Concordia Home Care and Nursing Services LLC   Concordia Health Mobile Lab

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Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Patient Rights are an integral part of healthcare today.  All clients come to our Agency with different healthcare experiences and may or may not be aware of their rights.  Protections are afforded by federal and state legislation and as health care providers we must educate our clients about their rights and how they may exercise them. For ease of access and teaching, the patient’s rights are clearly stated in one document that is called The Patient’s Bill of Rights.

Accessibility and Education

The Bill of Rights must always be accessible to the client, family, public, and staff. It can be found posted in the office and in the client’s admission packet. If a client would like an additional copy, they are located in the office. Upon admission, the nurse will explain the Bill of Rights to the client and/or caregiver. The client/caregiver must be allowed to ask questions. Receipt of the Bill of Rights is documented in the clinical record. The client must also be informed that he/she has the right to excursive the rights at any time without fear of reprisal.  Any questions about the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights may be directed to the Administrator if the employee/ contractor cannot answer it.

Key Areas

Key things to remember about the Bill of Rights are:

    • The rights can be exercised at any time.
    • Clients are to receive the best quality care without regard to race, creed, nationality/origin, lifestyle choice, and diagnosis.
    • The client/caregiver ALWAYS has the right to refuse care.
    • The client/caregiver must be informed of care before initiation.
    • Privacy, including protection of PHI, is paramount.
    • The client/caregiver must be informed of the charges before initiating service.
    • The client has the right to be safe.
    • The client has the right to be treated with respect.
    • The client has the right to make concerns/ grievances known without fear of reprisal.

Specific questions about patients’ rights may be directed to the Administrator.

Interacting with Clients

Client rights not only govern what the client may do and when, but how Agency staff interacts with the client and their environment. Appropriate and professional interaction can increase client confidence and overall satisfaction.

When you are in a client’s home, remember:

      • Address the client using his or her name and the appropriate title. Nicknames like sweetie and honey are well-meaning but it can come across as demeaning. Terms of endearment should never be used, and nicknames should only be used if and when the client gives permission.
      • Treat the client’s property with respect. Remember although you are working, you are in someone’s home! Observe cultural considerations and do not slam doors or damage personal property.
      • Clients have the right to know who you are and what you are doing.
      • Always introduce yourself when you enter into a client’s environment and at the beginning of telephone conversations.
      • ALWAYS wear your ID badge.
      • Explain procedures before starting them.
      • Answer questions honestly.
      • Be professional and smile.

Complaints/ Grievances

The client has the right to make concerns known. The Agency has a responsibility to investigate the problem and resolve the issue to the client’s satisfaction promptly.

Upon admission, the client is given a copy of the grievance process and right to have problems resolved. If a client is upset, it is important to remember:

      • Remain calm and objective.
      • Respond to questions and problems promptly
      • Do not take complaints personally
      • Remain professional
      • Do not yell
      • Do not name-call
      • Do not make accusations
      • Do not accept or assign blame

Responsibilities

For every right, there is a responsibility to ensure that the right is exercised safely. As a healthcare provider, you have the responsibility to:

    • Listen to you patients when they tell you what they need. Do not assume you know what they need or want.
    • Explain what you are going to do with the patient before starting in language that is appropriate for his/her level of development/ national origin.
    • Be honest. If you do not know the answer to a question, redirect the question to the office or your supervisor.
    • Remember client privacy!

Do

    • Secure documents with client information.
    • Use the assigned number in place of identifying information when you can.

Don’t

    • Gossip about clients.
    • Hold conversations with or about clients in public.
    • Encourage independence.

 Statement of Purpose: 

It is anticipated that observance of these rights and responsibilities will contribute to more effective care and greater satisfaction for the patient as well as the staff.  The rights will be respected by all personnel and integrated into all Home Care programs.  A copy of these rights will be given to patients and their families or designated representatives.  If the patient or his/her designated representative is unable to read the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, it will be read to them.  If the patient or his/her representative does not speak English, a copy of these rights will be provided in a language that is understood. The patient or his/her designated representative has the right to exercise these rights.  In the case of a patient adjudged incompetent, the rights of the patient are exercised by the person appointed by law to act on the patient’s behalf.  In the case of a patient who has not been adjudged incompetent, any legal representative may exercise the patient’s rights to the extent permitted by law.

Each patient receives a copy of the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities on or before admission to the agency.

The Bill of Rights is based on payers and state-specific requirements.(refer to the patient rights policy for the agency)

Included are some of the rights below:

      1. To be fully informed in advance about care/service to be provided, including the disciplines that furnish care and the frequency of visits, as well as any modifications to the plan of care.
      2. To choose a health care provider.
      3. To access necessary professional services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This care will be appropriate and professional care relating to physician orders.
      4. Be informed, both orally and in writing in advance of care being provided, of the charges, including payment for care/service expected from third parties including Medicare, Medicaid, or any other federally funded or aided program known to the organization, Charges for services that will not be covered by the payer.
      5. Receive information about the scope of services that the HHA will provide and specific limitations on those services.
      6. Participate in the development and periodic revision of the plan of care.
      7. Refuse care or treatment after the consequences of refusing care or treatment are fully presented.
      8. To be advised that the agency complies with Subpart 1 of 42 CFR 489 and receive a copy of the organization’s written policies and procedures regarding advance directives, including a description of an individual’s right under applicable state law, and to know that the Agency will honor the patient’s advance directives in providing care.
      9. Be informed of patient rights under state law to formulate an Advance Directive.
      10. Have one’s property and person treated with respect, consideration, and recognition of patient dignity and individuality.
      11. Have the patient’s family or guardian exercise the patient’s rights when the patient has been judged incompetent.
      12. Be able to identify visiting personnel members through proper identification.
      13. Be free of mistreatment, neglect, or verbal, mental, sexual, and physical abuse, including injuries of unknown source, and misappropriation of patient property.
      14. Voice grievances/complaints regarding treatment or care that is (or fails to be) furnished, lack of respect of property, or recommend changes in policy, personnel, or care/service without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal and to know that grievances will be resolved, and the patient notified of the resolution within 30 days.
      15. Have grievances/complaints investigated regarding treatment or care that is (or fails to be) furnished, or lack of respect of property?
      16. Confidentiality and privacy of all information contained in the patient record and of Protected Health Information.