Patient Rights

As a patient, you have the right to be informed about and make decisions regarding your care. You also have the right to care that is free from discrimination, as well as the right to have a patient advocate.

Speak Up For Your Rights from The Joint Commission on Vimeo.

Information About Your Condition

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 that 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.

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

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

  • Have a translator, in person, on the phone, or video, so 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. 
  • Have someone explain your treatment and the hospital's policies in a language you can 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.

Making Decisions About Your Care

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 risks 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.

Pain Management

You have the right to:

  • Be educated about your pain and choices for treating your pain.
  • Receive appropriate and timely assessment, reassessment and management of your pain.
  • 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 which 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 to, 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.

Confidentiality and Safety

You have the right to:

  • Be treated at Woman's with consideration, dignity, privacy and respect and 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. 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.

Becoming a Patient

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.

Handling Disagreements

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. Staff 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 by dialing 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
Toll-free number: 888-315-0636
TTY: 1-855-843-4776

Patient safety concerns can be reported to The Joint Commission:

Research Studies

You have the right to:

  • Choose whether to be a 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 expected benefits, possible discomforts or risks, duration, treatment alternatives and procedures to be followed.
  • Receive the most effective care the hospital can offer even if you decide not to participate in or if you decide to leave a research study.

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 »

Financial Information

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.