Patient Rights

When you become our patient, you become a partner in your healthcare plan. As our partner you have certain rights and responsibilities. We respect your rights, and we want to make sure you have all the tools you need to communicate your wishes openly and effectively.

Patient Bill of Rights

Florida law requires that your health care provider or health care facility recognize your rights while you are receiving medical care and that you respect the health care provider’s or health care facility’s right to expect certain behavior on the part of patients. You may request a copy of the full text of this law from your health care provider or health care facility. A summary of your rights and responsibilities follows:

  1. A patient has the right to be treated with courtesy and respect, with appreciation of his individual dignity, and with protection of his/her need for privacy
  2. A patient has the right to a prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests
  3. A patient has the right to know who is providing medical services and who is responsible for his care
  4. A patient has the right to know what patient support services are available, including whether an interpreter is available if he does not speak English
  5. A patient has the right to know what rules and regulations apply to his conduct
  6. A patient has the right to be given, by his health care provider, information concerning diagnosis, planned course of treatment, alternatives, risks and prognosis
  7. A patient has the right to refuse any treatment, except as otherwise provided by law
  8. A patient has the right to be given, upon request, full information and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for his care
  9. A patient who is eligible for Medicare has the right to know, upon request and in advance of treatment, whether the health care provider or health care facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate
  10. A patient has the right to receive, upon request and prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care
  11. A patient has the right to receive a copy of a reasonably clear and understandable itemized bill and, upon request, to have the charges explained
  12. A patient has the right to impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations regardless of race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical handicap or source of payment
  13. A patient has the right to treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment
  14. A patient has the right to know if medical treatment is for purposes of experimental research and to give his consent or refusal to participate in such experimental research
  15. A patient has the right to express grievances regarding any violation of his rights, as stated in Florida law, through the grievances procedure of the health care provider or health care facility which served him and to the appropriate state licensing agency.
  16. A patient is responsible for providing to the health care provider, to the best of his or her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to his or her health.
  17. A patient is responsible for reporting unexpected changes in his or her condition to the health care provider.
  18. A patient is responsible for reporting to the health care provider whether he or she comprehends a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him or her.
  19. A patient is responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by the health care provider.
  20. A patient is responsible for keeping appointments and, when he or she is unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the health care provider or health care facility.
  21. A patient is responsible for his or her actions if he or she refuses treatment or does not follow the health care provider’s instructions.
  22. A patient is responsible for assuring that the financial obligations of his or her health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
  23. A patient is responsible for following health care facility rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.

