Patient rights and responsibilities
Our hospital takes patient rights very seriously. We believe all patients deserve respectful care where they are involved in and notified of treatment decisions. Read to learn more about the rights you are entitled to during your stay.
HCA Virginia respects the dignity and pride of each individual we serve. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of 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 one's physician's advice to the extent permitted by law
Access to Services
- To receive, as soon as possible, the free 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 (e.g., qualified interpreters, written information in other languages, large print, accessible electronic formats)
- 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 one's 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. HCA Virginia 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
- To request a discharge planning evaluation
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
- 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
- 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
- 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 one's 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 as they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment
- 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)
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
HCA Virginia 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 one's attorney, physician or clergyperson 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
Virginia Notice of Patient Rights Regarding Designated Support Persons
Effective March 18, 2021, state law requires all hospitals (except long-term acute care and specialty rehabilitation), ambulatory surgical centers, and hospice facilities to allow a person with a disability who requires support and assistance due to the disability to be accompanied by a designated support person when health care services are being provided. If services last more than 24 hours, the patient may designate more than one designated support person to accompany the patient at different times throughout the stay.
What is a person with a disability?
For purposes of the law, person with a disability means a person who, prior to admission to a medical facility, had a physical, sensory, mental, or emotional impairment that substantially limits one or more activities of daily living or has a record of such impairment.
“Activity of daily living” means a personal care task such as bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, and eating or feeding.
Can a hospital, ambulatory surgical center, or hospice facility limit access to designated support persons under its visitation policies?
For purposes of the law, designated support persons are not considered visitors and are not subject to any restrictions on visitation adopted by a medical care facility. However, designated support persons may be required to comply with various requirements adopted to protect the health and safety of patients, the designated support person, staff, and visitors. Also, the designated support person may not be permitted entry to specified areas of the facility, such as an operating room, and movement around the premises may be limited where necessary to protect health and safety.
If you have questions about the specific requirements that apply to designated support persons, ask your medical care facility.
Where can I find more information about the rights of a person with a disability to be accompanied by a designated support person?
If you have questions or need more information about the right to be accompanied by a designated support person, ask your medical care facility. They will provide you with specific information on any policies related to designated support persons. The medical care facility is also required to post information about the rights of patients to be accompanied by a designated support person on its website.
HCA Virginia Equity Compliance Coordinators
- Chippenham Hospital, Johnston-Willis Hospital, Chippenham Hospital’s Tucker Pavilion, Chippenham Hospital’s Swift Creek Emergency Room, HCA Virginia Sports Medicine
- Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, Parham Doctors’ Hospital, Retreat Doctors’ Hospital, Hanover Emergency Center, Independence Park Imaging Center, West Creek Emergency Center
- TriCities Hospital, Colonial Heights Surgery Center, Appomattox Imaging Center, Prince George ER
- Reston Hospital Center
- Ask for Equity Care Coordinator
- Phone: (703) 689-9000
- Ask for Equity Care Coordinator
Patient Advocate Info
If you have a concern or a compliment regarding your care, please contact the Patient Advocate.
For Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, West Creek Emergency Center, and Hanover Emergency Center, the Patient Advocate can be reached at (804) 289-4691.
For Parham Doctors’ Hospital and Retreat Doctors’ Hospital, the Patient Advocate can be reached at (804) 747-5689.
For Reston Hospital Center, the Patient Advocate can be reached at (703) 639-9470.