Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patients have the right to:

  • Be given respectful care by competent personnel
  • Be given the name of the attending physician and the names of all other physicians directly participating in your care and the names and functions of other healthcare team providing care upon request.
  • Receive every consideration of privacy concerning the medical care program, including confidential and discreetly conducted care discussion, consultation, examination and treatment;
  • Have all personal medical records treated as confidential, except as otherwise provided by law or third party contractual arrangements;
  • Know what facility rules and regulations apply to your conduct as a patient;
  • Expect emergency procedures to be implemented without unnecessary delay;
  • Receive good quality care and high professional standards that are continually maintained and reviewed;
  • Be fully informed in laymen’s terms, of the patient’s diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, including information about alternative treatments and possible complications;
  • Except for emergency situations, to have the physician obtain the necessary informed consent prior to the start of any procedure or treatment;
  • Be advised when the physician is considering the patient as a part of a medical care research program or donor program and, except when validly waived by an Institutional Review Board, to give informed consent prior to participation in such a program, and to be advised of the right to refuse to continue in any such program at any time;
  • Refuse any drugs, treatment or procedure offered by the facility, to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed by a physician of your right to refuse any drugs, treatment or procedures and of the medical consequences of the refusal;
  • Receive assistance in obtaining consultation with another physician at the patient’s request and expense;
  • Obtain medical and nursing services without discrimination upon the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference, national origin, source of payment, disability, or age;
  • Have access to effective communication assistance if limited English proficient (LEP) or have hearing or visual impairments;
  • Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital and all of its programs and activities are accessible to and usable by disabled persons, including persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or blind, or who have other sensory impairments.
  • Have access, upon request, to all information in his or her medical records unless restricted, for sound medical reasons only, by the attending physician;
  • Not be awakened by hospital staff unless it is medically necessary;
  • Be free from needless duplication of medical or nursing procedures;
  • Receive medical and nursing treatment that avoids unnecessary physical and mental discomfort;
  • When medically permissible, to be transferred to another facility that has agreed to accept the patient for transfer only after you, a next of kin or other legally responsible representative has received complete information and explanation of the need for, and alternatives to, such a transfer;
  • Examine and receive a detailed explanation of your bill;
  • Get information and counseling on the availability of known financial resources for your healthcare;
  • Expect the facility to provide a mechanism for informing you upon discharge of continuing healthcare requirements and the means for meeting them;
  • Not be denied access to an individual or agency authorized to act on your behalf to assert or protect patient’s rights;
  • Be informed of rights as a patient at the earliest possible time in the course of hospitalization.
  • Designate visitors who receive the same visitation privileges as your immediate family members, regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to the patient.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of the plan of care, including: inpatient, outpatient, pain management and discharge.
  • Request a discharge plan evaluation
  • Make informed decisions regarding your plan of care. This includes being informed of your health status, being involved in care planning and treatment and being able to request or refuse treatment. This is not a mechanism to demand the provision of medically unnecessary or inappropriate treatment. Making informed decisions includes but is not limited to: the development of the plan of care, medical or surgical interventions, pain management, patient care issues and discharge planning.
  • Formulate advanced directives and to have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives.
  • Have a family member or patient representative of your choice and your physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Personal privacy. Privacy includes a right to respect, dignity, and comfort as well as privacy during personal hygiene activities (i.e. toileting, bathing, dressing), during medical/nursing treatments, and when requested as appropriate. It also includes limiting release or disclosure of patient information such as the patient’s presence in the facility, location in the hospital or personal information.
  • Receive care in a safe setting. A safe setting includes environmental safety, infection control, security, protection of emotional health and safety, including respect, dignity and comfort, as well as physical safety.
  • Be free from all forms of abuse or harassment. This includes abuse, neglect, harassment, exploitation from staff, other patients, and visitors.
  • Be free from restraints of any forms that are not medically necessary or are used as means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • Be free from seclusion and restraints, of any form, imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • Have any concerns, complaints, and grievances addressed. Sharing concerns, complaints, and grievances will not compromise care, treatment and services. Concerns may be reported to your caregiver, Care Team Coordinator, Unit/Department Director, Nursing Supervisor and/or the Service Excellence Department. Concerns may also be reported to Administration. If concerns or issues are not satisfactorily addressed while hospitalized, Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital may conduct an evaluation and follow the Grievance Policy and Procedure.
  • Patients are responsible for:
  • Providing correct and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications or other matters related to your health.
  • Reporting unexpected changes in your condition or concerns about your care to the nurse, doctor or other care team member taking care of you.
  • Asking questions when you do not understand care treatment and services or what you are expected to do.
  • Following the care, treatment and service plans that have been developed by the healthcare team and agreed to by you.
  • The outcomes if you do not follow the care, treatment and service plan.
  • Following hospital rules and regulations.
  • Being considerate of the hospital’s staff and property, as well as other patients and their property.
  • Promptly meeting any financial obligations agreed to with the hospital.
  • Patients may contact our Patient Relations Coordinator, The Joint Commission or the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to report care concerns without fear of retaliation.

Patient Relations Coordinator
68 Hospital Road
Sylva, NC 28779

Office of Quality and Patient Safety
The Joint Commission

One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181
Fax: 630-792-5636

NC Division of Health Service Regulation
Complaint Intake Unit

2711 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2711
1-800-624-3004 (within N.C.) or
Fax: (919) 715-7724