Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Patient's Rights - New York State Department of Health

As a patient in a New York State hospital, you have certain rights and protections guaranteed by state and federal laws and regulations. These laws and regulations help to ensure the quality and safety of your hospital care. To help you understand your rights, the New York State Department of Health developed this booklet.

Keep this booklet for reference. Review it carefully and share the information with family and friends involved in your care.

You have the right to participate in decisions about your health care and to understand what you are being told about your care and treatment. For example, you are entitled to a clear explanation of tests, treatments and drugs prescribed for you. Don't hesitate to ask questions of your doctor, nurse or hospital staff members. You have a right to know what's going on.

Every patient is unique, every hospital stay is different. It is important to know what specific rights apply to you and what to do if you feel you need help. Some rights and protections, such as those that govern when you leave the hospital, depend on receiving correct written notices and knowing when and where to call or write for help.

If you have a problem or if you don't understand something, speak to your nurse, doctor, social worker or patient representative.

They can:

help you get answers;
arrange special help;
make contacts with your family;
get foreign language and sign language interpreters; and
generally make your hospital stay easier.
About Your Special Needs

Each hospital must make available staff to explain or answer questions about your rights and to provide information on how you can protect those rights.

If you are hearing or vision impaired, or if English is not your first language, skilled interpreters must be provided to assist you. Translations and/or transcriptions of important hospital forms, instructions and information must be provided to you if you feel you need them.
But you must speak up and ask questions.

You can contact a patient representative before you enter the hospital to be sure your special arrangements are made when you get there.

If you have a question about any of the information in this booklet or feel that your needs have not been adequately met, ask the patient representative or other hospital staff person for further explanation or contact the New York State Department of Health.
source : www.health.state.ny.us

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