Patient Bill of Rights & Responsibilities

Patient Bill of Rights

  1. A patient has the right to know the ownership of the hospital and any other provider from whom he or she receives services, care or equipment.
  2. A patient has the right to be free of restraints or seclusion, except when used as a last resort, to protect the patient or others from imminent harm, or when medically necessary and there is no other less restrictive means avail¬able to help the patient be safe.
  3. A patient has the right to make informed decisions regarding his or her care or services, including managing pain effectively.
  4. A patient has the right to respectful care given by competent personnel. This includes the right to be free from verbal, mental, physical and sexual abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  5. A patient has the right, upon request, to be given the name of his or her at¬tending physician, the names of all other physicians directly participating in his or her care, and the names and functions of other healthcare persons having direct contact with the patient within one hour of admission.
  6. A patient has the right to every consideration of his or her confidentiality, except as provided by law or third party contractual agreements.
  7. A patient has the right to know which hospital rules and regulations apply to his or her conduct as a patient.
  8. A patient has the right to expect emergency procedures to be implemented without unnecessary delay.
  9. A patient has the right to quality care and high professional standards that are continually maintained and reviewed.
  10. A patient has the right to full information in layman’s terms concerning his or her diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, including information about alterna¬tive treatments and possible complications, as well as the effect when treat¬ments are refused. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to the patient, the information shall be given on his or her behalf to the patient’s next of kin or other designated surrogate.
  11. A patient has the right to assistance in obtaining consultation with another physician at the patient’s request and expense.
  12. The patient has the right to choose whether or not to participate in research, investigational or experimental studies, or clinical trials.
  13. A patient has the right to refuse any drugs, treatment or procedure including forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment or withholding resuscitation services offered by the hospital to the extent permitted by law, and a physician shall inform the patient of the medical consequences of the patient’s refusal of any drugs, treatment or procedure. A patient has the right to formulate advanced directives and to have those directives followed.
  14. A patient has the right to medical and nursing services without discrimination based upon race, color, sex, sexual preference, national origin, handicap or source of payment or ability to pay.
  15. A patient has the right to effective communication and to receive information in a manner that he or she understands, including skilled interpreters, if needed.
  16. A patient has the right to be transferred to another facility for care that cannot be provided at Weirton Medical Center only after he has received complete information concerning the needs for transfer and any alternatives to such a transfer.
  17. A patient has the right to request transfer to another facility of his or her choice, for any reason, and Weirton Medical Center will assist in making ar¬rangements for this transfer.
  18. A patient has the right to examine and receive a detailed explanation of his or her bill. Patients can receive full information and counseling on the availability of known financial resources for healthcare by calling Patient Financial Services at 304-797-6042 and asking for the Patient Accounts Manager or by calling Social Services at 304-797-6014 and asking for the Eligibility Specialist.
  19. A patient has the right to choose his or her provider for follow-up care and to be made aware of any relationship between that provider and the hospital or treating physician.
  20. A patient has the right to access any individual or agency which is authorized to act on his or her behalf or to assert or protect the rights of patients.
  21. A patient has the right to be informed of his or her rights at the earliest pos¬sible moment in the course of his/her hospitalization.
  22. A patient has the right to access any information contained in his or her medical records without undue delay. Patients who wish to have a copy of his or her medical record can call 304-797-6124. An appointment to view the completed medical record may be made by calling this same number.
  23. A patient has the right to wear appropriate personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items, as long as they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment.
  24. The patient has the right to privacy.
  25. A patient has the right to expect reasonable safety, in so far as the hospital practices and environment are concerned.
  26. A patient has the right to present complaints regarding the quality of care they receive without compromising their future access to care.
  27. The patient has the right to have his or her or her property respected.
  28. The patient has the right to appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  29. The patient has the right to an environment that preserves dignity and contributes to a positive self image.
  30. A patient has the right to receive visitors whom he or she designates, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner, (including a same sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend, and his or her right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time.

