Legal & Compliance

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

University of Cincinnati Medical Center respects the basic rights for patients set forth by the Ohio Revised Code, Joint Commission and CMS HCO and supports the idea that observance of these rights will promote the highest standard of medical care and respect for each patient’s personal dignity. UCMC will not discriminate in the care of patients on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, handicap, age, or status as disabled or veteran of the Vietnam Era.

Patient Rights

  1. Patients have the right to quality care and to treatment that is not influenced by sex, race, education, sexual orientation, gender identity, source of payment, or any other factor unrelated to his/her care, and expects the hospital and its staff to respond to any other reasonable request for services they can provide.
  2. Patients have the right to be recognized as individuals with unique health care needs, treated with respect and consideration, listed to, served courteously, and addressed by the title they prefer. Psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural variables that influence the perceptions of illness and the expression of grief are to be respected in providing medical care to patients, and support to them and their families.
  3. Patients have the right to have a family member or representative of his/her choice and his/her own physician notified promptly regarding his/her admission to the hospital.
  4. Patients have the right to information about pain management, a staff committed to pain prevention and management, and access to treatments that are safe.
  5. Patients have the right to participate in the development and implementation of his/her plan of care. This includes the right to make informed decisions. This right must not be construed as a mechanism to demand the provision of treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate.
  6. Information necessary to enable the patient to make treatment decisions that reflect his/her wishes should be provided every competent patient except where, in the opinion of the patient’s primary physician, the information will adversely affect the prognosis.
  7. Patients have the right to know the name and qualifications of anyone who is involved in his/her care, and the right to expect and obtain from his/her physician complete and current information concerning his/her diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in terms that he/she can reasonably be expected to understand.
  8. Patients also have the right to refuse treatment and/or to leave the hospital against medical advice, except in special situations, and be informed of the medical consequences of such action.
  9. Patients have the right to know about and decide whether to participate in any research or experimental treatment related to his/her medical care.
  10. Patients have the right to formulate advance directives to state their health care decisions through a valid Living Will or Healthcare Durable Power of Attorney. The University of Cincinnati Medical Center will recognize these documents consistent with Ohio Law, and in accordance with hospital policy. However, the existence of a Living Will or Healthcare Durable Power of Attorney is not a condition or prerequisite for medical care.
  11. Patients have the right to access protective services when physical, mental, or living condition puts you at risk, or indicates possible neglect, abuse or exploitation. Hospital Social Work Department will assist in contacting appropriate community or governmental agencies for followup as needed.
  12. Patients have the right to confidentiality in their conversations with medical or hospital staff members and the right to privacy during examination and treatment. All information in the clinical record will be kept confidential. In addition, it is right of the patient and/or the patient’s legally designated representative to have access to the information contained in the patient’s medical record, within reasonable time and place restrictions and the limits of the law.
  13. Patients have a right to an explanation of their bill and assistance in obtaining whatever aid is available to them.
  14. Patients have a right to verbalize a complaint or file a grievance without fear that their action will affect their care, and expect a timely response that substantively addresses their complaint. 
  15. Patients or their designated representatives have the right to participate in the consideration of ethical issues that arise concerning medical care. They may request that ethical issues be considered by the Ethics Committee.
  16. If a patient is unable to understand proposed treatment or procedures, or unable to communicate his/her wishes regarding treatment, his/her guardian, next of kin or legally responsible person can exercise, to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy, the rights delineated on behalf of the patient.
  17. In accordance with the Rehabilitation Act, Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, patients with disabilities have a right to hospital-provided aids to ensure equal access to treatment and services. This includes a language interpreter for non-English speaking patients and a sign language interpreter for deaf or hearing-impaired patients.
  18. Patients have the right to be free from restraints of any form. Refer to Hospital Policies for medical and behavioral restraints.
  19. Patients have the right to receive care in a safe and secure setting.

Patient Responsibilities

  1. Patients have the responsibility to give the staff all the information they can concern their general health and medical history.
  2. Patients and their visitors have the responsibility to be considerate (particularly concerning the non-smoking policy and level of noise in their room) and to respect the privacy of others.
  3. Patients and their visitors have the responsibility to cooperate with hospital personnel and to tell them if they do not understand their instructions or if they believe they cannot follow them. Patients and their visitors have the responsibility to obey the rules and regulations of the hospital, particularly those concerning the number of visitors they may have and limitations on visits by children.
  4. Patients have the responsibility to tell a member of the staff if they are not receiving fair or proper treatment.
  5. Patients have the responsibility to keep scheduled follow-up appointments or to notify the hospital so that adequate provision can be made for their care.
  6. Patients have the responsibility to provide necessary financial information and to take action to see that their hospital bill is paid promptly.