Patient Rights & Responsibilities
Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (CMC/DHK) strives to make your healthcare visit as effective as possible. Health care involves a partnership between patients, families and healthcare providers. When you are well informed, participate in treatment decisions, and communicate openly with your provider and other healthcare staff members, you help make your care more effective. We encourage respect for the personal preferences and values of each individual. This guide to your rights as a patient is intended to inform you of your rights to receive quality health care and what steps you can take if you have a concern.
1. As a patient of Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene, it is your right to have care provided in a safe manner by competent and trained staff. You can expect that we will do our best to respond to any requests you may have. We will care for you regardless of your sex, gender, race, color, national origin, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religious or cultural beliefs, physical or mental disability or economic status. If we cannot provide the medical services you need, we will make arrangements for transfer to an appropriate facility, recognizing your rights to choose from available resources.
2. 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 social, spiritual, personal values, beliefs and preferences as they affect the manner in which care is provided.
3. You have the right to have any grievances and concerns heard and to have any care conflicts resolved in a timely manner. At CMC/DHK you can call patient relations at 603-354-6577, if your concern cannot be handled with the staff taking care of you, or if you prefer not to bring it to their attention. We encourage you to voice your concerns directly with the staff taking care of you if you can. There will be no retaliation in response to any concern or complaint you may raise.
If we cannot meet your needs, you can contact:
- NH Board of Medicine http://www.nh.gov/medicine or call 603-271-1203.
- NH Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Ombudsman at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/oos/ombudsman/index.htm or call 603-271-6941
- The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org or call 1-800-994-6610.
- NH Legal Aid, 15 Green Street, Concord, NH 03431 http://www.nhlegalaid.org/ or call 1- (800)-639-5290.
- NH Bureau of Insurance at http://www.nh.gov/insurance/ or call (603) 271-2261.
- Medicare links to other resources http://www.medicare.gov/contacts/state-search-results.aspx?stateresult=ALL&stateabbr=NH|New Hampshire
4. You have the right to request a meeting of the CMC/DHK Ethics Committee to assist in discussion of ethical concerns related to your care. The intent of the Ethics Committee is to facilitate the decision making process and to assist you (and your family) and the care team in clarifying the consequences of decisions about your course of treatment.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. You have the right to be advised if your provider 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.
9. You have the right to every consideration of privacy concerning your medical care and to expect confidentiality of your medical information except 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 also have the right to access your medical records through our patient portal, My-DH Keene. For additional information, please consult the Notice of Privacy Practices or contact our Privacy office at 603-354-5454 x 2170.
10. 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. We ask that you discuss pain relief options with your provider and work with them to develop a pain relief plan.
11. You have the right to opt out of our facility directory thereby requiring us to not acknowledge that you are here at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene to anyone in the public who may ask for you.
12. 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. If you need financial assistance, please inquire about possible financial aid to help pay your bill or to help pay for your medications. We have financial counselors available to assist you.
13. You have the right to the presence of a support person or care giver at any time during your care, except where safety or infection control concerns may prohibit this access. This includes a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member or a friend. The patient has the right to withdraw the designation of the support person at any time. You have a right to designate a care giver upon entry to the hospital.
14. You or your representative have the right to be provided "An Important Message from Medicare" if you are a medicare beneficiary and are an inpatient status within two (2) days of Admission. This outlines the discharge appeal rights. The notice is provided again to the patient (or his/her representative) not more than two calendar days before the patient’s discharge. If he/she is in the hospital for less than two calendar days the second notice is not required. A patient who is in Observation status is not required to receive "An Important Message from Medicare".
1. Provide complete and accurate medical information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to your health to your healthcare providers.
2. 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 provider’s advice, talk with your provider and healthcare team regarding the best possible healthcare plan and do your best to follow the agreed upon plan. If you do choose to leave against your provider’s advice, you will be asked to sign a form releasing the provider and hospital from responsibility for any harm resulting from your early departure.
3. We ask that you be considerate of other patients and observe our guidelines, which have been established for the benefit of every patient. Specifically, help us maintain a restful and quiet environment by keeping visitors to a minimum.
4. We ask that you report perceived risks in your care and unexpected changes in your condition.
5. We encourage you to ask questions when you do not understand your care, treatment or service of what you are expected to do.
6. We ask that you provide full and accurate information, including up to date contact information, including telephone number, address and emergency contacts.