Patient's Rights & Responsibilities

Medical Care Received

Each patient has the right to:

Receive prompt, life-saving treatment, without discrimination due to economic status or source of payment.

Be given information at the time of admission about the hospital’s patient rights policy and the mechanism for the initiation, review and resolution of patient complaints.

Receive within the Hospital’s capacity and policies reasonable response to requests for medical care and services.

Obtain from physicians and other direct caregivers relevant, current and understandable information concerning diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. If possible, based upon the circumstances, each patient shall:

  • Have an opportunity to fully discuss the treatment, risks and alternatives, including current understandable information regarding diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  • Have the right to know the identity of physician(s), nurses and others involved in care.
  • Have the right to know of the immediate and long-term financial implications of treatment choices, insofar as they are known, including the receipt of information about financial assistance and free health care.

Be informed about and participate in decisions regarding her/his own care and to participate in the development and implementation of her/his plan of care including a discharge plan.

Receive effective management of pain.

Be told, or, when appropriate, have family members or legally authorized representative informed when treatment outcomes vary significantly from the anticipated results.

Privacy within the hospital setting.

Be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.

Be free from restraints of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.

Have access to protective services.

Be advised, in the case of a patient suffering from any form of breast cancer, of complete information on all alternative treatments that are medically available.

Accept medical care or to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal.

Expect reasonable continuity of care when appropriate and to be informed of realistic patient care options when hospital care is no longer appropriate.

Be transferred in a prompt and safe manner to a facility that agrees to provide treatment when medically appropriate and legally permissible, or when a patient has requested a transfer.

Refuse to be observed, examined or treated by students or any other staff without jeopardizing access to care.

Consent or decline participation in proposed research studies or human experimentation affecting care and treatment and to have those studies fully explained prior to consent.

  • All patients asked to participate in a research project will be given a description of the expected benefits.
  • All patients asked to participate in a research project will be given a description of the potential discomforts and risks.
  • All patients asked to participate in a research project will be given a description of alternative services that might also prove advantageous to them.
  • All patients asked to participate in a research project will be given a full explanation of the procedures to be followed, especially those that are experimental in nature.
  • All patients asked to participate in a research project will be told that they may refuse to participate, and that their refusal will not compromise their access to services.

Access to Information

Each patient has the right to:

Be afforded security, privacy and confidentiality of information.

Have access to her/his medical record within the limits of the law and, for a reasonable fee, to receive a copy from the Hospital in a reasonable time frame.

Be informed of the existence of business relationships among the Hospital, education institutions and other health care providers or payers.

Ethics and Personal Beliefs

Each patient has the right to:

Dignity, considerate and respectful care, understanding that each person has psychosocial, spiritual, cultural and age variables and her/his personal values and belief system that influence the perception of illness.

Exercise cultural and spiritual beliefs that do not interfere with the well-being of others or the planned course of medical therapy for the patient.

Express ethical concerns arising in the course of patient care. Each patient will be told of the process to bring an ethical concern to the Ethics Committee for discussion.

Be advised of the Advance Directives, as defined by the West Virginia legislation, and shall be given the opportunity to complete the form(s) and to appoint a surrogate to make health care decisions on his or her own behalf to the extent permitted by law. Once validly completed and included within the patient’s medical record, Thomas Memorial Hospital will honor the intent of the Advance Directive to the extent permitted by law and Hospital policy.

Have a designated representative decision-maker in the event he/she is incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or procedure or is unable to communicate her/his wishes regarding care.

Have action taken by a legally authorized person to exercise the patient’s rights if the patient is judged incompetent in accordance with law or is found by a physician to be medically incapable of understanding treatment or is unable to communicate wishes.

Decide on the withholding of resuscitative services and the foregoing or withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment.

Receive, if a dying patient, care that optimizes comfort and dignity as desired by patient or surrogate decision maker.


Each patient has the right to:

Have the Patient Bill of Rights reviewed with them in a way that encourages comprehension. Therefore, if any patient cannot read, see, or comprehend the English language, the Patient Bill of Rights will be reviewed using the appropriate method.

Have a family member and his/her own doctor notified promptly of his/her admission to the hospital.

Receive a prompt response to all reasonable requests.

Be granted access to information necessary to enable her/him to make treatment decisions that reflect her/his wishes.

Be informed of hospital policies and practices relating to patient care, treatment and responsibility. Upon request, each patient will be told the charge for services and available payment methods.

 Request and receive an itemized explanation of the patient’s hospital bill.

Have concerns and disputes resolved.

Patients will be informed of the Direct Line of Communication for resolving disputes, grievances, and conflicts that relate to patient care, treatment, safety and responsibilities. The Nursing Supervisor can be contacted at extension 3843 or the operator can be called to page the Nursing Supervisor. If after following the Direct Line Communication System the patient continues to feel his/her problem has not been adequately addressed, the patient has the right to contact any of the following:

Department of Health and Human Resources
Office of Health Facility – Licenser & Certification
1 Davis Square, Suite 101
Charleston, WV 25301
Telephone (304) 558-0050

Ombudsman Program
Legal Aid Society of Charleston
922 Quarrier Street – Fourth Floor
Charleston, WV 25301
Telephone (304) 343-4481

WV Civil Liberties Union
P.O. Box 3952
Charleston, WV 25339
Telephone (304) 345-9246

WV Medical Institute
(Quality Improvement Organization)
3001 Chesterfield Place
Charleston, WV 25304
Telephone (304) 346-9864

Patient’s Responsibilities

Each patient has the responsibility to:

Provide accurate, timely and full health care information regarding past and current conditions and treatments.

Participate effectively in decision making as it relates to health care questions. This may involve completion of an
Advance Directive or communicating with a potential surrogate decision maker.

Communicate with caregivers and ask questions as they arise and not to passively wait for answers.

Be honest in all dealings with health care providers.

Be considerate of other patients and of health care providers.

Be safe and follow instructions provided.

Follow the treatment plan or discuss changes in the plan with the appropriate health care provider.

Report significant changes in their condition to the appropriate health care provider.

Report problems and concerns to the appropriate health care provider.

Recognize that patients are responsible for the impact of their lifestyle on health.

Follow the policies and procedures of the Hospital and, when unsure of the policies and procedures, to ask questions to understand them.

Pay for or arrange payment of health care services rendered by physicians or the Hospital.

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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Matthew Upton, MD Assumes New Role as Thomas Health System CMO/CMIO
Wednesday, June 03, 2015

May 10th-16th National Hospital Week
Wednesday, May 06, 2015

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