Patient Rights


Washington County Hospital recognizes and respects patient rights and will make them aware of their responsibilities. Care, treatment and services are provided in a manner that respects and fosters the patient’s dignity, autonomy, positive self-regard, civil rights and involvement in their care. The care of patients is carefully planned and provided with regard to the patient’s personal values, beliefs and preferences.

Access to Care

Individuals shall be accorded access to treatment or accommodations that are medically indicated and available without regard to age, race, ethnicity, religion, language, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or source of payment for care. All patients will be treated with considerate, respectful care at all time in all circumstances, with recognition of their personal dignity, values, and beliefs.

Patient will be given information about rights and responsibilities

Upon admission to the hospital, the patients will receive a packet of Information about the hospital. This packet includes a booklet of “Patient Information” which includes their rights and responsibilities as a patient, visiting information, smoking rules and general information about Advanced Directives and pre-certification billing.

Patient Involvement and Effective Communication

The patient/family is involved in all aspects of care and health decisions. The patient has the right to obtain, from the practitioner responsible for coordinating their care, complete and current information concerning their diagnosis (to the degree known), treatment, and any known prognosis. This information should be communicated in terms the patient/family can be expected to understand. When a patient is unable to make decisions about his care or treatment, the Hospital will involve a surrogate decision-maker in making the decision. The patient has the right to access people outside the hospital by means of visitors, and by verbal and written communication. The hospital honors the patient’s right to give or withhold informed consent.

Communication Assistance

All patients treated at Washington County Hospital who are sensory impaired (vision, hearing, or speech) or who do not speak English will be provided with the appropriate assistance without cost to the patient. Patients and visitors are permitted use of their seeing/hearing guide dog/animal as an auxiliary aide. The animal may be used in all situations except where it can clearly be shown that the presence or use would pose a significant health risk or where an animal’s behavior would be disruptive. Service will be made available for the impaired to the best of our ability. The following services are available for the impaired patient: paper, pencil, readers, Braille signage, closed caption television, TDD telephones, interpreters, and family members may stay at the bedside.


The patient has the right to personal and informational privacy as manifest by the following rights:

  • The patient has the right to every consideration of privacy. This includes visual and auditory privacy during exams, while rendering care, and the taking of personal information.
  • The 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 treatments. Every reasonable attempt to accommodate the patient will be made.
  • The patient has the right to expect that any discussion or consultation involving their case will be conducted discreetly and involve only individuals directly involved in their care unless prior permission is obtained.
  • The patient has the right to have their medical record read only by individuals directly involved in their treatment or the monitoring of its quality. Written authorization from the patient or their legally authorized representative is required for those not directly involved.
  • The patient has the right to expect all communications and other records pertaining to his care, including the source of payment for treatment, to be treated as confidential and accessed only by those authorized.

Transfer and Continuity of Care

For services not provided at this facility, the patient has the right to be transferred to another facility after being provided a complete explanation regarding the need for the transfer and alternatives to such a transfer. Before a transfer can be made, there must be a receiving facility and physician that accept the patient. The patient will be asked to sign COBRA forms in the event of a transfer. Patients discharged from the hospital will be informed of any continuing healthcare requirements or follow up care needed.

Refusal of Care

The patient may refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law. When refusal of treatment by the patient, or their legal authorized representative prevents the provision of appropriate care in accordance with professional standards, the relationship with the patient may be terminated upon reasonable notice.

Personal Safety

The patient has the right to expect reasonable safety in regard to the hospital practices and environment. The patient has the right to be placed in protective privacy when considered for personal safety. Any patients suspected of abuse shall be afforded access to protective services according to procedure. The patient has the right to be free from neglect; exploitation; and verbal, mental, physical and sexual abuse.

Resolution of Conflict in Care or Treatment Dilemmas and Complaints

Ethical dilemmas regarding care may be resolved through the hospital ethics committee. Any member of the staff may request intervention or consideration by contacting the Director of Nursing.  Patients shall be encouraged to express any dissatisfaction in their service or care. Patient complaints shall be documented and handled according to hospital policy.

Informed Consent

The patient has the right to be involved in all aspects of their care, including participation in decisions involving their care and treatment. Decisions should be based on clear, concise information including; an explanation of their condition and of all proposed technical procedures, including associated risks, serious side effects, problems related to recuperation, and probability of success as well as alternatives and expected benefits/outcomes. The patient has the right to know who is responsible for authorizing and performing the procedure or treatment. The patient should not be subjected to any procedure/treatment without their voluntary, competent, and informed consent, or that of their legal authorized representative.

Comfort and Pain Relief

Pain assessment/management is an integral part of any patient’s care. All patients can expect to have their comfort needs met. Patient teaching is a part of the pain management process. For some patients, comfort and pain management may be the primary goal.

Advance Directives

You have the right to make advance directives regarding your wishes for end-of-life care or appointing a representative to make health care decisions for you, but you are not required to do so to receive services. If you do have or make any advance directives, the staff and others who provide are in this hospital will comply with your directives.


The patient shall be informed if the hospital proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation or other research/educational projects effecting their care or treatment. The patient has the right to refuse to participate in any such activity.


Patients and residents in swing/LTC beds have the right to be free from chemical and physical restraint.