A trip to the hospital is most likely never a fun one. It can mean many things – an illness, injury, emergency, or even death-related.
Whatever reason you must be in a hospital or clinic, you must be familiar with your rights. You don’t want to be nursing an injury and also thinking about what to say in court because you were maltreated.
What are Patient Rights in Healthcare?
Patient rights refer to a set of principles that protects individuals seeking medical care. These rights are designed to ensure a patient receives appropriate and respectful treatment. They make sure that an individual has access to necessary information and autonomy over their health-related decisions.
This is applicable wherever you might be in the world. Each country or state would have more guidelines than others, but overall it should be the same concept.
In the event that your rights are violated, it would be best to have a lawyer’s number in your back pocket. Note that there are over 250,000 deaths due to medical errors and 85,000 lawsuits are filed against medical practitioners yearly. Don’t let yourself be part of that unfortunate statistic.
Getting Help For Patient Rights
Individuals must be able to turn to reputable law firms that specialize in putting their welfare first above all else. There are plenty of law firms in every state that can provide you with guidance and assistance in the event that you need to file a claim. A law firm in San Antonio is a good example of how attorneys can represent you in dire times.
Law firm in San Antonio as such have seasoned attorneys who have in-depth knowledge of the healthcare industry and are dedicated to ensuring that clients receive the quality care and patient safety they deserve. The world of the healthcare industry has a wide range of complicated healthcare laws and regulations. Firms have specialized professionals such as the following that can help you navigate your specific situation:
- Personal Injury Lawyer
- Accident Lawyer
- Catastrophic Injury Attorney
- Compensation Lawyer
- Medical Malpractice Lawyer
- Wrongful death Lawyer
- Slip and Fall Lawyer
- Experience Injury Lawyer
Know Your Patient Rights
While it is important to seek legal help for injury claims and such, it is also important for you to know the basic of your patient rights.
- Privacy and Confidentiality
Personal health information must be kept confidential and disclosed only with a patient’s permission or as required by law. Healthcare providers must ensure that records are secure and protected against unauthorized access.
1 in 5 patients reported discrimination in healthcare experiences. Patients have the right to receive equal treatment regardless of gender, race, age, ethnicity, disabled, or other criteria. There should be no disrespect or biases when providing medical services.
Patients have the right to be given accurate information and explanations regarding their condition. Risks, treatments, options, and expected outcomes must be given to a patient for them to make informed decisions about their situation.
- Access to Medical Records
Access to medical records gives a patient the chance to review their medical diagnoses and results. It allows empowerment on their part to participate in their treatments and seek opinions as necessary.
- Consent Withdrawal
Informed consent in healthcare is important – and patients can also have the right to withdraw their consent at any time. Patients have the right to refuse medical treatment unless their decision poses harm to their self or to others. It is also important for a patient to be informed of the consequences of their decisions.
- Quality of Care
Patients have the right to receive quality services in a safe manner. It doesn’t matter if it’s a prestigious hospital or just a pop-up tent clinic on the side of the road. A safe environment for a patient and access to qualified healthcare professionals is the priority.
- Freedom of Speech
Voicing out complaints, concerns, or grievances about a patient’s care without retaliation is important. Patients should be able to speak up without the fear of being mistreated.
Your Patient Rights Are Violated – What’s To Do Next?
Say you get involved in a discriminatory act while receiving healthcare services. It is essential to take appropriate action to address the issue and to protect your rights.
- Document the Incident
Keep a detailed records of what happened. Include the date, time, location, individuals involved, and a very detailed description of what went down. Gather as much evidence as you can such as video or audio recordings. Get a witness to support your claim. Documenting everything will help support your case.
- Review Policies
Familiarize yourself with the patient rights applicable in your location. Understand what rights were violated and what policies are in place.
- File A Complaint
Consider filing an official formal complaint with the healthcare facility. Contact appropriate individuals such as a patient advocacy department or a designated person who handles complaints. Filing an official complaint also serves as documentation and evidence for the incident.
- Report to Regulatory Authorities
If the violation is serious and involves ethical breaches or misconduct – consider reporting it to a higher hierarchy. Regulatory authorities or a relevant professional licensing board entity can investigate the allegations.
- Seek Legal Advice
You don’t have to go through the complex process without an ally. A seasoned legal expert can provide guidance and offer legal options. You have more chances of winning if you seek legal help for claims.
The specific rights of a patient may vary across different countries or regions, but the main goal remains the same: patients must be treated with dignity, and respect, and receive quality care.
As a patient, always remember that you have a set of rights that will ensure your well-being, privacy, and fair treatment. You are entitled to actively participate in your health decisions, have access to your medical records, and seek legal remedies when your rights are violated.
Legal rights in healthcare can be a tricky terrain to navigate. Make sure you have an ally that knows the ins and outs of healthcare law and provides the utmost patient empowerment. Your welfare is the number one priority.
Vivek is a published author of Meidilight and a cofounder of Zestful Outreach Agency. He is passionate about helping webmaster to rank their keywords through good-quality website backlinks. In his spare time, he loves to swim and cycle. You can find him on Twitter and Linkedin.