Patient Rights

Understanding Your Rights as a Patient 

You have rights as a patient of Woman’s Hospital. It is important that you understand what your rights are so we can work together towards the best health outcomes. It is our privilege to provide you with an excellent patient experience. 

    You have the right to:  

    • obtain information on your condition, treatment and outlook. This information must be appropriate, up-to-date and understandable.
    • know the risks involved, the possible length of time it will take you to heal and the medical alternatives and associated risks and benefits the doctors can consider.
    • be informed about the possible results of the care you receive. This includes results that are not common but have occurred in other
      people who have received the same care.
    • be informed about the outcomes of care, including unanticipated outcomes.
    • receive information about the patient/family initiated rapid response team.
    • access protective and advocacy services.

    In an emergency, when you are in a life-threatening situation if not treated immediately, there may not be time to give you all of the above information.

    You have the right to:

    • know the names of doctors, nurses and others who will care for you.
    • know when caregivers are students, medical residents or others in training.
    • know of any policy that might affect your decision to be treated at Woman’s.

    If you do not speak English or have limited ability to speak or understand English, you have the right to:

    • have someone explain your treatment and the hospital’s policies in a language you can understand.
    • have a translator, in person, on the phone, or video so that you can communicate with your caregivers about your care and use of hospital services to make “informed decisions.” To make an “informed decision” you must understand everything about the choices you are making. You need to ask questions if you do not understand.

    If you have a disability, you have the right to:

    • be given assistance that meets the Americans with Disabilities Act. This means if you are visually, hearing or speech impaired, you have the right to a translator and/or assistance in understanding your treatment, participating in your care decisions, and understanding the hospital’s policies. If you are physically challenged, you have the right to assistance to help you access hospital services.

    You have the right to: 

    • make decisions about your treatment, care and services before they start and while they are underway, including how pain will be managed.
    • refuse a recommended medicine or treatment to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy. You have the right to be told how your decision may affect you medically.
    • informed consent, obtained by your attending physician, for any treatment or invasive procedure. In order to make an informed decision regarding your care, information will be provided related to the specific procedure(s) and/or treatment(s); the risk involved; the possible length of recovery; and medically reasonable alternatives, including the risks and benefits associated with them.
    • not be restrained with either physical restraints or with medications unless it is necessary to your treatment or to prevent you from
      harming yourself or others.
    • have your representative or guardian carry out your rights as listed here when you are not able to do so, according to Louisiana State Law.
    • call our Patient/Family Initiated Rapid Response Team by dialing 8499 from any hospital phone when there is a significant change in your condition that you have reported to the primary care nurse/charge nurse and you still have concerns.
    • have the right to designate a caregiver, and reasonable efforts will be made to notify the caregiver when you are ready to go home; inform of your abilities and limitations; and provide discharge instructions, including medical tasks that need to be performed, such as wound care.

    You have the right to: 

    • be educated about your pain and choices for treating your pain.
    • receive appropriate and timely assessment, reassessment and pain management.
    • have your reports of pain believed, respected and acted upon by healthcare professionals.

    You have the right to: 

    • have a support person included in or excluded from participating in your care.
    • enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with your preferences and wishes which are subject to justified clinical restrictions (defined as any clinically necessary or reasonable restriction or limitation imposed by the hospital on your visitation rights that would be necessary to provide safe care to you or other patients). Children (under 14 years of age) visiting must be supervised by an adult other than the patient at all times. Children are not allowed to stay overnight.
    • designate a support person—as defined by you—including but not limited to a family member, a spouse, a domestic partner (including same-sex domestic partner), a friend, a caregiver, a significant other, a loved one or other individual to provide you with comfort, support and visitation during the course of your hospital stay and the right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time.
    • receive visitation from designated support persons not restricted, limited, or otherwise denied on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

    Visitation may be restricted and/or not permitted due to health and safety issues of the community.

    You have the right to: 

    • be treated at Woman’s with consideration, dignity, privacy and respect according to your cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, religious and personal values and beliefs, as long as these do not interfere with treatment and do not harm others.
    • be treated in a setting that protects your safety, security and personal privacy and contributes to a positive self-image. This includes complying with laws and regulations when making and using recordings, films, or other images.
    • receive care in a safe setting, a place where no one will disturb or hurt you. This means both real and perceived mental, physical, sexual, and/or verbal abuse; neglect; harassment; and/or exploitation.
    • ask that your name and/or the name of your doctor not be posted outside of your hospital room.
    • ask that your presence in the hospital be kept confidential from telephone calls and/or visitors.
    • be examined and treated in a way that your security and privacy will be protected. This includes having privacy when you discuss your treatment so no one can overhear. It also means providing complete privacy when you have your treatment. All communication and records involving your care will be kept confidential except in cases of suspected abuse and public health hazards; in these cases, the hospital is required or permitted by law to report such to authorities. When reporting, the hospital will still emphasize the private nature of this information.
    • see your medical records within a reasonable time frame from when you first asked to do so; request amendment; receive an accounting of disclosures; and have the information in your records explained to you, except when restricted by law.
    • request pastoral care and other spiritual services.

