As a patient, you have the following rights:
- To receive the care and health services that the hospital is required by law to provide.
- To receive considerate and respectful care consistent with sound nursing and medical practices.
- To receive an understandable explanation from your physician of your complete medical condition, recommended treatment, expected results, risks involved and reasonable medical alternatives. If your physician believes that some of this information would be detrimental to your health or beyond your ability to understand, the explanation must be given to your next of kin or guardian.
- To give informed written consent prior to the start of specified, non-emergency medical procedures or treatments. Your physician should explain to you in words you understand specific details about the recommended procedure or treatment, any risks involved, time required for recovery, and any reasonable medical alternatives.
- To refuse medication and treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of this act.
- To expect and receive appropriate assessment, management and treatment of pain as an integral component of your care.
- To be included in experimental research only if you give informed written consent. You have the right to refuse to participate.
- To contract directly with a New Jersey licensed registered professional nurse of your choosing for private professional care during your hospitalization.
Communication and Information
- To be informed of the names and functions of all health care professionals providing you with personal care.
- To receive, as soon as possible, the services of a translator or interpreter if you need one to help you communicate with the hospital’s health care personnel.
- To be informed of the names and functions of any outside health care and educational institutions involved in your treatment. You may refuse to allow their participation.
- To receive, upon request, the hospital’s written policies and procedures regarding life-saving methods and the use or withdrawal of life support mechanisms.
- To be advised in writing of the hospital’s rules regarding the conduct of patients and visitors.
- To receive a summary of your patient rights that includes the name and phone number of the hospital staff member to whom you can ask questions or complain about any possible violation of your rights.
- To have prompt access to the information in your medical record. If your physician feels that this access is detrimental to your health, your next of kin or guardian has a right to see your record.
- To obtain a copy of your medical record, at a reasonable fee, within 30 days after a written request to the hospital.
Cost of Hospital Care
- To receive a copy of the hospital payment rates. If you request an itemized bill, the hospital must provide one, and explain any questions you may have. You have a right to appeal any charges.
- To be assisted in obtaining public assistance and the private health care benefits to which you may be entitled.
- To receive information and assistance from your attending physician and other health care providers if you need to arrange for continuing health care after your discharge from the hospital.
- To receive sufficient time before discharge to arrange for continuing health care needs.
- To be informed by the hospital about any appeal process to which you are entitled by law if you disagree with the hospital’s discharge plans.
- To be transferred to another facility only when you or your family has made the request, or in instances where the transferring hospital is unable to provide you with the care you need.
- To receive an advance explanation from a physician of the reasons for your transfer and possible alternatives as well as verification of acceptance from the receiving facility, and assurance that you will not be at risk for substantial or unnecessary deterioration due to the transfer.
- To be treated with courtesy, consideration, and respect for your dignity and individuality.
- To have access to storage space in your room for private use. The hospital must also have a system to safeguard your personal property, in the event that you are unable to assume responsibility for your personal items.
Freedom from Abuse and Restraints
- To freedom from physical and mental abuse.
- To freedom from restraints, unless they are authorized by a physician for a limited period of time to protect the safety of you or others.
Privacy and Confidentiality
- To have physical privacy during medical treatment and personal hygiene functions, unless you need assistance.
- To confidential treatment of information about you. Information in your records will not be released to anyone outside the hospital without your approval, unless they are authorized by a physician.
- To treatment and medical services without discrimination based on race, age, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, handicap, diagnosis, ability to pay or source of payment.
- To exercise all your constitutional rights.
Questions and Complaints
To present questions or grievances to a designated hospital staff member and to receive a response in a reasonable period of time, grievances may be presented to the physician practice/hospital Patient Relations office:
- Morristown Medical Center: 973-971-5142
- Overlook Medical Center: 908-522-5273
- Overlook Medical Center - Union Campus: 908-522-5273
- Newton Medical Center: 973-579-8430
- Chilton Medical Center: 973-831-5157
- Hackettstown Medical Center: 973-579-8430
- Atlantic Medical Group: 973-660-3592
This list of Patient Bill of Rights is an abbreviated summary of the current New Jersey laws and regulations governing the rights of hospital patients. For complete information, consult the NJ Department of Health regulations N.J.A.C. 8:43G-4.1 or Public Law 1989-Chapter 170.