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As a patient in a hospital in New York State, you have the right, consistent with law, to understand and use these rights. If for any reason you do not understand or you need help, the hospital MUST provide assistance, including an interpreter.

  • Receive treatment without discrimination as to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, source of payment or age.
  • Receive considerate and respectful care in a clean and safe environment free of unnecessary restraints.
  • Receive emergency care if you need it.
  • Be informed of the name and position of the doctor who will be in charge of your care in the hospital.
  • Know the names, positions and functions of any hospital staff involved in your care and refuse their treatment, examination or observation.
  • Be accommodated in a no-smoking room.
  • Receive complete information about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  • Receive all the information that you need to give informed consent for any proposed procedure or treatment. This information shall include the possible risks and benefits of the procedure or treatment.
  • Receive all the information you need to give informed consent for an order not to resuscitate. You also have the right to designate an individual to give this consent for you if you are too ill to do so. If you would like additional information, please ask for a copy of the pamphlet, "Do Not Resuscitate Orders -- A Guide for Patients and Families."
  • Refuse treatment and be told what effect this may have on your health.
  • Refuse to take part in research. In deciding whether or not to participate, you have the right to a full explanation.
  • Privacy while in the hospital and confidentiality of all information and records regarding your care.
  • Participate in all decisions about your treatment and discharge from the hospital. The hospital must provide you with a written discharge plan and written description of how you can appeal your discharge.
  • Review your medical record without charge.
  • Obtain a copy of your medical record for which the hospital can charge a reasonable fee. You cannot be denied a copy solely because you cannot afford to pay.
  • Receive an itemized bill and explanation of all charges.
  • Complain without fear of reprisals about the care and services you are receiving and to have the hospital respond to you and if you request it, a written response. If you are not satisfied with the hospital's response, you can complain to the New York State Health Department. The hospital must provide you with the State Health Department telephone number.
  • Authorize those family members and other adults who will be given priority to visit consistent with your ability to receive visitors.
  • Make known your wishes in regard to anatomical gifts. You may document your wishes in your health care proxy or on a donor card, available from the hospital.


Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Your successful medical care requires an ongoing partnership between you and your health care providers. All parties must take an active role. Your providers have the responsibility to provide health care services to the best of their abilities. Patients have responsibilities too. You, the patient, have the responsibility:

  • To provide a complete medical history, including past illnesses, hospitalizations, family history of illnesses, allergies, medications, including herbals and over-the-counter medications and any matters related to your present state of health.
  • To communicate openly with your health care team, including your physicians and nurses, to express your concerns clearly and participate in decisions about your diagnostic treatment options and recommendations.
  • To report whether or not you understand your health status and treatment options, ask questions, request information and comply with the agreed upon treatment protocol.
  • To help your health care team develop a pain management plan, including discussion of available options for your pain relief, asking what you should expect, help in the measurement of your pain and tell when your pain first begins and if it does not subside.
  • For your actions, if you refuse treatment or do not follow your provider's instructions.
  • To refrain from taking any medications, drugs or alcoholic beverages unless ordered by your physician. Smoking is prohibited in the facility.
  • To report promptly to your providers and nurses any unexpected problems or changes in your medical condition.
  • To discuss end-of-life decisions with your physicians and make your wishes known; possibly writing an advance directive. You may provide for a duly authorized family member or friend to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you become unable to communicate.
  • To discuss organ donations with your physicians and, if a donation is desired, make applicable provisions.
  • To meet your financial obligations with regard to your medical care or to discuss financial hardships with your physicians.
  • To be committed to health maintenance through health-enhancing behavior. Illness can often be prevented by a healthy lifestyle, and you should take personal responsibility when you are able to avert the development of disease.
  • To respect the rights of fellow patients and hospital personnel, follow rules and regulations affecting patient care and treatment. This includes the responsibility of respecting the privacy of other patients and treating information concerning them as confidential.
  • To understand the effects of your conduct on others and refrain from behavior that unreasonably places the health of others at risk. You should inquire as to the means and likelihood of infectious disease transmission and act upon that information which can best prevent further transmission.
  • To respect the property of CRMC, fellow patients and other facility staff, to assist in noise control and number of visitors.
  • To report on time for scheduled procedures and to keep all health care appointments. If you are unable to do so for any reason, notify your provider to cancel and reschedule the appointment.
  • To not initiate or participate in fraudulent health care and to report illegal or unethical behavior by physicians and other providers to the appropriate medical societies, licensing boards or law enforcement authorities.

