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Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

You are a partner in the healthcare you receive. Being well informed, involved in treatment decisions, and communicating openly with those providing your care will help you receive the most effective care possible. We respect your personal preferences and values, and while you are a patient in the hospital, you have certain rights and responsibilities.

    As a patient you have the right:
    • To receive necessary care regardless of your race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or source of payment.
    • To receive considerate and respectful care free of verbal or physical abuse or harassment.
    • To have your medical records maintained in a confidential manner unless reporting is required by law, or you have given permission to release
    • To know by name the attending physician primarily responsible for coordinating your care.
    • To receive evaluation of pain and effective means of pain management in a timely manner.
    • To receive compassionate palliative care at the end of life.
    • To access people outside the hospital by means of visitors and verbal or written communication.
    • To have an interpreter if a language barrier or a hearing impairment makes it difficult for you to understand your care/treatment.
    • To be informed as to any relationship between the hospital and any other health care provider insofar as your care is concerned.
    • To consent to or refuse treatment throughout your hospital stay and to be informed of the consequences.
    • To consult with a specialist at your own request and expense.
    • To receive a complete explanation of a need for transfer to another facility along with the alternatives to such a transfer.
    • To request an explanation of the charges for hospital services.
    • To know the hospital rules and regulations that apply to you as a patient.
    • To expect privacy, to the extent feasible, during provision of care.
    • To have immediate family members, guardians or reciprocal beneficiaries stay with you 24 hours
      a day whenever possible, if you are terminally ill.
    • To have a parent or guardian stay with you 24 hours a day, whenever possible, if you are a pediatric patient.
    • To expect a secure environment while you are a patient.
    • To be free from restraints, unless interventions have been determined to be ineffective.
    • To review your medical record and to have information explained.
    • To receive information about any continuing health care requirements or supports before you are discharged.
    • To have access to spiritual and psychological support.
    • To complete advance directives, with assistance if needed, and to know that they will be honored.
    • To know about hospital resources, such as patient representatives and the Ethics Committee, which may help resolve problems or questions about your hospital stay and care.
    • To obtain, from the physician coordinating your care, complete and current information concerning your diagnosis, treatment and any known prognosis in terms that you can understand.
    • To give your consent, or if you are unable to understand or are not competent, to have an immediate family member, guardian or a reciprocal beneficiary, obtain from the physician coordinating your care, complete and current information concerning your diagnosis, treatment and any known prognosis in terms he/she
      can understand.
    • To have complete and current information made available to an immediate family member, guardian or reciprocal beneficiary when it is not medically advisable to give it to you.
    • To be given all information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure or treatment.
    • To refuse to take part in research affecting your care.
    • To report a grievance to the Department of Aging and Disabilities, Division of Licensing and Protection without first reporting to the hospital.
    • The patient has the right to receive an itemized, detailed, and understandable explanation of charges regardless of the source of payment and to be provided with information about financial assistance and billing and collections practices.
    As a patient you have the responsibility:
    • To provide accurate information about your health, including past illness, and other matters relating to your health status.
    • To ask questions when you do not understand information or instructions.
    • To follow the treatment plan decided upon by you and your health care team.
    • To report unexpected changes in your condition to the nurse or physician.
    • To recognize the effect that your lifestyle may have on your health.
    • To inform care givers of specific needs with regard to personal values and beliefs.
    • To observe safety regulations and respect our smoking policy.
    • To be considerate of other patients by respecting their privacy and by limiting visitors.
    • To treat hospital personnel with consideration and respect.
    • To provide information about insurance and to arrange payment when necessary.
    • To provide a copy of your Advance Directive to the hospital and your physician if one has been made.
    • To promptly report any grievance related to the quality of care you receive.
    Grievance and Complaint Process

    If you have a grievance or a complaint to file, we have a process available. The purpose of this process is to improve the quality of care and service to you and our other customers. If you have an immediate concern, you are encouraged to communicate this to any of the following:

    • the person providing you with the service,
    • the department manager of the service involved or the nursing supervisor, or
    • the Quality Management Department, 802-748-7349

    A letter of acknowledgment will be sent to you within three business days of receipt and the written report of our findings will be mailed to you within 30 business days. 

    If you feel it is necessary to discuss your problem with someone outside the hospital, you may contact any of the following: 

    Division of Licensing and Protection, Department
    of Aging and Disabilities

    HC 2 South, 280 State Drive Waterbury, VT 05671-2060
    802-241-0383 or 1-888-700-5330;

    Vermont Department of Health 
    108 Cherry St. PO Box 70 Burlington, VT 05402-0070 (802) 863-7200,
    1-800-464-4343, fax 1-802-865-7754

    VT Board of Medical Practice
    108 Cherry St. PO Box 70
    Burlington, VT 05402
    1-800-745-7371, 1-802-657-4220, fax 1-802-657-4227


    Office of the CEO 802-748-7400
    Billing & Financial Services 802-748-7518
    Care Management 802-748-7367
    Chaplain 802-748-7473