Changes in Hospital Care

Bill of RightsChecklist


Below is a checklist, abbreviated from the AHA Statement The Patient Care Partnership: Understanding Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities

  • Tell your caregivers if you have concerns about your care or if you have pain.
  • You have the right to know the identity of doctors, nurses and others involved in your care, including if they are students, residents or other trainees.
  • If anything unexpected and significant happens during your hospital stay, you will be told what happened, and any resulting changes in your care will be discussed with you. Discussing your medical condition and information about medically appropriate treatment choices.
  • The benefits and risks of each treatment.
  • Whether your treatment is experimental or part of a research study.
  • What you can reasonably expect from your treatment and any long-term effects it might have on your quality of life.
  • What you and your family will need to do after you leave the hospital.
  • The financial consequences of using uncovered services or out-of-network providers.
  • Please tell your caregivers if you need more information about treatment choices.
  • Consenting to treatment such as surgery or experimental treatment to confirm in writing that you understand what is planned and agree to it.
  • You have the right to consent to or refuse a treatment and an explanation from your doctor about the medical consequences of refusing recommended treatment.
  • It is your right to decide if you want to participate in a research study.
  • If you or your family need help making difficult decisions, counselors, chaplains and others are available to help.
  • You will receive a Notice of Privacy Practices that describes the ways that the hospital can use, disclose and safeguard patient information and that explains how you can obtain a copy of information from their records about your care.
  • You can expect the hospital staff to help you identify sources of follow-up care and to let you know if the hospital has a financial interest in any referrals.
  • As long as you agree that the hospital can share information about your care with referral sources, they will coordinate their activities with your caregivers outside the hospital.
  • You can also expect to receive information and, where possible, training about the self-care you will need when you go home.
  • You can expect help with billing information and what to do if you do not have insurance.


What Your Caregivers Needs From You.

  • Complete and correct information about your health and coverage so that they can make good decisions about your care.
  • Past illnesses, surgeries or hospital stays.
  • Past allergic reactions.
  • Any medicines or dietary supplements (such as vitamins and herbs) that you are taking.
  • Any network or admission requirements under your health plan.
  • Make sure your doctor, your family and your care team know your wishes related to healthcare goals, spiritual beliefs and values.
  • If you have signed a healthcare power of attorney stating who should speak for you if you become unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself, or a “living will” or “advance directive” that states your wishes about end-of-life care; give copies to your doctor, your family and your care team.

If you have Medicare or Medicaid, you have additional rights, including an appeal process if you think you are being asked to leave the hospital too soon or are not receiving a service you think you should. For more information, view Medicare Publication ID: 10050

The information below was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association.

  1. Ask questions if you have doubts or concerns. Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. Choose a doctor you feel comfortable talking to. Take a relative or friend with you to help you ask questions and understand the answers.
  2. Keep and bring a list of ALL the medicines you take. Give your doctor and pharmacist a list of all the medicines that you take, including non-prescription medicines. Tell them about any drug allergies you have. Ask about side effects and what to avoid while taking the medicine. Read the label when you get your medicine, including all warnings. Make sure your medicine is what the doctor ordered and know how to use it. Ask the pharmacist about your medicine if it looks different than you expected.
  3. Get the results of any test or procedure. Ask when and how you will get the results of tests or procedures. Don't assume the results are fine if you do not get them when expected, be it in person, by phone, or by mail. Call your doctor and ask for your results. Ask what the results mean for your care.
  4. Talk to your doctor about which hospital is best for your health needs. Ask your doctor about which hospital has the best care and results for your condition if you have more than one hospital to choose from. Be sure you understand the instructions you get about follow-up care when you leave the hospital.
  5. Make sure you understand what will happen if you need surgery. Make sure you, your doctor, and your surgeon all agree on exactly what will be done during the operation. Ask your doctor, "Who will manage my care when I am in the hospital?"

Ask your surgeon:

  • Exactly what will you be doing?
  • About how long will it take?
  • What will happen after the surgery?
  • How can I expect to feel during recovery?
  • Tell the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and nurses about any allergies, bad reaction to anesthesia, and any medications you are taking.