As a patient receiving services from a Sutter Health network hospital, you should be aware of your rights and responsibilities, which are supported and protected by our care teams. When you are well informed, participate in treatment decisions, and communicate openly with your doctor and other health professionals, you help make your care as effective as possible.
While you are a patient at within the Sutter Health network, you have the right to:
- Considerate and respectful care, and to be made comfortable. You have the right to respect for your cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values, beliefs and preferences.
- Have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
- Know the name of the licensed healthcare practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care, and the names and professional relationships of physicians and nonphysicians who will see you.
- Receive information about your health status, diagnosis, prognosis, course of treatment, prospects for recovery and outcomes of care (including unanticipated outcomes) in terms you can understand. You have the right to effective communication and to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care. You have the right to participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of your care, including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services, and forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment.
- Make decisions regarding medical care, and receive as much information about any proposed treatment or procedure as you may need in order to give informed consent or to refuse a course of treatment. Except in emergencies, this information shall include a description of the procedure or treatment, the medically significant risks involved, alternate courses of treatment or nontreatment and the risks involved in each, and the name of the person who will carry out the procedure or treatment.
- Request or refuse treatment, to the extent permitted by law. However, you do not have the right to demand inappropriate or medically unnecessary treatment or services. You have the right to leave the hospital even against the advice of members of the medical staff, to the extent permitted by law.
- Be advised if the hospital/licensed healthcare practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting your care or treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in such research projects.
- Reasonable responses to any reasonable requests made for service.
- Appropriate assessment and management of your pain, information about pain, pain relief measures and to participate in pain management decisions. You may request or reject the use of any or all modalities to relieve pain, including opiate medication, if you suffer from severe chronic intractable pain. The doctor may refuse to prescribe the opiate medication, but if so, must inform you that there are physicians who specialize in the treatment of pain with methods that include the use of opiates.
- Formulate advance directives. This includes designating a decision maker if you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or become unable to communicate your wishes regarding care. Hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital shall comply with these directives. All patients’ rights apply to the person who has legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf.
- Have personal privacy respected. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. You have the right to be told the reason for the presence of any individual. You have the right to have visitors leave prior to an examination and when treatment issues are being discussed. Privacy curtains will be used in semi-private rooms.
- Confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to your care and stay in the hospital. You will receive a separate “Notice of Privacy Practices” that explains your privacy rights in detail and how we may use and disclose your protected health information.
- Receive care in a safe setting, free from mental, physical, sexual or verbal abuse and neglect, exploitation or harassment. You have the right to access protective and advocacy services, including notifying government agencies of neglect or abuse.
- Be free from restraints and seclusion of any form used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
- Reasonable continuity of care and to know in advance the time and location of appointments, as well as the identity of the persons providing the care.
- Be informed by the physician, or a delegate of the physician, of continuing healthcare requirements and options following discharge from the hospital. You have the right to be involved in the development and implementation of your discharge plan. Upon your request, a friend or family member may be provided this information also.
- Know which hospital rules and policies apply to your conduct while a patient.
- Designate a support person as well as visitors of your choosing, if you have decision-making capacity, whether or not the visitor is related by blood, marriage, or registered domestic partner status, unless:
- No visitors are allowed.
- The facility reasonably determines that the presence of a particular visitor would endanger the health or safety of a patient, a member of the health facility staff, or other visitor to the health facility, or would significantly disrupt the operations of the facility.
- You have told the health facility staff that you no longer want a particular person to visit.
- However, a health facility may establish reasonable restrictions upon visitation, including restrictions upon the hours of visitation and number of visitors. The health facility must inform you (or your support person, where appropriate) of your visitation rights, including any clinical restrictions or limitations. The health facility is not permitted to restrict, limit or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.
- Have your wishes considered, if you lack decision-making capacity, for the purposes of determining who may visit. The method of that consideration will comply with federal law and be disclosed in the hospital policy on visitation. At a minimum, the hospital shall include any persons living in your household and any support person pursuant to federal law.
- Examine and receive an explanation of the hospital’s bill, regardless of the source of payment.
- Exercise these rights without regard to sex, economic status, educational background, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, medical condition, marital status, age, registered domestic partner status, genetic information, citizenship, primary language, immigration status (except as required by federal law) or the source of payment for care.
- File a grievance. If you want to file a grievance with this hospital, you may do so by writing or by calling:
P.O. Box 7999
San Francisco, CA 94120
- File a complaint with the California Department of Public Health regardless of whether you use the hospital’s grievance process. The California Department of Public Health’s phone number and address is:
California Department of Public Health Licensing and Certification
San Francisco District Office
150 North Hill Drive, Suite 22
Brisbane, CA 94005
The patient has the responsibility to:
- Provide, to the best of his/her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to his/her health. He/she has the responsibility to report unexpected changes in his/her condition to the responsible practitioner.
- If able, make it known whether he/she clearly comprehends a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him/her.
- Keep appointments and, when he/she is unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the responsible practitioner or the hospital.
- Accept responsibility for his/her actions if he/she refuses treatment or does not follow the practitioner’s instructions.
- Assume that the financial obligations of his/her healthcare are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
- Follow hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
- Be considerate of the rights of patients and hospital personnel, and for assisting in the number of visitors. No loud, offensive or threatening language is allowed at any time.
- Be respectful of the property of other persons and the hospital