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Patients’ Rights

This Patient Rights document incorporates the requirements of The Joint Commission; Title 22, California Code of Regulations, Section 70707; Health and Safety Code Sections 1262.6, 1288.4 and 124960; and 42 C.F.R. Section 482.13 (Medicare Conditions of Participation).

For a copy of your rights, select an option below:

Patients’ Rights

The rights of patients in a general acute care hospital, as specified in section 70707, Title 22, California Administrative Code, are listed below.

As a patient, you have the right to:

1. Considerate and respectful care, and to be made comfortable. This includes respect for personal values and beliefs and access to pastoral care to meet spiritual needs.

2. Request the services of an interpreter if needed, at no cost.

3. Have a family member or representative of your choice and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.

4. Know the name of the physician/provider who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care and the names and professional relationships of other physicians and non-physicians who will see you.

5. Receive information about your health status, course of treatment, prospects for recovery and outcomes of care (including unanticipated outcomes) in terms you can understand. You have the right 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.

6. Participate actively in decisions regarding your 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 non-treatment and the risks involved in each, and the name of the person who will carry out the procedure or treatment. 

7. 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 physicians, to the extent permitted by law.

8. Be advised if the physician/provider proposes to engage in or perform research and clinical trials affecting your care or treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in such research projects and your decisions will not affect your care.

9. Reasonable responses to any reasonable requests made for service.

10. Have an appropriate assessment and management of your pain, information about pain and pain relief measures, and to participate in pain management decisions. You may request or reject the use of any of 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 severe chronic intractable pain with methods that include the use of opiates.

11. Prepare advance directives. You have the right to give instructions about your own healthcare. You also have the right to name someone else to make decisions for you, including designating a healthcare decision-maker. You may designate a decision-maker if you wish to have someone else make treatment decisions for you or in the event you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or become unable to communicate your wishes regarding care. Physicians/providers who provide care in the healthcare facility 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. 

12. 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 examination and when treatment issues are being discussed. Privacy curtains will be used in semi-private rooms.

13. Confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to your care. Written permission shall be obtained before medical records are made available to anyone not directly concerned with your care, except as otherwise required or permitted by law.

14. Access information contained in your records within a reasonable time frame, except in certain circumstances specified by law.

15. Receive a written “Notice of Privacy Practices” that explains how your protected health information (PHI) is disclosed. PHI is defined as any clinical health information related to a patient’s past, present or future physical or mental health condition which is obtained by any healthcare provider, either verbally, in writing or electronically, and which also includes information which identifies or reasonably identifies an individual.

16. Receive care in a safe setting, free from verbal or physical abuse or harassment. You have the right to access protective services, including notifying government agencies of neglect or abuse.

17. Be free from restraints and seclusion of any form used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.

18. Receive reasonable continuity of care and to know in advance the time and location of your appointments as well as the identity of the persons providing the care.

19. Be informed by the physician/provider of continuing healthcare requirements following discharge from the hospital. Upon your request, a friend or family member may also be provided this information.

20. Designate visitors of your choosing, if you have decision-making capacity, whether or not the visitor is related by blood or marriage, unless:

      • No visitors are allowed
      • The facility reasonably determines that the presence of a particular visitor would endanger the staff or other visitor to the healthcare facility, or would significantly disrupt the operations of the facility
      • You have told the healthcare facility staff that you no longer want a particular person to visit

However, a healthcare facility may establish reasonable restrictions upon visitation and the number of visitors. You will have your wishes considered, if you lack decision-making capacity, for the purposes of determining who may visit. The method of that consideration will be disclosed in the medical center policy on visitation.

21. Examine and receive an explanation of the medical center’s bill regardless of the source of payment.

22. Exercise these rights without regard to sex, economic status, educational background, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status or the source of payment for care.

23. Express concerns or complaints about your care with the assurance that the quality of your care or future access to care will not be compromised. You have the right to expect a reasonable and timely response to your concerns.

24. To report concerns about patient safety and quality of care at UC Irvine Health. To do this, call Patient Experience at 714-456-7004 or write to:

Patient Experience

UC Irvine Health

P.O. Box 14091

Orange, CA 92868-4091

You have the right to be informed of the outcome of the grievance investigation.

If your concerns remain unresolved, please contact The Joint Commission toll-free Monday–Friday at 800-994-6610 from 6:30 a.m.–3 p.m. (PT). To file a concern with California’s Department of Public Health (CDPH), call 714-456-0630 or toll-free at 800-228-5234 or write to:

CDPH

681 S. Parker Street

Suite 200

Orange, CA 92868

Patients’ Rights for Mental Health

All mental health patients have the right to:

1. Wear their own clothes, keep and use their own personal possessions, including toilet articles, and keep and be allowed to spend a reasonable sum of their own money for canteen expenses and small purchases.

2. Access to individual storage space for their private use.

3. See visitors each day.

4. Reasonable access to telephones, both to make and receive confidential calls.

5. Ready access to letter-writing materials, including stamps, and to mail and receive unopened correspondence.

6. Refuse shock treatment.

7. Refuse psychosurgery as defined in Section 5325, Welfare and Institutions Code.

8. Be informed of the provisions of law regarding complaints and of procedures for registering complaints confidentially, including but not limited to, the address and telephone number of the complaint-receiving unit of the department.

9. All other right as provided by law or regulation.

10. The physician who has overall responsibility for the service or a designee, may for good cause deny a person any of the rights specified above, except those rights specified in subsection (7) and (9) above, and the rights under subsection (6) may be denied only under the conditions specified in Section 5326.7 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. The denial, and the reasons therefore, shall be entered in the patient’s medical record.

Neonatal Bill of Rights

All infants have the right to:

1. Be treated as human beings with feelings and emotions.

2. Receive considerate and respectful care.

3. Receive affection, love and understanding.

4. Receive the best medical care available regardless of race, color, creed or financial ability to pay.

5. Allow family the right to receive from the physician information necessary to give informed consent.

6. Confidentiality in all communications and records relating to their care.

7. Information concerning other healthcare institutions.

8. Be as comfortable and free from pain as possible.

9. Receive nutritional support regardless of the expected outcome of their disease.

10. Die with dignity and honor.

Child’s Bill of Rights

Pediatric patients have the right to:

1. Be called by their name.

2. Receive a smile and loving care.

3. Be given careful evaluation and courteous, prompt treatment.

4. Know the names of their doctors, nurses and anyone who provides care.

5. Have basic needs met—to be clean, dry, comfortable and without restraints whenever possible.

6. Have as normal a schedule as possible—uninterrupted sleep, quiet times, playroom, school, the comfort of parents and family members, and schedules designed for their convenience as much as possible.

7. Have a schedule for tests and procedures that doesn’t keep them hungry or thirsty for any longer than necessary.

8. Make choices whenever possible when they do not interfere with the quality of care.

9. Cry and make noise, or object to anything that hurts.

10. Have their parents with them any time they are able to stay, as long as it doesn’t compromise care.

11. Have an interpreter for them and their family whenever possible.

12. Involve family in healthcare decisions and also to:

a. Be told what’s happening to them, and to have their questions answered honestly in words they can understand.

b. Have confidentiality about their illness.

c. Not have people talk about them over their beds, in their rooms, outside their doors or in the halls unless they know what’s happening.

d. Be discharged from the hospital as soon as possible without compromising their health.