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Patient Bill of Rights

Sacred Heart Hospital is a fully accredited and approved hospital. Sacred Heart Hospital, its doctors, nurses, and entire staff are committed to your excellent care. It is our policy to respect your individuality and dignity. As a Catholic hospital, it does not engage in the performance of abortions, sterilizations, or euthanasia. Such procedures are not recognized as rights of patients to undergo, or physicians or staff to perform, in this hospital. This “Statement of Patient’s Rights,” endorsed by the administration and staff of this hospital, applies to all patients and is published to be certain that you know your rights and responsibilities as a Sacred Heart Hospital patient. The statements reflect the institution’s corporate obligations, policies, and moral and religious beliefs.

Your Rights

  1. You have the right to respectful care by competent personnel that optimizes your comfort and dignity.
  2. You have the right, in collaboration with your physician, to make medical decisions involving your health care. This right applies to the family and/or guardian of neonates, children, and adolescents. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania law applies to the rights of minors in health care decisions.
  3. You have the right to every consideration of your privacy concerning your own medical care program. Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment are considered confidential and should be conducted discretely, with as much visual and auditory privacy as reasonably possible.
  4. You have the right to have all information and records pertaining to your medical care treated as confidential, except as otherwise provided by law or third party contractual arrangements. You have the right that your medical records be read only by individuals directly involved in your care, by individuals monitoring the quality of care, or individuals authorized by law or regulation. You will be asked to sign a statement about your rights of privacy of your medical record when you receive care at this hospital.
  5. You have the right to know what hospital rules and regulations apply to your conduct as a patient.
  6. You have the right to expect emergency procedures to be implemented without unnecessary delay.
  7. You have the right to medical and nursing services without discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference, natural origin, age, handicap, or source of payment.
  8. You have the right to good quality care and high professional standards that are continually maintained and reviewed. The review of quality is stated as a responsibility of this hospital and individuals will monitor your care both during and after that care to assure quality is maintained.
  9. You have the right to full information from your physician, in layman’s terms, concerning your diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis, including information about alternative treatments and possible complications. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to you, the information shall be given on your behalf to your next-of-kin or other appropriate person.
  10. You have the right, upon request, to be given the name of your attending physician, the names of all other physicians directly participating in your care, and the names and professional status of other health care persons having direct contact with you.
  11. Except for emergencies, the physician must obtain the necessary informed consent prior to the start of any procedure or treatment.
  12. You have the right to participate in the consideration of ethical issues surrounding your care. This includes the right to formulate an “advance directive” or to appoint a surrogate to make health care decisions on your behalf. You are not required to have an advance directive in order to receive care or treatment at this hospital. In the event you are unable to give informed consent, a legally responsible party has the right to discuss ethical issues and make health care decisions if you have designated them as surrogate. The hospital will honor your decisions as received in writing when they match our philosophy and ethics.
  13. You have the right to refuse any drugs, treatment, or procedure offered by the hospital to the extent permitted by law, and a physician shall inform you of the medical consequences of your refusal of any drugs, treatment, or procedure.
  14. You have the right not to be involved in any experimental, research, or educational activities. Sacred Heart Hospital trains health professionals as this hospital believes professional education programs improve our quality and service to patients. You may be asked to allow such students to participate under supervision in your care. You have the right to refuse this participation without changing the quality or level of your care.
  15. You have the right to assistance in obtaining consultation with another physician at your request and your own expense.
  16. You have the right to be communicated with in a manner that is clear, concise, and understandable. If you do not understand spoken English or are unable to hear, you should have access, where possible, to an interpreter.
  17. You or your designee shall be provided by the hospital, upon request, access to all information in your medical records unless access is specifically restricted by the attending physician for medical reasons.
  18. You have the right to expect good management techniques to be implemented within the hospital taking into consideration effective use of your time and your personal comfort.
  19. When this hospital cannot meet the request or need for care because of conflict with our mission or philosophy or incapacity to meet your needs or request, you may be transferred to another facility when medically permissible. Such transfer should be made only after you (or your next-of-kin or other legally responsible representative) have received complete information and an explanation concerning the need for and alternatives to such a transfer. The institution to which you are to be transferred must first have accepted you for medical transfer.
  20. You have the right to make the decision to withhold resuscitation services or the foregoing or withdrawal of life sustaining treatment within the limits of the law and the policies of this hospital.
  21. You have the right to be free from any form of restraint or seclusion that is not medically necessary, or for the purpose of patient safety. Restraints, either physical or drug, may not be applied as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation of staff.
  22. You have the right for appropriate professional assessment and management of pain within patient safety guidelines.
  23. You have the right without recrimination to voice complaints regarding your care, to have those complaints reviewed and, when possible, resolved as soon as possible.
  24. You have the right to examine and receive a detailed explanation of your bill.
  25. You have the right to full information and counseling on the availability of known financial resources for your health care.
  26. You have the right to be informed upon discharge from this hospital of your continuing health care requirements following discharge and the means for meeting them.
  27. You cannot be denied the right of access to an individual or agency who is authorized to act on your behalf to assert or protect the rights set out in this section.
  28. You have the right to be informed of your rights at the earliest possible moment in the course of your hospitalization. Sacred Heart Hospital is interested in keeping you in the best health possible. If you feel you are not being treated fairly or properly, you have the right to discuss this with your doctor, nurse, other health workers, or the Hospital President, or you may write a letter to the Hospital President. All correspondence will receive prompt and personal attention.

Your Responsibilities

  1. You have an obligation to bring with you information about past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to your health when you seek care at this hospital. You have the responsibility to be open and honest with us about instructions you received concerning your health from others.
  2. You have the responsibility to keep appointments or to telephone the hospital when you cannot keep a scheduled appointment. When tests, procedures, or surgery are scheduled for you, it is your responsibility to keep that appointment or notify us otherwise.
  3. You have the obligation to let us know immediately if you do not understand our need for information or health instructions given to you. If you feel that you cannot follow instructions for whatever reason you need to notify us.
  4. You have the responsibility to cooperate in the treatment program that your doctor specifies. In practicing in this hospital, your doctor is obligated to exercise his or her best medical judgment in order to help you. Those therapies the doctor recommended need to be followed by you with the assistance of the professional staff of this hospital.
  5. You have the responsibility to be considerate of other patients. It is your responsibility to cooperate with health care personnel who may wish to restrict your visitors or caution them about noise or conduct that may be annoying nearby patients. You are expected to respect the property of others and this hospital.
  6. You have the responsibility to be prompt about payment of hospital bills, to provide information necessary to the insurance processing of your bills, and to be prompt about asking any questions you may have concerning your bills. You are responsible for providing up-to-date insurance and personal financial information to facilitate the billing for services you receive.

You are expected not to interfere with your medical treatments by taking drugs or medications not prescribed by your attending physician. Further, you are expected not to endanger your health while in this hospital by use of alcohol, tobacco products, or toxic substances. As a smoke-free facility, you accept responsibility to not smoke tobacco while a patient in this hospital.

Sacred Heart HealthCare System | 421 Chew Street | Allentown, PA | 18102 | 610-776-4500 | Copyright 2019 - All Rights Reserved
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