Because open and honest communication, respect for personal and professional values, and sensitivity to differences create optimal patient care, the American Hospital Association adopted a Patient’s Bill of Rights in 1973. The intention is that these rights will contribute to more effective patient care and be supported by the hospital, its medical staff, employees, and patients.
Under this Bill of Rights, hospitals must:
- Understand and respect the rights and responsibilities of patients, their families, physicians, and other caregivers
- Ensure a healthcare ethic that respects the role of patients in decision-making about treatment choices and all aspects of their care
- Be sensitive to cultural, racial, linguistic, religious, age, gender, and other differences
- Be sensitive to and provide for the needs of persons with disabilities
AHA Patient’s Bill of Rights
AG Aesthetic Center and Dr. Allen Gabriel are providing notice of the AHA Patient’s Bill of Rights in compliance with the Bill. Ensuring you and your family understand your rights and responsibilities under the AHA Patient’s Bill of Rights is a priority.
The AHA Patient’s Bill of Rights is as follows:
- The patient has the right to considerate and respectful care.
- The patient has the right to and is encouraged to obtain from physicians and other direct caregivers relevant, current, and understandable information concerning diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
- Except in emergencies when the patient lacks decision-making capacity and the need for treatment is urgent, the patient has the right to discuss and request information related to the following:
- Specific procedures and treatments
- Risks involved
- Possible length of recuperation
- Medically reasonable alternatives and their accompanying risks and benefits
- Patients have the right to know the identity of physicians, nurses, and others involved in their care, as well as when those involved are students, residents, or other trainees.
- The patient has the right to know the immediate and long-term financial implications of treatment choices insofar as they are known.
- The patient has the right to decide about the plan of care before and during treatment and to refuse a recommended treatment or plan of care to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy. The patient also has the right to be informed of the medical consequences of this action. In case of such refusal, the patient is entitled to other appropriate care and services that the hospital provides or transfer to another hospital. The hospital should notify patients of any policy that might affect patient choices within the institution.
- The patient has the right to have an advance directive (such as a living will, health care proxy, or durable power of attorney for health care) concerning treatment or designating a surrogate decision-maker, with the expectation that the hospital will honor the intent of that directive to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy. Healthcare institutions must:
- Advise patients of their rights under state law and hospital policy to make informed medical choices
- Ask if the patient has an advance directive
- Include that information in patient records
- The patient has the right to every consideration of privacy. Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment should happen with great care to protect each patient’s privacy.
- The patient has the right to expect all communications and records about their care to be treated as confidential by the hospital, except in cases such as suspected abuse and public health hazards when reporting is permitted or required by law. The patient also has the right to expect that the hospital will emphasize the confidentiality of this information when releasing it to any other parties entitled to review information in these records.
- The patient has the right to review their medical care records and have the information explained or interpreted as necessary, except when restricted by law.
- The patient has the right to expect that a hospital will reasonably respond to a patient's request for appropriate and medically indicated care and services within its capacity and policies. The hospital must provide evaluation, service, and referral as the case's urgency indicates. When medically appropriate and legally permissible, or when a patient has requested, a patient may be transferred to another facility. The institution to which the patient is to be transferred must first have accepted the patient for transfer. The patient must also have complete information and explanation concerning the need for, risks, benefits, and alternatives to such a transfer.
- The patient has the right to ask and be informed of business relationships among the following:
- The hospital
- Educational institutions
- Other healthcare providers
- Payers that may influence the patient’s treatment and care
- The patient has the right to consent to or decline to participate in proposed research studies or human experimentation affecting care and treatment or requiring direct patient involvement. The patient also has the right to have those studies fully explained before consent. A patient who declines to participate in research or experimentation is entitled to the most effective care that the hospital can otherwise provide.
- The patient has the right to expect reasonable continuity of care when appropriate. The patient also has the right to be informed by physicians and other caregivers of available and realistic patient care options when hospital care is no longer appropriate.
- The patient has the right to be informed of hospital policies and practices related to patient care, treatment, and responsibilities. The patient has the right to be informed of available resources for resolving disputes, grievances, and conflicts, such as:
- Ethics committees
- Patient representatives
- Other mechanisms available in the institution
Learning more about your patient responsibilities
The effectiveness of care and patient satisfaction with the course of treatment depends on the patient fulfilling specific responsibilities.
Patients are responsible for providing information about the following:
- Past illnesses
- Other matters related to health status
Other responsibilities as a patient include:
- Requesting additional information or clarification about their health status or treatment when they do not fully understand information and instructions
- Ensuring that the health care institution has a copy of their written advance directive if they have one
- Informing their physicians and other caregivers if they anticipate problems following prescribed treatment
- Being aware of the hospital’s obligation to be reasonably efficient and equitable in providing care to other patients and the community
- Making reasonable accommodations to the needs of the hospital, other patients, medical staff, and hospital employees
- Providing necessary information for insurance claims
- Working with the hospital to make payment arrangements when necessary
To learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a patient, you can visit the Patient Rights Archives provided by the American Patient Rights Association.