Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Brookings Health System respects the rights of the patient, recognizes each patient as an individual with unique health care needs and, because of the importance of respecting each patient’s person dignity, is committed to providing considerate, respectful care focused on the patient’s individual needs. The hospital assists the patient in the exercise of his/her rights and informs the patient of any responsibilities he/she has in the exercising of these rights. All of these rights apply to persons who may have responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on behalf of the patient.  

Access

The patient has the right to:

  • Exercise his/her rights without regard to sex, cultural, economic, educational or religious background, or their ability to pay.
  • Appropriate assessment and management of pain, information about pain and pain relief measures, and to participate in pain management decisions regarding their care.
  • Have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Have access to spiritual counseling and pastoral visits.
  • Effective communication and interpretation, including access to translation services and services to address vision, speech, hearing, language and cognitive impairment.
  • Have access to people outside the hospital through visitors, interpreters, verbal and written communication.
  • Designate visitors of his/her choosing, if the patient has 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 health/safety of a patient, hospital staff, other visitors, or would significantly disrupt the operations of the hospital;
    • The patient has indicated he/she no longer wants this person to visit;
    • The patient lacks decision-making capacity in which case the patient’s wishes are considered in determining who may visit, including any persons living in the household;
      However, Brookings Health System may establish reasonable restrictions upon visitation, including restrictions upon the hours of visitation and number of visitors.
  • Voice complaints freely and recommend changes regarding the quality of services through the established process, and without being subject to coercion, discrimination, reprisal, or unreasonable interruption of care, treatment and services.
  • Have access to protective and advocacy services including notifying government agencies of neglect or abuse.

Respect and Dignity

The patient has the right to:

  • Considerate and respectful care at all times with recognition of his/her personal dignity.
  • Be made comfortable and have consideration of his/her psychosocial, spiritual, cultural and personal values, beliefs, and preferences.
  • Be free from restraints and seclusion of any form used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.

Privacy & Confidentiality

The patient has the right to:

  • Full consideration of privacy concerning his/her medical care program.
  • Be advised why any individual is present during a consultation, examination, or treatment.
  • Confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to care and stay in the hospital.
  • Request, access, amend, and receive accounting of disclosures regarding his/her medical health information as permitted under applicable law.

Medical Information & Consent

The patient has the right to:

  • Know the name of his/her primary physician and the name and professional relationships of other providers involved in his/her care at the time care is rendered.
  • Information about the illness, course of treatment, and prospects for recovery in terms the patient can understand.
  • Information about treatments or procedures as needed in order to give informed consent or refusal. Except in emergencies, this information shall include a description of the procedures or treatments, associated medical risk, and alternate courses of treatment or non-treatment and the risks involved in each.

Provisions of Information

The patient has the right to:

  • Knowledge of the hospital rules and policies which apply to patient conduct.

The patient has the responsibility to:

  • Provide, to the best of his/her knowledge, accurate and complete information about the present complaint, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other health matters.
  • Report unexpected changes in his/her condition to the responsible caregiver.
  • Make it known whether he/she clearly understands a course of action regarding medical care, and in what ways he/she is expected to cooperate.

Medical Treatment Decisions

The patient has the right to:

  • Active participation in decisions regarding medical care. To the extent permitted by law, this includes the right to refuse treatment. Refusal of treatment includes: foregoing treatment, withdrawing life sustaining treatment, withholding resuscitative services, leaving the hospital against the advice of physicians or executing an Advance Directive. If the physician is unable to honor the directive he/she will discuss this with the patient or patient’s surrogate. To the extent permitted by law, these rights also apply to a patient’s surrogate decision-maker.
  • Consult with specialists at his/her  request and expense.
  • Be advised of his/her rights in the event of terminal illness. These rights address privacy, confidentiality, treatment for the primary and secondary symptoms of illness, pain management and psychosocial and spiritual concerns.
  • Consent to their family/support system’s involvement, as appropriate, in making decisions regarding the care, treatment, and services the patient receives.
  • Have their surrogate decision-maker presented with the option to donate tissues or organs when appropriate.

Continuity of Care

The patient has the right to:

  • Reasonable continuity of care and advance knowledge of the time and location of appointments, including the name of the physician providing the care.
  • Be informed by the physician, or a delegate of the physician, of his/her continuing health care requirements following discharge from the hospital.
  • Receive a complete explanation of the need for transfer to another medical facility and of the alternatives to such a transfer.

Compliance with Instructions

The patient has the responsibility to:

  • Follow the treatment plan agreed upon with his/her primary healthcare professional. This includes following instructions of other healthcare providers as they carry out the orders of the primary healthcare professional and enforce hospital rules and regulations.
  • Keep appointments with the responsible practitioner and whenever unable to do so, to notify him or her.
  • Patients who are non-compliant, who behave in a disruptive manner so as to threaten their own or another’s safety, who pose a threat to their environment, or who are verbally and/or physically abusive will be informed of the existing mechanisms available for registering complaints; be transferred in accordance with established policy; be discharged and/or denied future non-emergent admission; and/or be subject to the actions and decisions of the hospital interdisciplinary team.

Refusal of Treatment

The patient has the right to:

  • Leave the hospital, even against the advice of physicians.

The patient has the responsibility:

  • For his/her actions if he/she refuses treatment or does not follow the instructions for his/her care. When refusal of treatment prevents the appropriate care in accordance with professional standards, the relationship with the patient may be terminated upon reasonable notice.

Financial Information

The patient has the right to:

  • Examine and receive an explanation of the bill, regardless of the source of payment.

The patient has the responsibility to:

  • Assure that the financial obligations of his/her health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.

Personal Safety

The patient has the right to:

  • Expect reasonable safety of their person and personal property according to hospital practices and environment.
  • Receive care in a safe setting, free from real or perceived mental, physical, sexual or verbal abuse, neglect, exploitation or harassment from anyone, including staff, students, volunteers, other patients, visitors or family members.

Complaints or Concerns

The patient has the right to:

  • Voice complaints or concerns freely in writing or by calling: Brookings Health System, 300 22nd Avenue, Brookings, SD, 57006, or (605) 696-7734. Medicare beneficiaries may also contact, in writing or by phone, the South Dakota Department of Health, 600 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD, 57501, (605) 773-3361 regardless of whether a complaint or grievance is filed with the hospital.