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Patient Rights and Responsibilities: Patient Handbook

Each of our patients has the right, to the extent permitted by law, to:

• Reasonable access to available, medically indicated care, treatment and service within the hospital’s capability and capacity, regardless of race, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, beliefs, cultural values, gender, age or financial status.
• Care that is considerate and respectful of personal values and beliefs.
• Be informed about and participate in decisions regarding care.
• Be informed about the outcomes of care, including unanticipated outcomes.
• Include family member or designated representative in care decisions.
• Formulate advance directives regarding care and have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hos-pital follow these directives.
• Designate a decision-maker in case the patient is incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or procedure or is unable to communicate his or her wishes regarding care.
• Participate in discussions of medical ethics that may arise in the course of care.
• End-of-life care that is respectful and responsive and that demonstrates concern for a patient’s comfort and dignity.
• Appropriate assessment and management of pain.
• Security and personal privacy, and confidentiality of information.
• Voice complaints about care and to have those complaints reviewed and, when possible, resolved.
• Effective communication that is delivered in a manner which is understandable to each patient including the use of language interpreters and resources for patients with communication impairments.
• Certain information about any research project that they are asked to participate in, including expected benefits, potential discomforts and risks, and alternative services that might be advantageous to them.

Patients have the responsibility to:
• Provide accurate and complete information about pre-sent complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to their health.
• Provide other names by which they have been known, as well as any changes in address or telephone numbers.
• Report unexpected changes in their condition to the responsible care provider.
• Report whether they clearly comprehend a contemplated course of action and what is expected of them.
• Follow the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily responsible for their care and inform the phy-sician about obstacles that would prevent the patient from following the treatment plan, including discharge instruc-tions.
• Ensure that the financial obligations of their health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
• Follow hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
• Consider the rights of other patients and hospital personnel and assist in the control of noise and the number of vis-itors. Patients are also responsible for being respectful of the property of others and of the hospital.
• Refrain from smoking on the hospital grounds as UTMB Health is a “smoke free” environment.
• Be respectful of the property of others and of the hospital.

Advance Directives

An advance directive is defined as “a written instruction such as living will or medical power of attorney for health care recognized under state law and relating to the provision of such care when the person is incapacitated.” In Texas there are three types of advance directives: Directive to Physicians, Medical Power of Attorney, and Out-of-Hospital Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order. If a patient wishes to formulate an advance directive, the necessary documents can be made available by the hospital. Once formulated, the completed document, which is signed by the patient, becomes a part of the patient’s permanent medical record. A patient has the option to review or revise advance directives. The existence or lack of an advance directive does not determine an individual’s access to care, treatment or services.

Questions or assistance

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Patient Services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, by calling (409) 772-4772 or send email to patient.services@utmb.edu. After hours and on weekends, contact the hospital operator at (409) 772-1011 and ask to speak to the Nurse Administrator on call. 



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