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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

These patient rights and responsibilities are made on behalf of the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma (“University”) and OU Medicine, Inc. (“OUMI”). The University and OUMI are separate legal entities.

The University includes OU Physicians, OU Children’s Physicians, (OU Health Physicians), Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, the OU College of Dentistry Faculty Practice and Resident Clinic (OU Health Dentistry), the Allied Health Clinic, OU Pharmacies, and the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing Case Management Program.

OU Health Physicians Patient Rights

OU Physicians (OU Health Physicians) is dedicated to providing you with the best in health care. Along with technical expertise, we want to provide you with a positive patient experience. We respect your rights as a patient and want you to understand your responsibility as a partner in your care. These rights may be exercised by all patients who may legally self-consent for care or other person authorized to act on the patient's behalf, and they accept these patient responsibilities as well.

You have the right to:

  • Health care regardless of age, race, gender, religion, disability, national origin, or sexual orientation.
  • Respect for personal dignity and privacy.
  • Confidentiality of medical records: state and federal law forbids the release of your medical records without your written consent, except in specific situations where law requires OU Physicians to release information.
  • Know the identity of the health care professional providing services.
  • Expect diagnosis, prognosis, and method(s) of treatment to be explained clearly.
  • Be informed about any risk of serious side effects.
  • Participate in decisions involving your health care, including managing pain effectively.
  • Know what alternatives exist for health care and treatment.
  • Refuse medical care (except in specific situations as required by law).
  • A second opinion.
  • Know if treatment involves experimental or research protocols and the right to refuse participation.
  • Express your concerns, if these rights have not been met.

You have the responsibility to:

  • Keep appointments as scheduled, or notify us in advance if you are unable to do so.
  • Provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate information relating to health history and current health status.
  • Cooperate in the treatment plan recommended by those primarily responsible for your care.
  • Consult your medical care provider if your health problem doesn't follow the expected course.
  • Accept personal responsibility for refusing treatment.
  • Abide by the health center and clinic regulations and policies.
  • Respect the rights of OU Physicians personnel, other patients and visitors.
  • Ask adequate questions to ensure understanding of your health problem and treatment.
  • Parents and guardians have the responsibility to ensure that your child follows the course of treatment.
  • Recognize that you make decisions daily that impact your personal health and treatment.
  • Accept financial responsibility for services received, and provide information necessary to obtain insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or other third-party payments.

Note: If you believe that your patient rights have not been met, contact the clinic/nurse manager in the clinic at which you received care.

OU Health Hospital Patient Rights

Patients Rights & Responsibilities for OU Medicine, Inc. (includes the University of Oklahoma Medical Center, The Children’s Hospital, and the OU Health Edmond Medical Center, and Breast Health Network locations)

OU Medicine, Inc., respects the dignity and pride of each individual we serve. Every patient has the right to have his/her rights respected without regard to age, gender, disability, race, color, ancestry, citizenship, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, payment source or ability, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law. Each individual shall be informed of the patient’s rights and responsibilities in advance of administering or discontinuing patient care. We adopt and affirm as policy the following rights of patient/clients who receive services from our facilities:

Considerate and Respectful Care

  • To receive ethical, high-quality, safe and professional care without discrimination
  • To be free from all forms of abuse and harassment
  • To be treated with consideration, respect and recognition of their individuality, including the need for privacy in treatment. This includes the right to request the facility provide a person of one’s own gender to be present during certain parts of physical examinations, treatments or procedures performed by a health professional of the opposite sex, except in emergencies, and the right not to remain undressed any longer than is required for accomplishing the medical purpose for which the patient was asked to undress

Information regarding Health Status and Care

  • To be informed of his/her health status in terms that patient can reasonably be expected to understand, and to participate in the development and the implementation of his/her plan of care and treatment
  • The right to be informed of the names and functions of all physicians and other health care professionals who are providing direct care to the patient
  • The right to be informed about any continuing health care requirements after his/her discharge from the hospital. The patient shall also have the right to receive assistance from the physician and appropriate hospital staff in arranging for required follow-up care after discharge.
  • To be informed of risks, benefits and side effects of all medications and treatment procedures, particularly those considered innovative or experimental
  • To be informed of all appropriate alternative treatment procedures
  • To be informed of the outcomes of care, treatment and services
  • To appropriate assessment and management of pain
  • To be informed if the hospital has authorized other health care and/or education institutions to participate in the patient’s treatment. The patient shall also have a right to know the identity and function of these institutions, and may refuse to allow their participation in his/her treatment

Decision Making and Notification

  • To choose a person to be his/her healthcare representative and/or decision maker. The patient may also exercise his/her right to exclude any family members from participating in his/her healthcare decisions.
  • To have a family member, chosen representative and/or his or her own physician notified promptly of admission to the hospital
  • To request or refuse treatment. This right must not be construed as a mechanism to demand the provision of treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate
  • To be included in experimental research only when he or she gives informed, written consent to such participation. The patient may refuse to participate in experimental research, including the investigations of new drugs and medical devices
  • To formulate advance directives and have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives
  • To leave the healthcare facility against your physician’s advice to the extent permitted by law

