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HOME arrow PATIENT & VISITORS arrow Patient Stay Guide
Patient Responsibilities

Each hospital must inform every patient (or their representative) of his or her rights in advance of furnishing or discontinuing patient care whenever possible.  

Exercise of Rights:

The patient or representative has the right to:

  • Be informed of your rights before patient care is furnished or discontinued whenever possible.
  • Be treated kindly and respectfully by all hospital personnel. 
  • Receive complete and current information concerning your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in terms you can understand.  When it is not medically advisable to give such information, it should be made available to an appropriate person on your behalf. 
  • An explanation of any proposed procedure or treatment.  The explanation should include:
    • A description of the nature and purpose of the treatment or procedure;
    • Known risks or serious side effects;
    • Treatment alternatives;
  • Know the name, identity and professional status of the person providing services to you and to know who is primarily responsible for your care.
  • Expect that a family member or representative and your physician will be notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Participate in developing and implementing your plan of care.
  • Make informed decisions about your care.
  • Formulate an Advance Directive, such as a living will or a healthcare power of attorney and to have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives.  These documents express your choices about your future care or name someone to make healthcare decisions if you are unable.  If you have a written Advance Directive, you should provide a copy to the hospital, your family and your physician. 
  • Accept medical care or refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal. 
    Have personal privacy concerning your own medical care program.  Care discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly.  Those persons not directly involved in the care must have your permission to be present. 
  • Expect that all communications and clinical records pertaining to your care will be treated confidentially. 
  • Access information contained in your medical records within a reasonable time frame. 
  • Receive evaluation, service and/or referral as indicated by the urgency of your situation.  When medically permissible, you may be transferred to another facility only after having received complete information and explanation concerning the need for and alternative to such a transfer.  The facility to which you will be transferred must first accept the transfer. 
  • Exercise cultural and spiritual beliefs that do not interfere with the well being of others or the planned course of medical therapy for the patient. 
    Know if your care involves any experimental methods of treatment.  If so, you have the right to consent or refuse to participate. 
  • Be informed by the practitioner of any continuing health care requirements following discharge from the hospital. 
  • Examine your bill and receive an explanation of the charges regardless of the source of payment for your care. 
  • Be informed of the hospital rules and regulations applicable to your conduct as a patient. 
  • Use the Spencer Hospital complaint process for submitting a written or verbal complaint to the Patient Representative, your health care practitioners, or hospital administration. 
  • Receive a written response from our hospital regarding your complaint within ten working days from the receipt of the letter by the Patient Representative.
    Refer quality of care concerns or premature discharge grievances to the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care, which is the external peer review organization for Iowa. 
  • Be free from restraints or seclusions of any form that are not medically necessary or that are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • Receive information about rights as a Medicare beneficiary at admission.
  • Refer, at your request, beneficiary complaints to the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care.
  • Receive care in a safe setting.
  • Be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.   

Patient Responsibilities

The patient or representative has the responsibility to:

  • To provide accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to your health, including Advance Directives and reporting whether you clearly comprehend a contemplated course or action and what is expected. 
  • To follow the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily responsible for care.  This may include following the instructions of nurses and other health care professionals as they implement the practitioner’s orders and enforce the applicable hospital rules and regulations.
  • For your actions if you refuse treatment or if you do not follow the practitioner’s instructions.
  • To assure that the financial obligations of your care are fulfilled as promptly as possible. 
  • To follow hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
  • To be considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel, and for assisting in the control of noise, and number of visitors in your room.