Patient Rights

All individuals shall be given impartial access to appropriate treatment and accommodations when medically indicated, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sex (including gender identity), sexual orientation, age or disability.

The Patient has the right...

  • to be treated with respect, consideration, and dignity in all circumstances.
  • to personal and informational privacy.
  • to formulate advance directives, and timely information about hospital policy that may limit its ability to implement fully a legally valid advance directive.
  • to receive care in a safe setting.
  • to know the identity and professional status of those providing his/her care.
  • to be informed of any experimental, research, or educational activities that are involved in his/her care or treatment and has the right to refuse to participate.
  • to receive from physicians and other care givers relevant, current, and understandable information concerning diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. The patient also has the right to know the immediate and long-term financial implications of treatment choices, insofar as they are known.
  • to communicate with other people from outside the hospital, such as visitors, when medically appropriate.
  • to pastoral care and other spiritual services.
  • to participate in the development and implementation of his/her plan of care.
  • to consult with a specialist, upon request and at his/her expense.
  • to refuse a diagnostic procedure or treatment, to the extent permitted by law.
  • to receive a complete explanation of the need for transfer and any alternatives to such a transfer prior to being transferred to another organization.
  • to expect that, within its capacity and policies, a hospital will make reasonable response to the request of a patient for appropriate and medically indicated care and services.
  • to request assistance with discharge planning and expect reasonable continuity of care when appropriate and to be informed by physicians and other care givers of available and realistic patient care options when hospital care is no longer appropriate.
  • to be informed of the hospital's charges for services, available payment methods, and notice of non-coverage. The patient also has the right to request and receive an itemized and detailed explanation of his/her total bill for services rendered in the hospital, regardless of the source of payment.
  • to access protective services.
  • to be informed of hospital policies and regulations that may apply to his/her conduct as a patient. To be informed about the hospital's mechanism for initiation, review, and resolution of patient complaints.
  • to have a family member or representative of his/her choice and his/her physician notified promptly of his/her admission to the hospital.
  • to have a family member or representative (as allowed under State law) make informed decisions regarding his/her care.
  • to receive effective communication through interpretation services when individuals speak languages other than English, alternative communication techniques or aides for those who are deaf or blind or other techniques as necessary.
  • to present information in a manner and form that can be understood.
  • to know who is responsible for authorizing and performing the procedure and treatment.
  • to expect quick response to reports of pain. The patient has the right to information, appropriate assessment, and management of pain.
  • to the confidentiality of his/her clinical records.
  • to be free from seclusion or restraints of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff.
  • to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  • to access information contained in his/her clinical records within a reasonable time frame and have the information explained or interpreted, as necessary.
  • to ask and be informed of the existence of business relationships among the hospital, education institutions, other health care providers, or payers that may influence the patient's treatment and care.
  • to know to what entity their health information is disclosed.
  • to obtain and inspect any of their health information that may be disclosed.
  • to know if information is released for anything other than treatment, payment and healthcare operations.
  • to request amendment or correction of protected health information that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  • to receive a written notice of release of information practices from any healthcare provider that may transmit their information in any form.
  • to voice complaints, without recrimination, about his/her care or release of information practices.

Patient Rights

As a DeKalb Health patient, you can expect:

  • Information about pain and pain relief measures
  • A concerned staff committed to pain prevention and management
  • Health professionals who respond quickly to reports of pain
  • Appropriate pain management

Patient Responsibilities

As a DeKalb Health patient, we expect that you will:

  • Ask your physician, nurse, or healthcare provider what to expect regarding pain and pain management
  • Discuss pain relief options with your physician, nurse, or healthcare provider
  • Work with your physician, nurse, or healthcare provider to develop a pain management plan
  • Ask for pain relief when pain first begins. Help your physician, nurse or healthcare provider assess your pain by utilizing a pain scale
  • Tell your physician, nurse or healthcare provider if your pain is not relieved
  • Tell your physician, nurse, or healthcare provider about any worries you have about taking pain medication


Hospitals have many functions to perform, including the enhancement of health status, health promotion, and the prevention and treatment of injury and disease, the immediate and ongoing care and rehabilitation of patients; the education of health professionals, patients, the community; and research. All these activities are conducted with an overriding concern for the values and dignity of patients.


Looking for a family doctor or specialty physician? Click here to find a physician who is conveniently located on the DeKalb Health campus or contact our referral line directly to learn more.