    The hospital must:

    • • evaluate and serve you or refer you to another facility according to the
      type and urgency of your case.
      • make clinical decisions, including ordering of tests, treatments and other
      interventions based upon your identified healthcare needs.
      • promptly notify an identified support person of your choice and your
      own physician that you have been admitted to the hospital.
      • transfer you upon your request to be transferred to another facility when
      it is a sound medical and legal decision. (The facility to which you are to
      be transferred must first accept you as a patient).

    If you are transferred, you must be told: 

    • why you are being transferred.
    • the risks and benefits of being transferred.
    • other options for treatment.
    • if you refuse a recommended treatment, you may still receive care and services that the hospital provides.

    The hospital prohibits discrimination based upon age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression.

    You have the right to:

    • be told about hospital policies and procedures about patient care, treatment(s), visitation and responsibilities.
    • voice complaints and recommend changes freely without being subject to coercion, discrimination, reprisal or unreasonable interruption of care.
    • know how disagreements and complaints about your care are handled. This may be through ethics committees, patient representatives or other resources available at the hospital. The hospital’s employees will work to address and resolve the issues that concern you.
    • file a “grievance” if you have complaints about any treatment or service you have received, including premature discharge or any patient safety concerns. You may file a grievance by calling our Patient Relations Department at ext. 5555 within the hospital or 225-231-5555 if you are calling from outside the hospital. Additional information will be provided regarding the hospital’s grievance process and time frames.

    If you wish to file a complaint, you have the right to go directly to the state agency that handles these issues. You have the right to be given the name, address and telephone number of this state agency.

    You may report your complaint to:

        Hospital Complaint Desk 
        Department of Health and Hospitals 
        Health Standards Section 
        P. O. Box 3767
        Baton Rouge, LA 70821
        Toll-free number: 1-866-280-7737

    In addition to the above, Medicare beneficiaries have the right to seek review by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for quality of care issues, coverage decisions, and to appeal a premature discharge.

    You may report your complaint to:

    5201 West Kennedy Blvd. Ste. 900
    Tampa, FL 33609
    TTY: 1-855-843-4776
    Toll-free number: 888-315-0636

    Patient safety concerns can be reported to The Joint Commission:

    You have the right to:

    • choose whether to be part of a research study that affects treatment or requires your involvement as a patient.
    • receive detailed information about the study from the hospital so that you can make an informed decision to participate. The information given will include purpose of the research, expected benefits, possible discomforts or risks, duration, treatment alternatives and procedures to be followed.
    • receive information of any compensation for participating, including whether medical treatment will be available if injury occurs.
    • receive information of whom to contact for questions.
    • receive information of whom to contact concerning rights or to report any injuries that may have occurred.
    • receive disclosure of any costs.
    • receive a copy of the informed consent.
    • receive the most effective care the hospital can offer even if you

    Medical research helps improve the quality of life for people around the world. Research studies test new medicines, treatments, devices, and equipment.

    What You Should Know About Research Studies [PDF]

    Research Studies at Woman’s

    You have the right to ask about:

    • business relationships among the hospital, educational institutions and other healthcare providers or payers that may affect your treatment and care.
    • the hospital’s cost for services and the possible ways to pay your bills.
    • immediate and long-term financial effects of treatment choices, as long as we know this information.

    If you have additional questions or concerns about your rights, please call: 

    • your doctor.
    • the nursing supervisor on duty.
      Dial 0 for an operator from inside the hospital.
      Dial 225-927-1300 from outside the hospital.
    • our patient representative.
      Dial ext. 5555 from inside the hospital.
      Dial 225-231-5555 from outside the hospital.

    If you have any questions about your bill, please call Patient Accounting. 

    • dial ext. 8106 from inside the hospital.
    • dial 225-924-8106 from outside the hospital.

    You have the opportunity to name a caregiver. If you name a caregiver, the hospital will make a reasonable effort to educate and instruct the caregiver regarding any care needs after you are discharged from the hospital. The hospital will also make a good faith effort to notify the caregiver that you are being discharged from the hospital before your discharge. However, if the hospital is unable to contact your caregiver, you may still be discharged. This law does not allow the caregiver to make any medical decisions or provide consent for you unless they are otherwise qualified.