Patient Rights & Responsibilities

University Hospitals recognizes that all patients have basic individual rights and responsibilities; and, as such, will endeavor to support and respect the basic human dignity of each patient as well as the civil, constitutional and statutory rights of each patient. UH respects the patient’s rights to participate in decisions about his/her care, treatment and services, and to give or withhold informed consent. The patient or designated surrogate may exercise his/her rights without fear of coercion, discrimination or retaliation. A designated surrogate or proxy decision-maker can exercise these rights on the patient’s behalf if the patient lacks decision-making capacity, is legally incompetent, or is a minor.

Each patient has the right to:

  • Considerate and respectful care. This includes the right to be free from all forms of harassment, neglect, exploitation, and verbal, mental, physical and sexual abuse.
  • Reasonable access to care.
  • Effective communication in a manner he/she understands.
  • Know the identity and professional status and the role of those caring for him or her.
  • Impartial access to treatment regardless of race, religion, sex, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or handicap.
  • Have support persons* present while hospitalized subject to certain exceptions to ensure the care of our patients and the safety of patients and staff.
  • Receive assistance with physical disabilities and limitations, including assistance in communication for patients with vision, speech, hearing or cognitive impairments.
  • Be fully informed in advance of furnishing or discontinuing care or treatment whenever possible.
  • Have his/her spiritual and pastoral needs accommodated, and his/her cultural and personal values, beliefs, and preferences respected.
  • Know the reason for any transfer within or outside the hospital.
  • Make informed decisions regarding his or her care and treatment, be informed of his or her health status, and be involved in care planning and treatment in terms the patient can understand.
  • Refuse care and receive information on possible consequences of this refusal.
  • Expect that all communications and records pertaining to his/her care will be treated as confidential by the hospital, except in cases such as suspected abuse and public health hazards when reporting is permitted or required by law.
  • Access information contained in his or her clinical records within a reasonable time frame.
  • Be informed of hospital policies and practices that relate to patient care, treatment and responsibilities, and to be informed of the hospital’s charges for services and available payment methods.
  • Be fully informed of and to consent or refuse to participate in any unusual, experimental or research project without compromising his or her access to the facility services.
  • Receive care in a safe setting.
  • Communicate with people outside of the hospital; restrictions are made with the patient’s (or family, if appropriate) participation.
  • Decline services by students.
  • Personal privacy.
  • Access assistance in domestic violence situations.
  • Know the relationship(s) of the hospital to other persons or organizations participating in the provision of his/her care.
  • Be free from restraints of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • Formulate advance directives and to have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital honor these directives.
  • Be informed of his/her rights in a language the patient understands.
  • Have a family member or representative of his/her choice and his/her own physician notified promptly of his or her admission to the hospital.
  • Be informed of the right to have pain treated as effectively as possible.
  • Choose a post-hospital care provider.
  • Receive a written text of the “Patient Rights and Responsibilities” upon admission and available to all outpatients. These rights shall also be posted in patient areas that are easily accessible for review by the public.
  • Be informed about outcomes of care, including unanticipated outcomes.
  • Freely voice complaints without being subject to coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.
  • Access guardianship, patient advocacy, and child/adult protective services.
  • Access guardianship, patient advocacy and child/adult protective services.
  • Ask for and receive prompt review and resolution of a complaint.
  • It is not required but is often helpful to submit your grievance in writing to be reviewed by the hospital’s formal grievance process. Review is performed by a committee of hospital employees who may include doctors, nurses, supervisors, administrators and quality review staff. The patient medical record will be reviewed and members of the team who cared for the patient will be interviewed. Upon completion of the investigation which typically takes up to 30 days, a written response is sent back to the patient outlining the findings.
  • If you prefer not to utilize the hospital’s formal grievance process, you may choose to contact the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring (800-994-6610), Ohio Department of Health (800-342-0553), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (877-267-2323), or Medicare Peer Review Organization (216-447-9604).

* A spouse, family member, same-sex partner, friend, or other individual who supports the patient during his or her hospital stay and may exercise the patient’s visitation rights on his or her behalf. There is no limit on who may be designated a support person by the patient--there is no restriction based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

The patient is responsible for:

  • Providing, to the best of his/her knowledge, accurate and complete information about matters relating to his/her health.
  • Following the treatment plan.
  • His/her actions if he/she refuses treatment or fails to follow the care plan.
  • Being considerate and respectful to other patients, hospital personnel, hospital property and the property of others.
  • Providing all needed information for insurance processing and for assuring that the financial obligations of his/her care are fulfilled.
  • Asking questions when he/she does not understand information.
  • Reporting episodes of pain and the effectiveness or lack of response to pain treatment.
  • Reporting perceived risks and/or unexpected change in condition during the course of his/her care.
  • Following all hospital rules and regulations. All staff will be educated regarding Patient’s Rights in orientation and annual re-education.
  • Copies of the policies and procedures related to patient’s rights and responsibilities are available to all staff.

All staff is educated regarding Patient’s Rights in orientation and annual reeducation. Copies of the policies and procedures related to patient’s rights and responsibilities are available to all staff.

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