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Patient Rights

Advance Directives

Advance Directives are documents which state your choices about medical treatment or name someone to make decisions about your medical treatment if you are unable to make decisions or choices yourself.  You should discuss with your family and doctors what you want to do in such cases and be sure to bring a copy of your Advance Directives upon each admission to the hospital.

Advance Care Plan is a document that tells your doctor how you want to be treated if you are terminally ill, permanently-unconscious or in an end-stage condition.  You can use this document to tell your doctor you want to avoid life-prolonging interventions such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), kidney dialysis or breathing machines. You may use this document to tell your doctor you want to be pain free and comfortable at the end of life. 

Appointment of Health Care Agent Form is another type of advance directive that allows you to appoint another person to make medical decisions for you if you should become temporarily or permanently unable to make those decisions for yourself.

Organ/Tissue Donation

If you choose to become an organ donor, sign an organ donor card in the presence of two witnesses.  In the event of your death, your healthcare providers will know your decisions.  Before you become an organ donor, be sure to discuss the decision with your family.

Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center is obligated to provide you information regarding your rights to make decisions concerning your healthcare, including the right to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment, even if that treatment may be life sustaining. The hospital will provide the necessary forms and a notary if you wish to prepare an Advance Directive.  Advance Directives should either be witnessed by two competent adults or notarized. If witnessed, neither witness should be the person appointed as the healthcare agent, and one of the witnesses should be someone not related to you or entitled to any part of your estate. Forms are located in the back of this Patient Guide or you may contact the following departments: Social Services – 331-1209; Patient Representative – 331-1611; Pastoral Services – 331-1234; Nursing Supervisor – Extension 0.

Ethics Committee

As part of our mission to provide the highest quality of personalized patient care, Fort Sanders Regional has established an Ethics Committee.  Composed of representatives from our medical and nursing staffs, as well as representatives from the local clergy and hospice, social services and the community, the Ethics Committee explores and addresses ethical issues that may arise.

As a patient, spouse or significant other of a patient, it is your right to bring an ethical concern to the attention of the Ethics Committee.  This may be done by contacting the hospital Operator and asking to speak to the Administrative Supervisor.

Examples of ethical issues in a healthcare setting might include decisions involving the withholding of life support mechanisms or the perception that a physician or other caregiver did not provide appropriate care or did not use appropriate conduct.

Grievance Process

If you have a complaint or concern about your care, the first step is to discuss it with your physician, nurse or patient representative.  Most complaints can be resolved to your satisfaction by discussing them with the appropriate hospital personnel.  However, if the concern cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right to file a grievance and have it reviewed by the hospital Grievance Committee.

To initiate the grievance process, request to speak with a patient representative (dial 11611).  You may file your grievance verbally or in writing.  The patient representative will have a form you can use if you want to write out your complaint.  The Grievance Committee will meet, review your concern, and provide you with a written response.

You also have a right to submit a grievance with the State.  If you wish to do this, contact the Tennessee Department of Health at 1-877-287-0010.

Patient Privacy

Upon admission, patients will be asked by the registration staff to select a four digit Patient Identification Number (PIN).  The PIN should be given by the patient to all family and friends to whom they desire their medical information be disclosed.  Patients can also choose to be considered a “no information” patient, which means no confirmation of presence or status will be shared with callers.