Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Your Rights as a Patient

When receiving care or service from Sarah Bush Lincoln, you have responsibilities to:

• be a responsible partner in your own healthcare.
• make us aware of times when you want us to include family and/or significant others in discussions and decisions about your care.
• participate in diagnostic and/or treatment decisions communicate continuously and openly with all the members of your healthcare team so we can efficiently and effectively plan and deliver the best possible care and service.
• let us know how we can best meet your expectations and needs for care and service including privacy, respect, communication style, pain control and managing environmental factors like noise and cleanliness of your room.
• make us aware of your medical history including diagnoses, tests, surgeries, allergies and a complete current list of your medications.
• make us aware of Advanced Directives you have in place to direct your care, as applicable, including a copy for your record.

When receiving care or service from Sarah Bush Lincoln, you have the right to:

• access care/service regardless of race, creed, gender, religion, national origin or payment resources with respect for your cultural/personal values, beliefs and preferences.
• receive reassurance, explanations, answers, actions, respect and courtesy in addition to excellent care and service. 
• every consideration of privacy, dignity and to expect that all communications and records pertaining to your care will be treated with upmost confidentiality. This includes all photographic, film image, video, electronic or audio media that may be part of your care or created with your permission by virtue of agreeing to a test and/or procedure that captures/uses images and/or electronic data. Verbal, written and/or images as described will be given to other healthcare professionals for use in continuing your care and/or upon your request for yourself or others after informed consent and/or permission and with diligent care for the protection of your personal health information. You have every right to request cessation and/or to rescind permission/consent at any time and to be assured that anyone involved in your care is bound by the hospital’s confidentiality agreement.
• receive care and education for how to actively participate in assuring a safe environment that protects you from injury, harm and known complications for your condition.
• know the name, credentials and experience of individuals providing and directing  your care and service.
• expect that family members or significant others of your choice be notified promptly of needs that arise and be kept well informed of your progress and status with your permission.
• receive and have understandable explanations of relevant, current information regarding your diagnoses, test results, treatment, prognosis and discharge plans.
• be informed of your rights and responsibilities in various forms including this and other forms of written documentation.  
• unrestricted access to communication, visitors, mail and  telephone calls unless clinically contraindicated and then with restrictions fully explained to you and/or your family.
• consent to and participate in decision making involving your care and to refuse diagnostic and/or treatment options suggested, to the extent permitted by law.
• have us honor, respect and follow the directions you have outlined in an advance directive document (Living Will/Power of Attorney for Healthcare) and as related to end-of-life decisions to the extent permitted by law and the Health System’s policy in response to current laws.  
• reasonable access to your own medical records and protected health information including requests to add your own comments.   
• complete explanations/information concerning the most likely risks, benefits, consequences and alternatives to care as well as with planned/requested transfer to another facility.
• information about SBL’s affiliations, business relationships, rules and regulations.
• consent to or refuse to participate in research or experimental treatment and to have your rights protected during research, investigations and/or clinical trials you may be asked to/agree to participate in.
• expect coordination/continuity of care and to be informed of realistic options and outcomes if/when care is no longer appropriate and/or no longer meets the criteria for your symptoms, diagnosis and/or benefit stipulations/ requirements.
• appropriate assessment and management of any pain or discomfort associated with your diagnosis and treatment.
• access pastoral and/or spiritual support services that are available.
• be free from restraints or seclusion imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation.
• know the immediate and long-term financial implications of your treatment choices, and in so far as they can be known, the charges and payment methods for those choices.
• access the complaint/grievance process related to any aspect of your care or service and to appeal to any applicable external agency regarding decisions related to the length of your stay or treatment protocol as well as the financial coverage related to your care. At SBL you can contact the Patient Representative at 217-258-2491 or the House Supervisor via the main hospital number 217-258-2525.  External agencies that you can contact are The Joint Commission at 1-800-994-6610, the Illinois Department of Public Health at 1-800-252-4343 (24 hours a day Medicare consumer helpline) or Illinois Foundation of Quality Healthcare (IFMC-IL) at 1-800-647-8089.

Advance Directives

It is the policy and practice of Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center and its medical staff to provide all indicated care to their patients, recognizing that:

• There are situations when specific care would have no curative effect, would not contribute to the patient’s comfort and would serve only to prolong the dying process. 

• The patient has both the right and the need to reasonable, informed participation in decisions involving his/her health care, including decisions to refuse or withhold such care. 

• Patients will be informed about the use of a Living Will or a Power of Attorney for Health Care to ensure that their healthcare wishes will be known and honored to the greatest extent possible and permissible by law.

The Health Center will not discriminate against a patient because he/she has an advance directive. The patient who has chosen not to have extraordinary life-saving treatment will continue to receive medical care, treatment and support necessary for his/her comfort.

The Health Center also recognizes and will comply with provisions for health care decisions as outlined in the Illinois Healthcare Surrogate Act.

If you have questions about the Health Center’s policies, your treatment or requests for refusal of treatment, we encourage you to discuss them with your physician or other healthcare provider.

Living Wills, Powers of Attorney for Health Care and the Illinois Healthcare Surrogate Act are explained fully in the booklet “Planning Ahead: How to Plan for Future Health Care Decisions Now” provided to you upon your admission as an inpatient or by request. Any questions regarding the material covered in this pamphlet can be answered by a member of our Case or Risk Management Department at 217-258-2392.