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Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities

Rights that can be exercised by the patient, or patient’s designated representative, as appropriate.

Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center wants you to have the best possible care. We want you to know what your rights are as a patient, as well as what your obligations are to yourself, your physician and the hospital. We encourage you or those who represent you to talk openly to those involved in your care.


Individuals shall be accorded impartial access to treatment, accommodations that are available or medically indicated, regardless of race, creed, gender, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or sources of payment for care.

As a patient, you have a right to:

  • Quality care provided by competent personnel in a considerate, respectful and safe environment
  • Expect your personal privacy to be respected to the fullest extent consistent with the care prescribed for you.
  • Make informed decisions about your care, including requesting consultation or second opinion from another physician, or requesting transfer to another facility. This includes receiving information, explanations, consequences and options needed to make an informed decision.
  • Designate a personal representative of your choice.
  • Your Advance Directive be honored to the extent of the law.
  • Receive information on Advance Directives upon request.
  • Request and receive a complete explanation of our charges and your bill.
  • Know the name and professional status of the persons responsible for your care.
  • Hear from your primary physician, in a language that you understand, your health status including diagnosis and prognosis, the treatment prescribed, and any follow-up care instructions.
  • Have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Question and expect an answer to any concerns related to therapies or services provided.
  • Have ethical concerns about your treatment of care appropriately addressed. For specific concerns or further information, call Patient Representative at extension 11611 or  page the Administrative Supervisor through the Operator “0”.
  • Receive visitors whom you designate, including, but not limited to, spouse, domestic partner (including same sex domestic partner), another family member, or friend. You or your designated representative have the right to withdraw or deny visitors at any time. (All visitors designated by you or your representative, where appropriate, enjoy visitation privileges that are no more restrictive than those that immediate family members would enjoy.)
  • File a grievance with the hospital and to have your grievance reviewed and resolved by the Grievance Committee in a timely manner (usually within 7 days). For additional information or to file a grievance contact the Patient Representative at extension 11611.
  • File a grievance with the Tennessee Department of Health regardless of whether you have used the hospital’s grievance process before. The department may be contacted by calling (877) 287-0010 or by writing to: Tennessee Department of Health, Division of Health Licensure and Regulation, Office of Healthcare Facilities, 665 Mainstream Drive, Second Floor, Nashville, TN 37243.
  • Religious and cultural practices as long as they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment.
  • Expect communications with staff and records pertaining to your care, including the source of payment for treatment, be kept confidential.
  • Actively participate in decision making and in developing and implementing your treatment, plan of care and discharge plan.
  • Appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  • Access your medical records.
  • Be free from discrimination, abuse or harassment.
  • Be informed of circumstances in which your Advance Directive will not be followed.
  • Name a designated family member or someone you trust to act as your surrogate decision maker.
  • Be free from seclusion and restraints, unless medically necessary.
  • Access an interpreter when you do not speak or understand the predominant language of the community. This is particularly true where language, hearing and vision barriers are a continuing problem.
  • Not to be transferred to another facility unless you have received a complete explanation of the need for the transfer and of the alternatives to such a transfer and unless the transfer is acceptable to the other facility.
  • Request discharge planning evaluation.
  • Prior to discharge to be informed by practitioner (or delegate) of any continuing health requirements.
  • Expect upon discharge, there will be a smooth “hand-off” transition to post-hospital care.
  • Express a complaint or concern about your care with your physician, nursing manager, or supervisor. Any staff member can help you start this process. Most complaints have obvious causes that can be resolved to your satisfaction by discussing this with appropriate hospital personnel or your physician.
  • If you are an inpatient Medicare beneficiary, to receive a notice of discharge and non-coverage rights and to file complaints related to quality of care, coverage, or premature discharge with the appropriate Utilization and Quality Control Quality Improvement Organization. The hospital will assist you with referring such complaints.
  • If you are a Medicare/Medicaid beneficiary to file a grievance with the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services at 800-633-4227 or
  • Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center is a Joint Commission accredited facility. Anyone who has concerns about the safety or quality of care at an accredited organization may share those concerns with The Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring by phone 800-994-6610 or by sending an email to

While the hospital recognizes that you have rights which should be protected and appropriately cared for, it also recognizes that you, your family/representatives and visitors have certain responsibilities to assist the hospital to appropriately care for you during your hospital stay.

As a patient you are responsible to/for:

  • Share complete and accurate medical history and information.
  • Actively participate in your care and follow instructions and medical orders.
  • Advise your nurse, physician, and/or Patient Representative of any dissatisfaction you may have regarding care.
  • Express any concerns about your ability to follow the proposed plan of care or course of treatment.
  • Your actions if you refuse treatment or do not follow the practitioner’s instructions.
  • Personal valuables/possessions that you maintain during your stay that have not been deposited with facility for safekeeping and for which receipt has been issued.
  • Cooperate in your care and ask questions if you do not understand your care, treatment or service or what you are expected to do.
  • Respect the needs, rights, and property of other patients, family members, and caregivers.
  • Report unexpected changes in your condition or perceived risks in your care to the responsible practitioner.
  • Meet your financial obligations associated with your care.
  • Cooperating with the hospital visiting rules and regulations which are to protect the rights of individual patients and others in such areas as privacy, confidentiality, and peace of mind.