Patient Rights and Responsibilities

A hospital serves many purposes. Hospitals work to improve people’s health; treat people with injury and disease; educate donors, health professionals, patients and community members; and improve understanding of health and disease. In carrying out these activities, this institution works to respect your values and dignity.


Patient Rights

As a patient in our hospital, you have many rights that we are committed to protecting and promoting.

Your rights include the following: (download PDF) (Spanish)

1. Have access to care within the capacity and capability of the hospital regardless of gender; sexual orientation; gender identity; gender expression; social, cultural, educational or religious background; language; age; ancestry; citizenship; color; national origin; race; medical condition; presence of mental or physical disability; marital status; or the source of payment for care.

2. Have the hospital, after consultation with you, promptly notify a family member, or other representative of your choice, and your physician of your admission to the hospital.

3. Considerate and respectful care, and to give us feedback about your care.

4. Wear appropriate personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items, as long as they do not interfere with your treatment or procedures.

5. Participate in the development and implementation of your inpatient treatment/care plan, outpatient treatment/care plan, discharge plan and pain management plan.

6. Know the identity and professional status of those involved in your care, including if the caregiver is a student or trainee or is professionally associated with other individuals or healthcare institutions involved in your care.

7. Make informed decisions about your care. This includes being informed of your health status, being involved in care planning and treatment, and being able to request or refuse treatment. This right, however, is not to be mistaken for a mechanism to demand the provision of treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate.

8. Formulate advance directives (such as a living will
or durable power of attorney for health care) with the expectation that the hospital staff and practitioners will honor the directive to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy.

9. Contact The Joint Commission at 1-800-944-6610 or complaint@jointcommission.org, or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)/South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) at 1-803-898-3316, adacomplaints@dhec.sc.gov or 2600 Bull St., Columbia, SC 29201, to report a grievance, regardless of whether you have first utilized the hospital’s grievance procedure. A “patient grievance” is a formal or informal written or verbal complaint regarding the patient’s care (when the complaint is not resolved at the time of the complaint by staff present), abuse or neglect, issues related to the hospital’s compliance with the CMS Hospital Conditions of Participation (CoPs), or a Medicare beneficiary billing complaint related to rights and limitations provided by 42 CFR 489.

If you are a Medicare patient and think you are being discharged too soon, you can appeal your discharge. Your case will be reviewed by an outside Quality Improvement Organization (QIO). The name of the QIO for Greenville Health System is Kepro; the number to call is 1-844-455-8708. Note: To appeal, you MUST call Kepro before you are discharged and leave the hospital. You also have the right to call Kepro with concerns about your quality of care or a coverage decision. If you prefer, you can ask Greenville Health System to refer your concerns to Kepro for you.

10. Full and equal visitation in accordance with the visitor policy contained in this admission packet.

11. Receive care in a safe setting and to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.

12. Personal privacy including privacy during toileting, bathing or being examined. Unless you consent, people not involved in your care will not be present during your examination or treatment.

13. Access an interpreter if you do not speak or understand English.

14. Be free from restraints of any form unless they are medically necessary or unless needed to ensure your physical safety and less restrictive interventions are determined to be ineffective.

15. Know if this hospital has relationships with other healthcare facilities, educational institutions or other outside parties that may influence your care.

16. Consent or decline to take part in clinical research—and your decision will not otherwise affect your care.

17. Examine and receive an explanation of your bill, regardless of your source of payment.

18. Receive a “Notice of Beneficiary Discharge Rights,” “Notice of Non-coverage Rights” and “Notice of the Beneficiary Right to Appeal a Premature Discharge,” if you are a Medicare patient.

19. Confidentiality of your clinical record.

20. Access information contained in your clinical records within a reasonable time frame.

Patient Responsibilities

1. You are responsible for providing accurate information about your health, including past illnesses, hospital stays and the use of medicine.

2. You are responsible for asking questions when you do not understand information or instructions.

3. If you believe you cannot follow through with your treatment, you are responsible for telling your doctor.

4. You and your visitors are responsible for being considerate and respectful of the needs and the property of others and of the hospital.

5. You are responsible for providing information for insurance and for working with the hospital to obtain payment when needed.

6. You are responsible for letting your healthcare team know if you have an advance directive, such as a living will or durable power of attorney for healthcare decisions.

7. You are responsible for following hospital rules and regulations about patient care and conduct.

8. You are responsible for the consequences of refusing treatment or failing to follow the instructions of your healthcare team.