Access to Services

  • To receive, as soon as possible, the services of a translator and/or interpreter, telecommunications devices, and any other necessary services or devices to facilitate communication between the patient and the hospitals’ health care personnel
  • To bring a service animal into the facility, except where service animals are specifically prohibited pursuant to facility policy (e.g., operating rooms, patient units where a patient is immunosuppressed or in isolation)
  • To pastoral counseling and to take part in religious and/or social activities while in the hospital, unless your doctor thinks these activities are not medically advised
  • To safe, secure and sanitary accommodation and a nourishing, well balanced and varied diet
  • To access people outside the facility by means of verbal and written communication
  • To have accessibility to facility buildings and grounds. [Insert facility name] recognizes the Americans with Disabilities Act, a wide-ranging piece of legislation intended to make American society more accessible to people with disabilities. The policy is available upon request
  • To a prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests for service

Access to Medical Records

  • To have his/her medical records, including all computerized medical information, kept confidential and to access information within a reasonable time frame. The patient may decide who may receive copies of the records except as required by law
  • Upon leaving the healthcare facility, patients have the right to obtain copies of their medical records

Ethical Decisions

  • To participate in ethical decisions that may arise in the course of care including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services, foregoing or withdrawal of life sustaining treatment, and participation in investigational studies or clinical trials 2
  • If the healthcare facility or its team decides that the patient’s refusal of treatment prevents him/her from receiving appropriate care according to ethical and professional standards, the relationship with the patient may be terminated

Protective Services

  • To access protective and advocacy services
  • To 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
  • The patient who receives treatment for mental illness or developmental disability, in addition to the rights listed herein, has the rights provided by any applicable state law
  • To all legal and civil rights as a citizen unless otherwise prescribed by law
  • To have upon request an impartial review of hazardous treatments or irreversible surgical treatments prior to implementation except in emergency procedures necessary to preserve your life
  • To an impartial review of alleged violations of patient rights
  • To expect emergency procedures to be carried out without unnecessary delay
  • To give consent to a procedure or treatment and to access the information necessary to provide such consent
  • To not be required to perform work for the facility unless the work is part of the patient’s treatment and is done by choice of the patient
  • To file a complaint with the Department of Health or other quality improvement, accreditation or other certifying bodies if he /she has a concern about patient abuse, neglect, about misappropriation of a patient’s property in the facility or other unresolved complaint, patient safety or quality concern

Payment and Administration

  • To examine and receive an explanation of the patient’s healthcare facility’s bill regardless of source of payment, and may receive upon request, information relating to the availability of known financial resources
  • A patient who is eligible for Medicare has the right to know, upon request and in advance of treatment, whether the health care provider or health care facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate
  • To receive, upon request, prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care
  • To be informed in writing about the facility policies and procedures for initiation, review and resolution of patient complaints, including the address and telephone number of where complaints may be filed

Additional Patient Rights

  • Except in emergencies, the patient may be transferred to another facility only with a full explanation of the reason for transfer, provisions for continuing care and acceptance by the receiving institution
  • To initiate their own contact with the media
  • To get the opinion of another physician, including specialists, at the request and expense of the patient
  • To wear appropriate personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items, as long a s they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment 3
  • To request a transfer to another room if another patient or a visitor in the room is unreasonably disturbing him/her
  • To request pet visitation except where animals are specifically prohibited pursuant to the facility’s policies (e.g., operating rooms, patient units where a patient is immunosuppressed or in isolation)

Patient Responsibilities

The care a patient receives depends partially on the patient him/herself. Therefore, in addition to the above rights, a patient has certain responsibilities. These should be presented to the patient in the spirit of mutual trust and respect.

  • To provide accurate and complete information concerning his/her health status, medical history, hospitalizations, medications and other matters related to his/her health
  • To report perceived risks in his/her care and unexpected changes in his/her condition to the responsible practitioner
  • To report comprehension of a contemplated course of action and what is expected of the patient, and to ask questions when there is a lack of understanding
  • To follow the plan of care established by his/her physician, including the instructions of nurses and other health professionals as they carry out the physician’s orders
  • To keep appointments or notifying the facility or physician when he/she is unable to do so
  • To be responsible for his/her actions should he/she refuse treatment or not follow his/her physician’s orders
  • To assure that the financial obligations of his/her healthcare care are fulfilled as promptly as possible
  • To follow facility policies, procedures, rules and regulations
  • To be considerate of the rights of other patients and facility personnel
  • To be respectful of his/her personal property and that of other persons in the facility
  • To help staff to assess pain, request relief promptly, discuss relief options and expectations with caregivers, work with caregivers to develop a pain management plan, tell staff when pain is not relieved, and communicate worries regarding pain medication
  • To inform the facility of a violation of patient rights or any safety concerns, including perceived risk in his/her care and unexpected changes in their condition

Statement of Visitation Rights

OU Medicine, Inc. recognizes the importance of family, spouses, partners, friends and other visitors in the care process of patients. We adopt and affirm as policy the following visitation rights of patients/clients who receive services from our facilities:

  • To be informed of their visitation rights, including any clinical restriction or limitation of their visitation rights
  • To designate visitors, including but not limited to a spouse, a domestic partner (including same sex), family members, and friends. These visitors will not be restricted or otherwise denied visitation privileges on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or disability. All visitors will enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with any clinically necessary or other reasonable restriction or limitation that facilities may need to place on such rights
  • To receive visits from your attorney, physician or clergyman at any reasonable time
  • To speak privately with anyone he/she wishes (subject to hospital visiting regulations) unless a doctor does not think it is medically advised
  • To refuse visitors
  • Media representatives and photographers must contact the hospital spokesperson for access to the hospital