Patient Rights & Responsibilities

The basic rights of Patients, including neonates, adolescents and/or guardians, for independence of expression, decision, actions, and concern of personal dignity and human relationships shall be respected and observed by all hospital staff. Reasonable and responsible behavior on the parts of Patients, their Relatives, and Friends is expected at all times.


Hays Medical Center and the medical staff have adopted the following statement of patient rights. This list shall include but not be limited to the patient’s right to:

  • Receive a written statement of his/her rights as a patient in advance of, or when discontinuing, the provision of care. The patient may appoint a representative to receive this information should he/she so desire;
  • Exercise these rights without regard to sex or cultural, economic, educational or religious background or the source of payment for care;
  • Considerate and respectful care, provided in a safe and secure environment, free from all forms of abuse or harassment;
  • Remain free from seclusion or restraints of any form that are not medically necessary and are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff;
  • Be provided with the name of the physician who has primary responsibility for coordinating his/her care and the names and professional relationships of other physicians and health care providers who will see him/her;
  • Receive information from his/her physician about his/her illness, his/her course of treatment and his/her prospects for recovery in terms that he/she can understand;
  • Receive as much information about any proposed treatment or procedure as he/she may need in order to give informed consent or to refuse the course of treatment. Except in emergencies, this
  • information shall include a description of the procedure of treatment, the medically significant risks involved in the treatment, alternate course of treatment or non-treatment and the risks involved in each and to know the professional status of the person who will carry out the procedure or treatment;
  • Participate in the development and implementation of his/her plan of care personally or by his/her representative, and actively participate in decisions regarding his/her medical care. To the extent permitted by law, this includes the right to request and /or refuse treatment;
  • Formulate advance directives regarding his/her health care, and have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives (to the extent provided by state laws and regulations);
  • Send and/or receive visitors, mail, telephone calls or other forms of communication with restriction. If restrictions are required for therapeutic reasons, the patient and/or family will be informed of the rational for restrictions.
  • Have his/her family representative, and/or personal physician notified promptly of his/her admission to the hospital;
  • Be provided with full consideration of privacy concerning his/her medical care program. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discretely. The patient has the right to be advised as to the reason for the presence of any individual involved in his/her health care.
  • Confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to his/her care and his/her stay in the hospital. His/her written permission will be obtained before his/her medical records can be made available to anyone not directly concerned with his/her care;
  • Access information contained in his/her medical record within a reasonable time frame (usually within 48 hours of request);
  • Be provided with reasonable responses to any reasonable request he/she may make for service within the hospital’s capacity, it’s stated vision, and applicable law and regulations;
  • Leave the hospital even against the advice of his/her physician;
  • Expect reasonable continuity of care and to know in advance the time and location of appointment as well as the physician providing the care;
  • Be advised of the hospital grievance process, should he/she wish to communicate a concern regarding the quality of the care he/she receives or if he/she feels determined the discharge date is premature. Notification of the grievance process includes: Whom to contact to file a grievance, and that he/she will be provided with a written notice of the grievance determination that contains the name of the hospital contact person, the steps taken on his/her behalf to investigate, the results of the grievance and the grievance completion date;
  • Be advised if hospital/personal physician proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting his/her care or treatment. The patient has the right to refuse to participate in such research projects;
  • Be informed by his/her physician or a delegate of his/her physician of the continuing health care requirements following his/her discharge from the hospital;
  • Be advised that with the patient’s permission, family members are encouraged to participate in care decisions;
  • If the patient has the legal capacity to exercise his/her rights, the patient has the right to exclude any or all family members from participating in his/her care decisions;
  • Examine and receive an explanation of his/her bill regardless of the source of payment
  • Know which hospital rules and policies apply to his/her conduct while a patient;
  • Have all patients’ rights apply to the person who may have legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on behalf of the patient
  • Be provided with information necessary to enable him/her to make treatment decisions that reflect his/her wishes and that they will be supported by hospital personnel;
  • Have clinical decisions concerning his/her care to be based solely on identified health care needs, without regard to the cost of the services or treatment or the patient’s ability to pay;
  • To optimize comfort and dignity through treatment as desired by the patient or surrogate decision maker and acknowledgement of the psychosocial and spiritual concerns of the patients and family regarding dying and the expression of grief by the patient and family;
  • Participate in the consideration of ethical issues by the Hays Medical Center Bioethics Committee that arise in the care of the patient;
  • Be transferred to another facility when medically permissible;
  • Arrange payment of the portion of his/her bill not paid by third party coverage;
  • Has the right to access protective services;
  • Except appropriate assessment and management of pain
  • Be advised of pastoral care/spiritual services


The care a patient receives depends on the patient himself. Therefore, in addition to these rights, a patient has certain responsibilities. These responsibilities should be presented to the patient in the spirit of mutual trust and respect. The patient has the responsibility to:

  • Provide accurate and complete information concerning his/her present complaints, past illnesses and hospitalization, and other matters relating to his/her health
  • Report unexpected changes in his/her condition to the responsible practitioner;
  • Be responsible for making it known whether he/she clearly comprehends the course of his/her medical treatment and what is expected of him/her;
  • Be responsible for keeping appointments and for notifying the hospital or physician when he/she is unable to do so;
  • Be responsible for following hospital policies and procedures;
  • Be responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel;
  • Assist in the control of noise and the number of visitors;
  • The patient is responsible for assuring that the financial obligations of his/her hospital care are fulfilled as promptly as possible;
  • Inform hospital administration of any complaint or concern he/she may have regarding the delivery of quality of health care;
  • If the patient has Advance Directives, it is the patient’s responsibility or that of his/her representative to present the Advance Directive to HMC staff.