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St. Francis Health Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patient’s Rights

Access to Care

The right to impartial access to treatment or accommodation that is available and medically indicated, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or sources of payment for care.

Every patient, or his/her representative, shall whenever possible be informed of the patient's rights and responsibilities in advance of furnishing or discontinuing patient care.

Patients have the right to have a family member, chosen representative and or his/her own physician notified promptly of admission to the hospital.

Respect and Dignity

The right to considerate, respectful care at all times and under all circumstances, with recognition of personal dignity.

Privacy and Confidentiality

The patient has the right, within the law, to personal and informational privacy, as shown by the following rights:

  • To refuse to talk with or see anyone not officially connected to the hospital, including visitors. In addition, the patient has the right to refuse to talk with or see anyone officially connected with the hospital but not directly involved in his/her care.
  • To wear personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items as long as they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment.
  • To be interviewed and examined in surroundings designed to assure reasonable privacy. This includes the right to have someone of your own sex present during certain parts of a physical examination, treatment or procedure performed by a health professional of the opposite sex; and the right not to remain disrobed any longer than is required to accomplish the medical purpose for which you were asked to disrobe.
  • To expect that any discussion or consultation involving care will be conducted discreetly.
  • To have the medical record read only by individuals directly involved in treatment and care.
  • To expect all communications and other records pertaining to care to be treated as confidential.
  • To be placed in protective privacy when considered necessary for personal safety.

Personal Safety

The patient has the right to expect reasonable safety insofar as the hospital's practices and environment are concerned. The patient has the right to be free from restraints of any form that are not medically necessary. The patient has the right to be free of abuse or harassment, and the right to receive care in a safe setting.


The patient has the right to know the name, function and qualifications of individuals providing service; and to know which physician or other practitioner is primarily responsible for care. This includes the right to know of the existence of any professional relationships among individuals providing treatment, as well as the relationship to any other healthcare or educational institutions involved in care provided.


The patient has the right to obtain from the practitioner responsible for coordinating care the complete and current information concerning diagnosis (to the degree known), treatment and any known prognosis. This information should be communicated in terms the patient can reasonably be expected to understand. When it is not medically advisable to give such information, the information should be made available to a legally authorized individual. The patient has the right to refuse this information.

Ethical Issues 

The patient has the right to participate in the consideration of ethical issues related to patient care with the attending physician, professional staff and utilizing the Ethics Committee process as needed.

Every patient or representative (as allowed by state law) has the informed decisions regarding his/her care.

Every patient has the right to formulate Advance Directives and have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives.

Communication and Visitation Rights

The patient has the right of access to people outside the hospital by means of visitors, and by verbal and written communication. St. Francis Medical Center has an open visitation policy, with the exception of specific areas that have limitation of time, for example: critical care units. Every patient has the right to receive or deny any visitor including but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend, and have the right to withdraw the consent at any time. St. Francis Medical Center will endeavor to ensure that all visitors enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with patient preferences. When the patient does not speak or understand the predominant language of the community, the patient has access to an interpreter service.


The patient or the patient's authorized representative has the right to reasonably informed participation in decisions involving their healthcare, including a prompt response to questions and requests.

To the degree possible, this should be based on a clear, concise explanation so as not to be subjected to any procedure without voluntary, competent and understanding consent, or that of the legally authorized representative. Where medically significant alternatives for care or treatment exist, the patient should be so informed. Patients have the right to know who is responsible for authorizing and performing the procedures or treatment. A patient will be informed of his or her condition, all proposed technical procedures, including the possibilities of any risk of death or serious side-effects, problems related to recuperation, and probability of success. Patients should if we propose to engage in or perform human experimentation or other research/educational projects affecting care or treatment and have the right to refuse to participate in any such activity.


The patient, at their own request and expense, has the right to consult with a specialist.

Refusal of Treatment

The patient has the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by the law. When refusal of treatment by the patient or the patient's authorized representative prevents the provision of appropriate care in accordance with our mission and values, the relationship with the patient may be terminated upon reasonable notice.

Transfer and Continuity of Care 

The patient may not be transferred to another facility unless he or she has received a complete explanation of the need for the transfer and of the alternatives to such a transfer, and unless the transfer is acceptable to the other facility. The patient has the right to be informed by the responsible practitioner or his/her delegate of any continuing healthcare requirements following discharge from the hospital. The patient has the right to receive assistance from the physician and appropriate hospital staff in arranging for follow-up care after discharge if requested.

Hospital Charges

Regardless of the source of payment for care, the patient has the right to request and receive an itemized and detailed explanation of his/her total bill for services rendered in the hospital; to timely notice prior to termination of eligibility for reimbursement by any third-party payer. In addition, patients have the right to be given, upon request, full information and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for care; to know, upon request, and in advance of treatment, whether the healthcare provider or healthcare facility accepts Medicare assignment rate; to receive, upon request, prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care.

Hospital Rules and Regulations

The patient has the right to be informed of the hospital's rules and regulations applicable to conduct as a patient. Patients are entitled to information about our mechanism for the initiation, review and resolution of complaints.

Patients Who are Minors

The above rights pertain to neonates, children and adolescents. These rights are to be exercised on behalf of the minor by the minor's parents or guardian when so indicated.

Mental Illness Rights

Patients receiving treatment for mental illness or developmental disability, in addition to the rights listed here, also have the rights provided in the Louisiana Mental Health Law.

Patient’s Responsibilities

Provision of Information

The patient has the responsibility to provide, to the best of their knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to the patient's health status. Patients have the responsibility to report unexpected changes in their condition to the responsible practitioner, and the patient is responsible for making it known whether they clearly comprehend a contemplated course of action and what is expected of the patient.

Compliance with Instructions 

The patient has the responsibility for following the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily responsible for their care. This may include following the instruction of nurses and allied health personnel as they carry out the coordinated plan of care and implement the responsible practitioner's orders—and as they enforce our applicable rules and regulations. Patients are responsible for keeping appointments and, when unable to do so for any reason, notifying the responsible practitioner.

Refusal of Treatment

The patient is responsible for their actions, including the refusal of treatment or not following the practitioner's instructions.

Financial Obligations

The patient is responsible for assuring that the financial obligations of their healthcare are fulfilled as promptly as possible.

Hospital Rules and Regulations

The patient is responsible for following hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct, including the "No Tobacco" policy.

Respect and Consideration 

The patient has the responsibility for being considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel, and for assisting in the control of noise and the number of visitors. Patients are responsible for respecting the property of other persons and of the hospital.


The patient has the responsibility to make complaints and constructive criticism known to our management so that we can be aware and act accordingly.

Patients who are Minors

The responsibilities noted above pertain to neonates, children and adolescents. They are to be exercised on behalf of the minor by the parents or guardian when so indicated.