Your Patient Rights

When you’re a North Shore Medical Center patient, we treat you as a partner in your healthcare. As a partner, you have certain rights and responsibilities. We respect your patient rights, and we want to equip you to communicate with our staff openly and effectively.

The below section provides a full explanation of your rights on the following:

Patient Rights

As a Patient You Have the Right To:


Care Planning:

• Impartial, reasonable access to medical care/treatment or accommodations regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.

• Treatment and care for an emergency medical condition that could deteriorate from failure to provide treatment.

• Care that considers and respects your psychosocial, personal/cultural values and beliefs.

• Receive information in a manner that you understand.

• Have information provided to you in a manner that meets your needs in the event you have visual, speech, hearing or cognitive impairments.

• Know what patient support services are available to you (i.e. – interpreter, communication techniques or aides).

• To be treated with courtesy and respect, with appreciation for your dignity, and with protection of your need for personal privacy.

• Within the limits of the law, personal privacy and confidentiality of information.  You have the right to expect that information will not be released without your consent.

• Know who is responsible for your care and their qualifications.

• Participate in the creation and implementation of your plan of care including your inpatient treatment/care plan, outpatient treatment/care plan, discharge plan, and your pain management plan (assessment and re-assessment).

• Have family participate in care decisions or exclude any and all family members from participating in your care decisions.

• Be free of restraints that are not medically needed.

• A chaperone present during sensitive physical examinations and treatments. The chaperone may be a healthcare provider of the same gender as the patient, a friend, or family member, depending on the patient’s preference. Patient’s sense of privacy or modesty, cultural and religious beliefs will be considered.

• Request a second opinion or be transferred to another facility.

Informed Consent:

• Be given by the healthcare provider information concerning your care, health status, diagnosis(es), planned course of treatment, alternatives to treatment, risks and prognosis. 

• Give informed consent after explanation of the risks, benefits and alternatives of proposed treatments and procedures. 

• Accept and/or refuse medical care/treatment to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed of medical consequences of such refusal.  Such refusal will be documented by the healthcare provider. This right does not allow you to demand treatment or services that are deemed to be inappropriate, medically unnecessary, or unavailable at the facility.

• To give or withhold informed consent to produce or use recordings, films, or other images for purposes

• Know if medical treatment is for purposes of experimental treatment, research (investigation/clinical trials) or education and, to give consent or refusal to participate in such experimental research.

Advanced Directives:

• Designate a decision-maker (HealthCare Surrogate) in case you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or are unable to communicate your wishes regarding your care.

• Participate in ethical questions, the creation and implementation of your plan of care, treatment, and decisions regarding your care including, but not limited to such issues as: conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative measures, foregoing or withdrawing life support treatment (i.e. – artificial means of breathing by machine, dialysis, and medications), formulating Advance Directives and care at end of life.

Notification of Admission/Admission:

• Have a family member or representative of your choice and your physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.

• Retain/use your personal clothing as space permits unless therapeutically contraindicated.

Visitation Rights:

• Have the right to receive visitors designated by you, including, but not limited to a spouse, domestic partner including a same sex domestic partner, another family member, or a friend; you also have the right to withdraw or deny such consent for visitation at any time.

• Designate a support individual, of your choice, to be present for emotional support during the course of your stay, unless the presence infringes on the rights of others, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated.

Complaints and Grievances:

• Expressed grievances/complaints reviewed, and when possible resolved.  Grievances/complaints can be communicated to any member of the medical team (i.e. – physician, Patient Representative, charge nurse, department directors, etc.).  In addition, patient grievances/complaints may be reported directly to either or both of the following by writing or calling:

Agency for Health Care Administration, Consumer Assistance Unit
2727 Mahan Drive, Building 1, Mailstop #27
Tallahassee, FL 32308

The Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring
1-800-994-6610 or
Abuse Hotline: 1-800-96-ABUSE (22873)

• Request that the quality of your care or discharge plan be reviewed by the appropriate Quality Control and Peer Review Organization as outlined in your Important Message from Medicare Letter. (Medicare/Medicaid patients only)

• Access protective services and to be free of abuse, harassment, and neglect. (Abuse Hotline: 1-800-96-ABUSE (22873).


• Be given, upon request, information and counseling on the availability of financial resources related to your care.

• Receive, upon retest, prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for your medical care.

• Receive a copy of an itemized bill and upon request an explanation of charges.

• Know, upon request, and prior to treatment, if hospital accepts Medicare assignment rates (Medicare patients only).


• A prompt response to questions and requests.

• Access communication, except under circumstances that may pose a risk to you or others.

• Pastoral care and other spiritual services.

• Know what rules and regulations apply to your conduct.

• Request a copy of the hospital’s Code of Ethical Behavioral Policy.

Patient Responsibilities

• A patient is responsible for honestly providing to the healthcare provider, to the best of his/her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to his/her health.

• A patient is responsible for reporting unexpected changes in his/her condition to the healthcare provider.

• A patient is responsible for reporting to his healthcare provider whether he/she understands an intended course of action and what is expected from him/her.

• You, as the patient are responsible for following the treatment plan created and recommended by the healthcare provider.  Your participation in the treatment plan is necessary to meet your ongoing healthcare needs.  A patient should express any concerns and ask questions you may have about your ability to follow the proposed course of treatment; the hospital in turn makes every effort to adapt the treatment plan to each patient’s specific needs and limitations.  The patient and family should understand the consequences of failing to follow the recommended course of treatment, or of using other treatments.

• If a patient or family refuses treatment or fails to follow the healthcare providers’ instructions, then the patient is responsible for the outcome.

• A patient is responsible for keeping appointments and, when unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the healthcare provider or facility.

• A patient is responsible for assuring that the financial obligations of his/her healthcare are fulfilled as promptly as possible.

• A patient is responsible for following healthcare facility rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.

• Patients and families are expected to be considerate of other patients and hospital personnel by not making unnecessary noise, smoking (this is a non-smoking facility), or causing distractions.

• Patients and families are responsible for respecting the property of other persons and that of the hospital.

• A patient is responsible for any and all personal belongings that he/she chooses to retain with themselves.  (i.e. – clothes , money, eyeglasses, dentures, etc.)