regarding any patient safety concerns, you may contact them at www.jointcommission.org, using the “Report a Patient Safety Event” link in the “Action Center” on the home page of the website; by fax to 630-792-5636; by mail to The Office of Quality and Patient Safety (OQPS), The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181. Report must include the health care organization’s name, street address, city and state.