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Patient Rights and Responsibilities

HCA Florida Gulf Coast Hospital respects the dignity and pride of each individual we serve. Learn more about the patient rights and responsibilities.

Patient rights

Gulf Coast Hospital respects the dignity and pride of each individual we serve. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, disability, race, color, ancestry, citizenship, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, payment source or ability, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law. Each individual shall be informed of the patient's rights and responsibilities in advance of administering or discontinuing patient care. We adopt and affirm as policy the following rights of patient/clients who receive services from our facilities:

Considerate and respectful care

  • To receive ethical, high-quality, safe and professional care without discrimination
  • To be free from all forms of abuse and harassment
  • To be treated with consideration, respect and recognition of their individuality, including the need for privacy in treatment. This includes the right to request the facility provide a person of one's own gender to be present during certain parts of physical examinations, treatments or procedures performed by a health professional of the opposite sex, except in emergencies, and the right not to remain undressed any longer than is required for accomplishing the medical purpose for which the patient was asked to undress

Information regarding health status and care

  • To be informed of his/her health status in terms that patient can reasonably be expected to understand, and to participate in the development and the implementation of his/her plan of care and treatment
  • The right to be informed of the names, functions and qualifications of all physicians and other health care professionals who are providing direct care to the patient
  • The right to be informed about any continuing health care requirements after his/her discharge from the hospital. The patient shall also have the right to receive assistance from the physician and appropriate hospital staff in arranging for required follow-up care after discharge.
  • To be informed of risks, benefits and side effects of all medications and treatment procedures, particularly those considered innovative or experimental
  • To be informed of all appropriate alternative treatment procedures
  • To be informed of the outcomes of care, treatment and services
  • To appropriate assessment and management of pain
  • To be informed if the hospital has authorized other health care and/or education institutions to participate in the patient's treatment. The patient shall also have a right to know the identity and function of these institutions, and may refuse to allow their participation in his/her treatment

Decision making and notification

  • To choose a person to be his/her healthcare representative and/or decision maker. The patient may also exercise his/her right to exclude any family members from participating in his/her healthcare decisions.
  • To have a family member, chosen representative and/or his or her own physician notified promptly of admission to the hospital
  • To request or refuse treatment. This right must not be construed as a mechanism to demand the provision of treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate
  • To be included in experimental research only when he or she gives informed, written consent to such participation. The patient may refuse to participate in experimental research, including the investigations of new drugs and medical devices
  • To formulate advance directives and have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives
  • To leave the healthcare facility against one's physician's advice to the extent permitted by law

Access to services

  • To receive, as soon as possible, the free services of a translator and/or interpreter, telecommunications devices, and any other necessary services or devices to facilitate communication between the patient and the hospitals' health care personnel (e.g., qualified interpreters, written information in other languages, large print, accessible electronic formats)
  • To bring a service animal into the facility, except where service animals are specifically prohibited pursuant to facility policy (e.g., operating rooms, patient units where a patient is immunosuppressed or in isolation)
  • To pastoral counseling and to take part in religious and/or social activities while in the hospital, unless one's doctor thinks these activities are not medically advised
  • To safe, secure and sanitary accommodation and a nourishing, well balanced and varied diet
  • To access people outside the facility by means of verbal and written communication
  • To have accessibility to facility buildings and grounds. Gulf Coast Hospital recognizes the Americans with Disabilities Act, a wide-ranging piece of legislation intended to make American society more accessible to people with disabilities. The policy is available upon request
  • To a prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests for service
  • To request a discharge planning evaluation

Access to medical records

  • To have his/her medical records, including all computerized medical information, kept confidential and to access information within a reasonable time frame. The patient may decide who may receive copies of the records except as required by law
  • Upon leaving the healthcare facility, patients have the right to obtain copies of their medical records

Ethical decisions

  • To participate in ethical decisions that may arise in the course of care including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services, foregoing or withdrawal of life sustaining treatment, and participation in investigational studies or clinical trials
  • If the healthcare facility or its team decides that the patient's refusal of treatment prevents him/her from receiving appropriate care according to ethical and professional standards, the relationship with the patient may be terminated

Protective services

  • To access protective and advocacy services
  • To be free from restraints of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff
  • The patient who receives treatment for mental illness or developmental disability, in addition to the rights listed herein, has the rights provided by any applicable state law
  • To all legal and civil rights as a citizen unless otherwise prescribed by law
  • To have upon request an impartial review of hazardous treatments or irreversible surgical treatments prior to implementation except in emergency procedures necessary to preserve one's life
  • To an impartial review of alleged violations of patient rights
  • To expect emergency procedures to be carried out without unnecessary delay
  • To receive treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment
  • To give consent to a procedure or treatment and to access the information necessary to provide such consent
  • To not be required to perform work for the facility unless the work is part of the patient's treatment and is done by choice of the patient
  • To file a complaint with the Department of Health or other quality improvement, accreditation or other certifying bodies if he /she has a concern about patient abuse, neglect, about misappropriation of a patient's property in the facility or other unresolved complaint, patient safety or quality concern

Payment and administration

  • To examine and receive an explanation of the patient's healthcare facility's bill regardless of source of payment, and may receive upon request, information relating to the availability of known financial resources
  • If uninsured, to receive, before the provision of a planned nonemergency medical service, a reasonable estimate of charges for such service and information regarding any discount or charity policies for which the uninsured person may be eligible
  • A patient who is eligible for Medicare has the right to know, upon request and in advance of treatment, whether the health care provider or health care facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate
  • To receive, upon request, prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care
  • To be informed in writing about the facility policies and procedures for initiation, review and resolution of patient complaints, including the address and telephone number of where complaints may be filed

Additional patient rights

  • Except in emergencies, the patient may be transferred to another facility only with a full explanation of the reason for transfer, provisions for continuing care and acceptance by the receiving institution
  • To initiate their own contact with the media
  • To get the opinion of another physician, including specialists, at the request and expense of the patient
  • To wear appropriate personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items, as long as they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment
  • To request a transfer to another room if another patient or a visitor in the room is unreasonably disturbing him/her
  • To request pet visitation except where animals are specifically prohibited pursuant to the facility's policies (e.g., operating rooms, patient units where a patient is immunosuppressed or in isolation)