Parents of pediatric patients have the rights and responsibilities, too:

  • We encourage someone to stay with your child (there may be some restrictions due to the size of the room and space needed to care for your child). However, you will always be able to have one parent or designee stay with your child. Your involvement in your child's care is very important to your child's comfort and security. If you can't be here, try to have a family and/or friends spend time with your child.
  • While your child is hospitalized, we encourage you to participate with meal planning so that your child is given food to meet his wants and needs.
  • Please know that we will encourage you to take an active part in discharge and follow-up care.
  • It is important for your child's safety that the crib rails remain elevated at all times.
  • If you are with your child and are leaving, you MUST inform the nursing staff prior to leaving the unit.
  • We encourage parents to make sure that they have a rest period and time to themselves.
  • Please know that: children at different developmental levels react differently to hospitalization. Knowing the behaviors that are typical for your child at various ages makes it easier for you to address them. It's important for you to know how the stresses of illness and hospitalization affect your child's feelings and behaviors. It is important to be honest with children, especially if something is going to hurt.
    • Children 3 years of age and younger generally cannot understand their illness, the new change in their familiar environment and are more concerned with being away from their family and home.
    • Toddlers may have difficulty coping with these changes in their routines, especially related to eating, sleeping and toileting. You can help your child by being with him/her in the hospital. If you can't be here, try to have family or friends spend time with your child.
    • Children 3-6 years of age usually view the hospital and procedures as punishment. Reassure your child that he/she hasn't done anything wrong. They can also fear a loss of control and fear of the unknown. It will be reassuring to your child to give simple, honest and developmentally appropriate explanations. Bring a favorite toy; we encourage you to bring blankets or clothes from home which may also be comforting. If your child has a "security" blanket or "lovey" that will serve to calm him/her, please bring it along. Encourage walking around or playing outside his/her room.
    • Children 7-12 years old are often worried about painful procedures and may also believe that hospitalization and procedures are punishment. This age group fears a loss of control and independence. It is very important to provide information to this age group. Whenever possible, ask staff to inform your child in advance of what is going to happen (procedures, changes in environment, etc.). Giving your child choices when able is important to regain some control.
    • Adolescents age 12 and up are very concerned about loss of control, fear separation from their friends and may be very self-conscious. It is important to respect their privacy whenever possible. Encourage the adolescent to ask questions that include him/her in discussions and decision making. Support interactions with friends via phone, e-mail and visits.
  • Parents and caregivers will find this a stressful time not only for the child, but also the family. It is important for parents and caregivers to make sure to meet their own needs. Switching off time with the child, taking a break from the room or unit, and communicating stresses or frustrations with your child's team of health care providers will assist you in best supporting your child.

Health care providers will:

  • Have written policies on patient rights. Inform the patient of his/her rights.
  • Treat the patient in a dignified and respectful manner. Respect the patient's right to, and need for, effective communication.
  • Respect the patient's cultural and personal values, beliefs and preferences.
  • Accommodate the patient's right to religious and other spiritual services. Respect the patient's right to privacy.
  • Allow the patient to access, request amendment to and obtain information on disclosures of his or her health information, in accordance with law and regulation.
  • Respect the patient's right to pain management. Provide information about pain and pain relief measures at the time of initial evaluation.
  • Ask patients on initial evaluation and as part of regular assessments about the presence, quality and intensity of pain.
  • Review and modify the plan of care for patients who have unrelieved pain.
  • Use the patient's self report as the primary indicator of pain.
  • Be concerned, compassionate and believe all reports of pain.