Patient Rights and Responsibilities
At Highline Medical Center, our first commitment is to you. We believe your rights as a patient are important, and we will do everything possible to respect them.
As a patient at Highline Medical Center, your rights include, but are not limited to:
- The right to exercise these rights without regard to gender, economic status, educational background, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, or marital status or the source of payment for care.
- The right to reasonable access to care.
- The right to personal privacy.
- The right to receive care in a safe setting.
- The right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
- The right to communication. If communication restrictions are necessary for patient care, you have the right to know what those restrictions are and to have them documented and explained to you and your family.
- The right to make informed decisions regarding your care through an informed process. This right includes being informed of your health status, being involved in care planning and treatment and being able to request or refuse treatment.
- The right to care that is considerate and respectful of your personal values and beliefs.
- The right to participate in the development and implementation of your care plan.
- The right to participation of family in care decisions when appropriate.
- The right to have a family member or representative of your choice and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
- The right to be free from restraints of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
- The right to information about pain and pain relief measures, including a concerned staff person committed to pain prevention, health professionals who respond quickly to reports of pain and state-of-the-art pain management.
- The right to know the name of the physician who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care and the names and professional relationships of other physicians and non-physicians who will see you.
- The right to obtain another medical opinion or change physicians.
- The right to full consideration of privacy concerning the medical care program. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly.
- The right to be advised as to the reason for the presence of any individual.
- The right to confidentiality of your clinical records. For further details on how we may use and disclose your medical information, please refer to our Notice of Privacy Practices.
- The right to inspect and receive a copy of the medical information that we maintain for you with some limited exceptions. For further details, refer to our Notice of Privacy Practices.
- The right to participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of your care, including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services, forgoing or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment and participation in investigational studies or clinical trials.
- The right to formulate an advanced directive, durable power of attorney for healthcare and living will.
- The right to have hospital staff practitioners who provide care comply with these directives.
- The right to have your spiritual needs met through chaplains, visiting clergy or qualified volunteers.
- The right to end-of-life care.
- The right to protective services.*
- The right to refuse treatment or leave the hospital, even if it is against medical advice.
- The right to a complete explanation of the need to transfer to another facility and the alternative to such a transfer.
- The right to reasonable responses to any reasonable requests for service.
- The right to make a complaint without fear of retribution or denial of care.
- The right to resolution of complaint in a timely manner.
- The right to make a complaint. If you have a complaint or a concern, contact your nurse or caregiver. If you feel that the issue has not been resolved to your satisfaction, please ask to speak to the charge nurse or department director. You may also contact the hospital's Patient Representative at (206) 988-5791/TTY (206) 248-2671. If you have concerns that have not been resolved to your satisfaction by the hospital, you may contact the Department of Health toll-free at 1-800-633-6828 or The Joint Commission toll-free at 1-800-944-6610.
- The right to have the services of an interpreter (when available) if you do not speak or understand the language of the community.
- The right to have access to telecommunication devices if deaf.
- The right to receive a detailed copy of your bill and explanation of charges regardless of source of payment.
- The right to have all patients' rights apply to the person who may have legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf.
- The right to request assistance with discharge planning.
- The right to donate organs and other tissues with medical staff input and direction by family or surrogate decision makers.
*Protective services determine the need for protective intervention, correct hazardous conditions or situations in which vulnerable adults are unable to care for themselves, and investigate evidence of neglect, abuse, or exploitation. Such services for children help families recognize the cause of any problems and strengthen parental ability to provide acceptable care. Protective services can include guardianship and advocacy services, conservatorship, state survey, and certification agency, state licensure office, the state ombudsman program, and the protection advocacy network.
You also have a responsibility to yourself and to Highline to play an active role in your healthcare.
As a patient at Highline Medical Center, you have the following responsibilities (these responsibilities also apply to the person who may have legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf):
- To actively participate in decisions regarding your healthcare.
- To provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about complaints, past illnesses and hospitalizations, medications (including the use of herbal remedies) and other matters relating to your health.
- To ask for clarification about any aspect of your care that you do not understand.
- To follow your physician's advice and the treatment plan and express any concerns you may have about your ability to follow the proposed
- To accept the consequences and outcomes of failing to follow the recommended course of treatment or using other treatments.
- To notify your physician or nurse if you notice any change in your health.
- To ask your doctor what to expect regarding pain and pain management; to discuss pain relief options with your doctor or nurse; to work with your doctor or nurse to develop a pain management plan; to ask for pain relief when pain first begins; to help the doctor or nurse measure your pain; and to tell the doctor or nurse if your pain is not relieved.
- To demonstrate respect and consideration for other patients, staff and hospital policies, rules and regulations.
- To let your nurse know if you do not wish to have your name and general condition released to callers. All other information will automatically be withheld unless you indicate otherwise.
- To be financially responsible for care and treatment received.