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Patient Responsibilities

Hospitals are entitled to reasonable and responsible behavior on the part of patients and their families. The hospital identifies patient and family responsibilities and educates the patient and family about these responsibilities. Responsibilities include at least the following:

  • Providing information. Patients and families, as appropriate, must provide, to the best of his/her/their knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to his or her health. Patients and their families must report perceived risks in their care and unexpected changes in their condition to the healthcare provider. They can help the hospital understand their environment by providing feedback about service needs and expectations. Patients and families are responsible for informing the attending physician and nurse whether or not he/she can and wants to follow the treatment plan recommended.
  • Asking questions. Patients and families, as appropriate, must ask questions when they do not understand their care, treatment and service or what they are expected to do. Patients and families must report to the healthcare provider whether he/she understands a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him/her. The patient and family has the responsibility to be informed and to understand his/her illness or treatment by asking as many questions as needed or by asking for a simpler explanation, if medical terms make understanding difficult.
  • Following instructions. Patients and their families must follow the care, treatment and service plan developed and recommended by the healthcare provider. They should express any concerns they have about their ability to follow the proposed care plan or course of care, treatment and services. The hospital makes every effort to adapt the plan to the specific needs and limitations of the patients. When such adaptations to the care, treatment and service plan 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. Patients and family are expected to keep scheduled appointments and, when unable to do so, to notify the healthcare provider or hospital.
  • Accepting consequences. Patients and their families are responsible for the outcomes if they do not follow the care, treatment or service plan. The patient and family are responsible for accepting the consequences of his/her actions if he/she refuses treatment or does not follow the healthcare provider’s instructions.
  • Following rules and regulations. Patients and their families must follow the hospital rules and regulations, which includes remaining on their assigned patient unit. Patients who refuse to comply with AVMC rules and regulations may be discharged due to noncompliance. If a patient insists on leaving the nursing unit, the physician will be notified of the patient’s noncompliance and a discharge order may be obtained. Unless contraindicated, the hospital accommodates a patient’s need to be outdoors when a patient experiences a long length of stay.
  • Showing respect and consideration. Patients and their families must be considerate of the hospital’s staff and property, as well as other patients and their property. The patient and family are responsible for limiting visitors, following the tobacco‑free policy and appropriate use of the telephone, television and lights so as not to disturb others. Patients and family are expected to be considerate of the facility and equipment and not abuse them. Patients are responsible for helping to control noise and disturbances.
  • Meeting financial commitments. Patients and their families are responsible for promptly meeting any financial obligation agreed to with the hospital. Patients are educated about their responsibilities during the admission, registration or intake process and as needed thereafter. The patient and family are responsible to provide the information necessary to determine how his/her bill will be paid. The patient’s family or surrogate decision‑maker assumes the above responsibility for the patient if the patient has been found by his/her physician to be incapable of understanding these responsibilities, has been judged incompetent in accordance with law or exhibits a communication barrier. The hospital informs each patient of his or her responsibilities either verbally, in writing, or both.
  • Pain relief and medications. It is the patient’s and family’s responsibility to ask their healthcare provider what to expect regarding pain and pain management; discuss pain relief options and work with their healthcare provider to develop a pain management plan; ask for pain relief when the pain first begins and inform the healthcare provider when the pain is not relieved; and express any concerns they may have regarding taking pain medications.
  • Reporting perceived risks. The patient and family are responsible for reporting perceived risks in his/her care and unexpected changes in his/her condition to the responsible practitioner. The patient and family are responsible for immediately reporting any concerns or errors they may observe.