Changes in Hospital Care

The Patient's Bill of Rights

The expectations of quality care are supported for every patient treated in an American Hospital Association (AHA) member hospital. In 1973, AHA member hospitals voted to adopt a Patient's Bill of Rights and revised it in 1992. In 2001, AHA hospitals replaced "A Patient’s Bill of Rights" with "The Patient Care Partnership: Understanding Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities." The new statement "a straightforward, plain language statement that clearly outlines what patients should expect during their hospital visit." ©2003 American Hospital Association. All rights reserved

A copy of the full version may be obtained through an AHA member hospital in your area or from the AHA (see FOR MORE INFORMATION in this guide) . Rights and responsibilities - both are important to your hospital care. Be sure to ask for a copy of this commitment during a hospital admission process.

What to expect during your hospital stay:

  • High quality hospital care
  • A clean and safe environment
  • Involvement in your care
  • Protection of your privacy
  • Help when leaving the hospital
  • Help with your billing claims

"Patient safety is one of the Nation's most pressing healthcare challenges. A 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine estimates that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year as the result of lapses in patient safety." The AHRQ consumer fact sheet "Five Steps to Safer healthcare Patient Fact Sheet" tells what you can do to get safer healthcare. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association.

Medicare Patients have additional rights including a review of your hospital discharge by the Quality Improvement Organization. You have the right to ask a Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) to review whether you are being discharged too soon. To view these rights go to CMS website.