New Jersey Patient Bill of Rights

As a patient at Deborah, you are being cared for by professionals dedicated to providing the highest quality care. Our goal is to meet your healthcare needs efficiently, effectively and compassionately.

Whether you're here for a week or an hour, you should be aware of your rights as a patient and what you should expect from us in regard to privacy, communication, costs, legal rights and other issues. You are entitled to these rights under state law and regulations.

Medical Care
To receive the care and health services that the hospital is required by law to provide.

To receive an explanation from your physician of your medical condition, recommended treatment, expected results, risks involved, and medical alternatives. If your physician believes that this information would be detrimental to understand, the explanation must be given to your next of kin or guardian.

To give informed, written consent prior to the start of specified, non-emergency medical procedures or treatments. Your physician should explain to you details about the procedure or treatment, any risks involved, time required for recovery, and reasonable medical alternatives.

To refuse medication and treatment after possible consequences of this decision have been explained clearly to you, unless the situation is life-threatening or the procedure is required by law.

To be included in experimental research only if you give informed, written consent. You have the right to refuse to participate.

To expect reasonable continuity of care.

Communication and Information
To be informed of the names and functions of all healthcare professionals providing you with personal care.

To receive, as soon as possible, the services of a translator or interpreter if you need one to help you communicate with the hospital's healthcare personnel.

To be informed of the names and functions of any outside healthcare and educational institutions involved in your treatment. You may refuse to allow their participation.

To receive, upon request, the hospital's written policies and procedures regarding life-saving methods and the use or withdrawal of life-support mechanisms.

To be advised in writing of the hospital's rules regarding the conduct of patients and visitors.

To receive a summary of your patients rights that includes the name and phone number of the hospital staff member to whom you can ask questions or complain about any possible violation of your rights.

Medical Records
To have prompt access to information in your medical record. If your physician feels that this access is detrimental to your health, your next of kin or guardian has a right to see your record.

To obtain a copy of your medical record, at a reasonable fee, within 30 days of written request.

Cost of Hospital Care
If you request an itemized bill, the hospital must provide one, and explain any questions you may have. You have the right to appeal any charges.

To be informed by the hospital if part or all of your bill will not be covered by insurance. The hospital is required to help you get public assistance or private healthcare benefits you may be entitled.

Discharge Planning
To receive information and assistance from your attending physician and other healthcare providers if you need to arrange for continuing healthcare after your discharge from the hospital.

To receive sufficient time before discharge to arrange for continuing healthcare needs.

Discharge Appeal Process
To be informed by the hospital about any appeal process to which you are entitled by law if you disagree with the hospital's discharge plans.

To question the medical appropriateness of your discharge, please contact your primary care physician.

Transfers
To be transferred to another facility only when you or your family has made this request, or in instances where the transferring hospital is unable to provide you with the care you need.

To receive an advance explanation from a physician of the reasons for your transfer and possible alternatives.

Personal Needs
To be treated with courtesy, consideration, and respect for your dignity and individuality.

To have access to storage space in your room for private use. The hospital must also have a system to safeguard your personal property.

Freedom From Abuse
To freedom from physical and mental abuse.

To freedom from restraints, unless they are authorized by a physician for a limited period of time to protect the safety of you or others.

Legal Rights
To treatment and medical services without discrimination based on age, religion, national origin, sex, sexual preference, handicap, diagnosis, ability to pay, or source of payment.

To exercise all your constitutional, civil, and legal rights.

Privacy and Confidentiality
To have physical privacy during medical treatment and personal hygiene functions unless you need assistance.

To confidential treatment of information about you. Information in your record will not be released to anyone outside the hospital without your approval, unless it is required by law.

Questions or Complaints?
To present questions or unresolved complaints, please direct them to Customer Service, which may may be reached from within the Center by dialing 2969.Customer Service may be reached from outside the hospital by calling (609) 735-2969. All questions and complaints will be addressed during regular business hours. Monday thru Friday 8:00am to 4:3 pm. You may directly contact the NJ Department of Health Complaint Hotline at 1-800-792-9770.

This list of Patient Rights is an abbreviated summary of the current New Jersey laws and regulations governing the rights of hospital patients. For more complete information, consult N.J. Department of Heath regulations at N.J.A.C. 8:43G-4, or Public Law 1989 Chapter 170, available through your hospital.
Brought to you as a service of Deborah Heart and Lung Center and the New Jersey Hospital Association, Princeton, NJ.

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