Patient Responsibilities

  1. Active involvement: A patient is responsible for active participation in his or her care to the extent that he or she is capable. When appropriate, surro¬gates may act in this role.
  2. Providing information: A patient is responsible to provide, to the best of his or her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present com¬plaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medication, and other matters relating to his or her health. He or she has the responsibility to report perceived risks in their care and unexpected changes in his/her condition to the responsible practitioner.
  3. Asking questions: A patient is responsible for asking questions when he or she doesn’t understand care, treatment and services or what he or she is expected to do.
  4. Following instructions: A patient is responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily responsible for his or her care. The patient has a responsibility to express any concerns about his/her ability to follow the proposed care plan or course of care, treatment and services. Every effort is made to adapt the plan to the specific needs and limitations of the patients. When such adaptations are not recommended, patients and their families are informed of the consequences of the care, treatment and service alternatives and not following the proposed course. This may include following the instructions of nurses and allied health personnel as they carry out the coordinated plan of care, implementing the responsible practitioner’s orders and enforcing the applicable hospital rules and regulations. The patient is responsible for keeping appointments and, when unable to do so for any reason, should notify the responsible practitio¬ner or the hospital.
  5. Accepting consequences: The patient is responsible for the outcomes if he or she refuses treatment or does not follow the practitioner’s care, treatment and service plan. The patient is responsible for assuring that the financial obligations of his or her healthcare are fulfilled promptly if possible.
  6. Following rules and regulations: The patient is responsible for following hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
  7. Showing respect and consideration: The patient and family are responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel and for assisting in the control of noise, smoking, and the number of visitors. The patient and family are also responsible for being respectful of the property of other persons and of the hospital.
  8. Maintaining personal property: The patient is responsible for the safekeeping of his or her property or valuables. These should be sent home or sent to the safe when admitted to hospital. The patient should report missing items immediately.
  9. Managing pain: The patient is responsible for working with the doctor or nurse to develop a pain management plan, for asking for pain relief when pain first begins, and for telling the doctor or nurse if pain is not relieved.

Newborns, Children and Adolescents

  1. The family or guardian of a newborn, child or adolescent patient has the right and responsibility to be involved in the patient’s assessment, treatment and continuing care, including pain management.
  2. The family or guardian of a newborn, child or adolescent patient has the right to be provided with support in dealing with illnesses that are particularly traumatic because of the duration, severity or effect on the patient’s physical or psychological development. Such support will be provided through the hospi¬tal’s Social Services Department.
  3. A newborn, child or adolescent patient, who is separated from normal daily living experiences by a course of treatment for more than a week, has the right to expect that provisions will be made for a physical environment appropriate to the age, size and needs of the patient that is designed to encourage its use and provide comfort and security; activities appropriate to the age and development of the patient; and peer and group interaction.
  4. A newborn, child or adolescent patient has the right to be provided with services through referral, consultations or contractual agreement when such services are not available at the hospital.
  5. A newborn, child or adolescent patient has the right to have conflicts regarding his or her care resolved, with adolescents being involved in the decision process to the extent provided by law. The hospital will coordinate efforts to resolve conflicts between physicians, parent/guardians and other caregivers through the resources of the Social Services Department and legal counsel.
  6. A child or adolescent patient whose treatment necessitates a significant ab¬sence from school has the right to appropriate educational services which will meet that educational process. Such services will be arranged through the Social Services Department with the assistance of the respective school district.
  7. A newborn, child or adolescent patient who is transferred from one setting to another (within the hospital or to another facility) has the right to have his or her need for continuing treatment, continuing education and support for normal development assessed, documented and communicated to the medical personnel in charge of the new setting.
  8. When a newborn, child or adolescent patient has a need identified beyond the scope of the hospital’s resources, the patient has the right to prompt transfer to an alternate facility providing such needed services.
  9. A minor has the right, under West Virginia Case Law, to receive information and to the extent that he or she is capable of being involved in the informed consent process.

Individual Concerns

As a patient, you have the right to complain about your care, accommodations or treatment without fear of retaliation or denial of treatment. If a problem occurs, please refer the complaint to your patient care provider. If the matter is not re¬solved, contact the manager for your nursing unit or department. You can do this on Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. by calling the hospital opera¬tor and asking for the manager for your nursing unit or department. Between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m. on weekdays or 24 hours a day on weekends and holidays, call the hospi¬tal operator and ask for the Administrative Supervisor.

  • If the problem remains unresolved, please contact the Director of Performance Improvement at (304) 797-6004, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • For concerns involving our Skilled Nursing Unit, please call the Director at (304) 797-6589.
  • For concerns involving any satellite office location, please call (304) 797-6359.
  • For concerns involving Weirton Medical Center Home Health Services, please call (304) 797-6495.
  • You may also contact Administration at (304) 797-6117, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The public may also notify the Joint Commission about concerns of quality of care and/or patient safety by calling 1-800-994-6610 or e-mailing complaint@jointcommission.org.

You also have the right to file your complaint with the West Virginia Office of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification (OHFLAC) at:

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification
408 Leon Sullivan Way
Charleston, WV 25301-1713
(304) 558-0050

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