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Patients & Visitors

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Derechos y Responsabilidades de Los Pacientes

The Department of Patient Relations is responsible for providing liaison between all departments for the prompt resolution of patient complaints and suggestions. Staff can also assist patients and families with end-of-life care decisions, decisions ensuring patient rights are met, translation services, and assistance for the hearing or visually impaired.

Statement of Patient Rights and Responsibilities

The primary concern of Virginia Hospital Center is to care for each patient and to help return him or her to optimum health as quickly as possible.

The commitment is made with the recognition that each patient is an individual, who is to be treated with dignity, and who, as a patient in this Hospital, regardless of prognosis, has certain rights and responsibilities.

These rights apply to neonates, children, adolescents, and their parents or guardian, as well as adults.

These statements of Patient Rights and Responsibilities cannot be regarded as complete coverage of all said Rights and Responsibilities.

If a patient has questions or expresses the feeling that he/she has been denied any of these Rights, the patient has the right to bring this to the attention of his or her physician, nurse, patient representative, or the administrator. This Bill of Rights is to be distributed to patients via the Patient Handbook.

The Patient Bill of Rights at Virginia Hospital Center

Your Right to Quality Care

  • You have the right to quality care delivered by professional people who have met all pertinent requirements.
  • You have the right to know that your Hospital care is provided for by the medical and supporting staff and other personnel serving this acute care facility.
  • You have the right to appropriate management of pain.
  • You have the right to safe care that is delivered in a facility that complies with safety standards. You have the right to know what measures are taken to assure your safety such as disaster drills, fire drills, and inspections.
  • You have the right to complain about the quality of your care and to have your complaint resolved, if possible.
  • You or your representative has a right to discuss ethical issues that arise in your care. This may be done by referral to the Bioethics Committee. The purpose of the Bioethics Committee is to facilitate discussion and conflict resolution of bioethical issues and act in an advisory capacity to formulate options.

Your Right to Information

  • You have the right to ask your physician for current information in understandable terms concerning your diagnosis, treatment, and anticipated outcome.
  • Your guardian, next of kin, or legally authorized responsible person has the right to exercise, to the extent permitted by law, your rights if you have been declared incompetent in accordance with law; are found by your physician to be medically incapable of understanding the proposed treatment or procedure; are unable to communicate your wishes regarding treatment; or are a minor.
  • You have the right to know names, positions, titles, and professional relationships of all persons caring for you.

Your Right to Recognition & Personal Dignity

  • You have the right to be treated with respect and consideration at all times.
  • You have the right to quality care regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or source of payment.
  • You have the right to be addressed by your preferred name without undue familiarity.
  • You have the right to a reasonable response to your request for treatment and services.
  • You have the right to be acknowledged as an individual with personal value and belief systems. You have a right to exercise cultural and spiritual beliefs that do not interfere with the well being of others or your planned course of medical therapy.
  • You have the right to have Freedom From Restraints used in the provision of acute medical/surgical care unless clinically required.
  • You have the right to have Freedom From Seclusion and Restraints used for the Management of Behavior unless clinically required.

Your Right to Privacy

  • You have the right to reasonable privacy when answering personal questions or undergoing physical exams.
  • You have the right to personal privacy and confidentiality.

Your Right to Make Decisions About Your Healthcare Program

  • You have the right to sufficient information to enable you to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment.
  • You have the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the consequences of your refusal.
  • You have the right to identification and appropriate treatment of primary and secondary symptoms that can respond to treatment regardless of prognosis if treatment is so desired.
  • You have the right to leave the Hospital against medical advice to the extent permitted by law. If you leave the Hospital against advice, neither the Hospital nor your doctor will be responsible for any harm to you or to others as a result of this action.
  • You have the right to information on the various teaching or experimental programs that relate to your care. You may refuse participation in any part of these programs by speaking with the physician responsible for your care. Your decision will in no way prejudice your medical treatment.
  • You have the right to donate your body (kidney, eyes, etc.) for transplantation or research.
  • You have the right to prepare a Living Will and/or a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. You have the right to appoint another person to make healthcare decisions for you.

Your Right to an Explanation of Your Bill

  • You have the right to information about your Hospital bill. (The Medicaid program does not allow the provider to furnish a copy of the bill to the patient.)
  • You have the right to inquire about financial assistance in paying your bill. You have the right to inquire about help in filing your insurance forms.

Patient Responsibilities at Virginia Hospital Center

  • You have the responsibility to cooperate with Hospital personnel caring for you. You have the responsibility to ask questions if you do not understand directions that are given to you.
  • You have the responsibility to be considerate of other patients and to see that your visitors are considerate as well, with reference to noise and number of visitors.
  • You have the responsibility to be respectful of others, of other people's property, and of the Hospital's property.
  • You have the responsibility to abide by Hospital rules and regulations.
  • You have the responsibility for prompt payment of your Hospital bills, to provide the information necessary for insurance processing, and to be prompt about asking questions you may have concerning your bill.
  • When you leave the Hospital, you have the responsibility to maintain the treatment recommended and to notify your doctor of any changes.
  • Smoking by patients, visitors, employees, physicians, students, and volunteers is prohibited in all areas of the Hospital. Smoking is prohibited on all Hospital grounds (including entrances). Only patients in the Center for Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment (CPAT) may smoke in designated areas on their unit with a written order from their physicians.
  • You are responsible for any of your personal items that you do not put into the Hospital safe for safekeeping. These items may include, but are not limited to, money, jewelry, or items of personal value.
  • You must disclose to Hospital physicians all medications you are taking.
  • You may not have in your possession any medication or drug without your physician's approval. If approved, this must be stated in a physician's written order.
  • If you wish to change doctors, it is your responsibility to obtain a new physician and to notify your present physician of that intention.

You have the responsibility to furnish the Hospital and your physician with a copy of any existing Advance Directives (Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care).

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1701 N. George Mason Drive | Arlington, VA 22205-3698 | tel 703.558.5000
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