Patient Rights & Responsibilities
The board of trustees, the medical staff and the employees of Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene jointly affirm and recognize the following rights and responsibilities of patients.
- As a patient of Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene, you have the right to have care provided in a safe manner by competent and trained staff. You have the right to expect that the organization will make a reasonable response to your request for services. The organization will provide evaluation, medical care and/or referral as indicated by the urgency of your diagnosis or care needs, without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, creed, age, religious or cultural beliefs, physical or mental handicap or economic status. When required services cannot be provided by Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene, arrangements will be made for transfer to the appropriate facility.
- You have the right to compassionate and respectful care at all times and under all circumstances, with recognition of your personal dignity. Your care will include consideration and respect for you and your family's psychosocial, spiritual, personal values, beliefs and preferences as they affect the manner in which care is provided.
- You have the right to have any complaints and concerns heard and to have any care conflicts resolved in a timely manner. At Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene you can call the patient representative at 603-354-5454, Ext. 6577.
- If you have a care issue that is unresolved and you are unable to agree with your physician's recommendations for care, the physician will make arrangements to transfer your care to another physician associated with Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene or transfer you to another hospital, if you are an inpatient.
If your attending physician cannot agree with decisions you, your family or legal guardian wish to make regarding medical care, the physician has the option to withdraw from the case providing he/she has arranged for your continued care. In both instances, the physician will continue providing your care until satisfactory arrangements are made. If you have a care issue that is unresolved and you are not satisfied with the final determination, external resources are:
Physician issues are referred to the NH Board of Medicine http://www.nh.gov/medicine or call 603-271-1203.
Institutional issues are referred to the NH Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Ombudsman or call 603-271-6941 and/or the Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org or call 1-800-994-6610.
- You have the right to request a meeting of the Ethics Committee to assist in discussion of ethical concerns and conflicts related to your care. The intent of the Ethics Committee is to clarify information and assure understanding of medical care and consequences of accepting or refusing recommended care.
- You have the right to receive complete and current information about your condition, medical treatments, and diagnostic and surgical procedures in a manner that is easily understood in order for you to give informed consent. You have the right to be involved in the planning and delivery of your care both during and after your hospitalization. You have the right to accept or refuse treatment or procedures to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of your refusal.
- You have the right to be treated in the least restrictive manner and to be free of any form of seclusion or restraint that is not necessary to meet your safety needs or the needs of others.
- You have the right to provide or to formulate advance directives and to appoint a representative to make health care decisions on your behalf to the extent permitted by law. Your wishes will be reviewed with you and information will be provided regarding the extent to which the organization is able, unable or unwilling to honor your wishes.
- You have the right to be advised if your physician or the organization proposes to engage in or conduct research or educational projects affecting your care and treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in any such projects.
- You have the right to every consideration of privacy concerning your medical care and to expect confidentiality of your medical information to the extent that disclosure may be required by your insurer or by law. This may include requirements for disclosure of information regarding cases of HIV, tuberculosis, meningitis, and other diseases that are reported to organizations such as health departments. Within this guideline, you have the right to access information contained in your medical record, request amendment to, and receive an account of disclosures regarding your health information within the limits of the law.
- You have the right to expect information about pain relief measures and a staff committed to quick responses to reports of pain. Your pain level will be assessed routinely and pain relief options will be provided. As a patient at Cheshire Medical Center/ Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene we ask that you discuss pain relief options with your doctor and nurse and work with them to develop a pain relief plan.
- You have the right to request written information that details the hospital's room rate and the services included in that rate. We will also inform you of those services not usually covered by Medicare or Medicaid. You may inquire about possible financial aid to help pay your bill.
- All patients have the right to equal access to visitors of their choosing- whether or not those visitors are, or are perceived to be, members of a patient’s family. This includes a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner). The patient has the right to withdraw such consent at any time.
- You have the responsibility to provide complete and accurate medical information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to your health to your healthcare providers.
- If you are admitted to the hospital, your hospital stay is based on the professional assessment of your medical needs. Should you decide to leave the hospital against your physician's advice, careful consideration should be given to your personal health and safety and to that of others. If you do choose to leave against your physician's advice, you will be asked to sign a form releasing the physician and hospital from responsibility for any harm resulting from your early departure.
- You have the responsibility to be considerate of other patients and to observe guidelines, which have been established for the benefit of every patient, and to be candid about your feelings with those who care for you.
- You have the responsibility to report perceived risks in your care and unexpected changes in your condition.
- You have the responsibility to ask questions when you do not understand your care, treatment or service or what you are expected to do.
- You have the responsibility to provide full and accurate information for billing purposes and to make appropriate financial arrangements to ensure payments for services.