Summary of the Joint Commission Rights and Responsibilities of Individuals

  1. The hospital respects, protects, and promotes patient rights.
  2. The hospital treats the patient in a dignified and respectful manner that supports his or her dignity.
  3. The patient has the right to receive and restrict visitors. Visitation rights include the right to receive the visitors designated by the patient, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend. Also included is the right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time.
  4. The hospital respects the patient’s right to and need for effective communication.
  5. The hospital respects the patient’s cultural and personal values, beliefs, and preferences.
  6. The hospital respects the patient’s right to privacy.
  7. The hospital respects the patient’s right to pain management.
  8. The hospital accommodates the patient’s right to religious and other spiritual services.
  9. The hospital allows the patient to access, request amendment to, and obtain information on disclosures of his or her health information, in accordance with law and regulation.
  10. The hospital allows a family member, friend, or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of stay. 
  11. The hospital allows for the presence of a support individual of the patient’s choice, unless the individual’s presence infringes on others' rights, safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. The individual may or may not be the patient's surrogate decision-maker or legally authorized representative.
  12. The hospital prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
  13. The hospital respects the patient's right to receive information in a manner he or she understands. The hospital provides information in a manner tailored to the patient's age, language, and ability to understand. The hospital provides language interpreting and translation services. The hospital provides information to the patient who has vision, speech, hearing, or cognitive impairments in a manner that meets the patient’s needs.
  14. The hospital respects the patient's right to participate in decisions about his or her care, treatment, and services.
  15. The hospital involves the patient in making decisions about his or her care, treatment, and services, including the right to have his or her family and physician promptly notified of his or her admission to the hospital.
  16. The hospital provides the patient with written information about the right to refuse care, treatment, and services. When a patient is unable to make decisions about his or her care, treatment, and services, the hospital involves a surrogate decision-maker in making these decisions.
  17. The hospital honors the patient's right to give or withhold informed consent.
  18. The hospital honors the patient’s right to give or withhold informed consent to produce or use recordings, films, or other images of the patient for purposes other than his or her care.
  19. The hospital protects the patient and respects his or her rights during research, investigation, and clinical trials. Refusing to participate in research, investigation, or clinical trials or discontinuing participation at any time will not jeopardize his or her access to care, treatment, and services unrelated to the research.
  20. The hospital respects the patient's right to receive information about the individual(s) responsible for, as well as those providing, his or her care, treatment, and services.
  21. The hospital addresses patient decisions about care, treatment, and services received at the end of life. The hospital provides patients with written information about advance directives, forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment, and withholding resuscitative services.
  22. The patient has the right to be free from neglect; exploitation; and verbal, mental, physical, and sexual abuse.
  23. The patient has the right to an environment that preserves dignity and contributes to a positive self-image.
  24. The hospital allows the patient to keep and use personal clothing and possessions, unless this infringes on others’ rights or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated, based on the setting or service.
  25. The hospital supports the resident’s right to choose and communicate with an attending physician, dentist, and other licensed independent practitioner. The hospital makes reasonable attempts to respond to requests from residents to choose a different licensed independent practitioner upon admission and throughout the course of care.
  26. The patient and his or her family have the right to have complaints reviewed by the hospital.
  27. The patient has the right to access protective and advocacy services.

Pediatric/Neonatal Patient Rights:

In addition to the rights and responsibilities above, the following additional rights and responsibilities apply to Pediatric/Neonatal patients and their Parents/Guardians:
  1. Parents/Guardians should set aside time each day to play based on the child’s medical condition and developmental stage.
  2. The hospital provides a “safe, non-threatening” room and playroom environment.
  3. Pediatric/Neonatal patients may take a favorite toy with them to any treatment procedure, provided that it does not interfere with patient care.
  4. Pediatric/Neonatal patient’s may receive visits by siblings and friends during certain times of the day and have a parent or guardian with them at all times.
  5. The hospital will provide an age-appropriate level of explanation for procedures and treatments done by staff. 
  6. All procedures and treatments will be explained to the patient’s parents/guardians prior to provision of those procedures and treatments.
  7. Parents/Guardians must provide health care providers accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to the patient’s health. 
  8. Parents/Guardians must reporting unexpected changes in health conditions to health care provider. 
  9. Parents/Guardians must report to health care provider, whether or not they understand a planned course of action and what is expected of them. 
  10. Parents/Guardians should gain an understanding of the illness, recommended treatments and follow treatment plan as recommended by your health care provider. 
  11. Parents/Guardians should keep appointments and, when unable to do so for any reason, notify the health care provider or facility.
  12. Parents/Guardians should understand all consequences that may result from the refusal of treatment or failing to follow health care provider instructions. 
  13. Parents/Guardians should ensure that all health care financial obligations are fulfilled as promptly as possible. 
  14. Parents/Guardians should help to facilitate the safe delivery of care by reporting any perceived risks to health care provider. 
  15. Parents/Guardians must follow health care facility rules and regulations pertaining to patient care designed for patient safety and the consideration of others.

Palmetto General Hospital encourages patients to share any concerns with staff members. Administration may also be contacted directly.  Filing a complaint will not adversely affect patient care or access to care.  Complaints may be filed with the State of Florida or The Joint Commission:

Agency for Health Care Administration
Consumer Assistance Unit
2727 Mahan Drive, Building 1
Tallahassee, FL  32308
Toll Free: (888) 419-3456
www.ahca.myflorida.com

The Joint Commission
Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181
Tool Free: (800) 994-6610
www.jointcommission.org/report