Your Rights as a Patient

Formal policies have been adopted to assure that your rights to make medical treatment decisions will be honored to the extent permitted by law. This hospital has adopted policies relating to informed consent, implementation of Directives to Physicians under the Texas Natural Death Act and implementation of treatment decisions made by agents appointed under a Medical Power of Attorney. For more information about any of these policies, contact your nurse or physician.

Patient Rights

Northwest Texas Healthcare System (NWTHS) recognizes the basic rights of human beings to be independent in self-expression, decision, action and concern for personal dignity, human relationships and cultural differences. These rights are especially important during periods of illness. NWTHS assumes the responsibility to assure that these rights are preserved for our patients. Each individual patient shall receive quality care in a safe setting regardless of race, sex, religion or ability to pay.

  1. Patients have the right to considerate and respectful care at all times and under all circumstances with recognition of their personal dignity including freedom from abuse and harassment.
  2. Patients have the right, within the law, to personal and informational privacy as manifested by the right to:a. Refuse to talk with or see anyone who is not officially connected with the hospital or who is not directly involved in their care. b. Be interviewed and examined in surroundings designed to assure reasonable privacy. c. Expect that any discussion or consultation involving their case will be conducted discreetly. d. Have their medical records read only by individuals directly involved in their treatment or the monitoring and assessment of care. e. Expect all communications and other records pertaining to their care, including source of payment for treatment, to be treated as confidential.
  3. Patients have the right to know the identity and professional status of individuals providing service to them and to know which physician or other practitioner is primarily responsible for their care.
  4. Patients have the right to obtain from the practitioner responsible for coordinating their care, in terms they can reasonably be expected to understand, complete and current information concerning their diagnosis, treatments and prognosis. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to patients, it should be made available to a legally authorized individual.
  5. Patients have the right to timely access of their medical records.
  6. Patients/families have the right to education regarding:a. pain relief measures. b. their roles in managing pain. c. limitations of pain management.
  7. Patients have the right to reasonably informed participation in decisions involving their healthcare.a. They have the right to receive from their physician information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment. b. They have the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of their actions. c. They have the right to formulate or have an existing advance directive in their medical record. The wishes communicated by these directives will be honored.
  8. Patients have the right to participate in ethical questions that arise during the course of care, including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative devices and foregoing or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.
  9. Patients have the right to freedom from restraints (physical restraints or drugs) used in the provision of medical and surgical care unless clinically necessary.
  10. Patients shall be informed if the hospital proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation or other research/educational projects affecting their care or treatment, and patients have the right to refuse to participate in any such activity.
  11. Patients may not be transferred to another facility unless they 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.
  12. Patients have the right to be informed by the responsible practitioner or his delegate of any continuing healthcare requirements following discharge from the hospital.
  13. Regardless of the source of payment for care, patients have the right to request and receive an itemized bill for services rendered in the hospital.
  14. Patients have the right to a specific grievance procedure to a Peer Review Organization regarding concerns of quality of care or premature discharge.

Patient Responsibilities

Patients have the responsibility to provide accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to their health. Patients are responsible for participating in their healthcare plan and communicating questions about their care to their healthcare providers. Patients are responsible for following hospital rules and regulations as they apply to patient care and conduct. Patients are responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by the healthcare team. If patients refuse to follow the treatment plan, they will be responsible for any adverse outcomes as a result of their actions. Patients are responsible for assuring that the financial obligations of their healthcare are fulfilled as promptly as possible. In the case of minors or incompetent adult patients, the parents or legal guardians shall be accountable for adhering to the responsibilities listed.