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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

September 14 2012

As a patient of this hospital, or as a family member or guardian of a patient at this hospital, we want you to know the rights you have under federal and Louisiana state law as soon as possible in your hospital stay. We are committed to honoring patient rights, and want you to know that by taking an active role in your health care, you can help the hospital caregivers meet your needs as a patient or family member. That is why we ask that patients and their family share with us certain responsibilities.


All patients have the right to:

  • Be informed of your rights before receiving care and/or upon discontinuation of care, whenever possible.
  • Have a designated representative or physician promptly notified upon your admission.
  • Receive medically appropriate dignified and respectful care given by competent personnel without discrimination based upon age, race, creed, color religion, sex, sexual preferences / orientation, marital status, disability, national origin, handicap, diagnosis, ability to pay or source of payment.
  • Have their cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values, beliefs, and preferences respected.  You have the right to pastoral and other spiritual services.
  • An environment that preserves dignity and contributes to a positive self-image.
  • Be treated with consideration, respect and recognition of your individuality, including the need for privacy in treatment and payment of care. You have the right to be interviewed, examined, and discuss your care in places designed to protect your privacy and be advised why certain people are present and to ask others to leave during sensitive talks or procedures.
  • Choose who may visit you during your inpatient stay at designated visitation times, regardless of whether the visitor is a family member, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), or another type of visitor (family or friend), as well as your right to withdraw such consent to visitation at any time.  The hospital may need to limit visitors to better care for your or other patients.
  • Limit who knows about your being in the hospital.
  • A family member, friend, or other individual to be present with you for emotional support during the course of stay.  The hospital makes individual determination for overnight stays.
  • Receive written notice that explains how your personal health information will be used and shared with other health care professionals involved in your care.
  • Have your medical records, including all computerized medical information, kept confidential in accordance with applicable federal and state law.
  • Be informed of the names and functions of all healthcare professionals providing you direct care and to know who has overall responsibility for your care.
  • Receive complete, accurate, timely, unambiguous information in a way you understand, including the services of a translator or interpreter free of charge.   This also includes providing you with needed help if you have vision, speech, hearing, or cognitive impairments.  Information should also be provided in a manner tailored to your age, language, and ability to understand.
  • Expect the hospital to get your permission before taking photos, recording, or filming you, if the purpose is for something other than patient identification, care, diagnosis, or therapy.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care.
  • Make informed healthcare decisions or have your family, with your permission, or legal representative (as allowed by state law) make informed healthcare decisions regarding your care. You have the right to the information necessary to make treatment decisions and to request a change in your physician or transfer to another health facility due to religious or other reasons.
  • Be fully informed about your healthcare including the rights to: accept or reject care; be informed of your health status; be involved in care planning and treatment; prognosis for recovery; unanticipated outcomes of care, treatment or services; request or refuse treatment to the extent permitted by state law; and be informed in writing of the medical consequences of refusing treatment.
  • Informed consent, in accordance with law and regulation, including a discussion about your proposed care, treatment, or services, and the benefits, risks, and side effects of such.  Also included is the likelihood of you achieving your goals, and any potential problems that might occur during recuperation.
  • Be included in, or to refuse to participate in, experimental research through your informed and written consent.
  • Know the identity and function of other healthcare or educational institutions authorized to participate in your treatment.   You also have the right to refuse treatment from these other healthcare or educational institutions.
  • Formulate advance directives and appoint a surrogate to make health care decisions on your behalf to the extent permitted by law and have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives.  Ask about and discuss the ethics of your care, including resolving any conflicts that might arise such as, deciding against, withholding, or withdrawing life-sustaining care.
  • Be informed by the attending physician and other providers of health care services about any continuing health care requirements after your discharge from the hospital.  You also have the right to receive assistance from the physician and appropriate hospital staff in arranging for required follow-up care after discharge.
  • Access information contained in your medical records within a reasonable time frame by you or by your legal representative within the limits of state or federal law.  Psychiatric records may be limited in accordance with hospital policy, state, or federal law.
  • Expect emergency procedures to be implemented without unnecessary delay.
  • Receive proper assessment and management of pain, including the right to request or reject any or all options to relieve pain.
  • Be free from restraints and seclusion of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • Be free from all forms of abuse, harassment or neglect and the right to access protective and advocacy services.
  • Receive kind, respectful, safe, quality care delivered by skilled staff in a safe setting.
  • Examine and receive an explanation of your bill, regardless of the source of payment, and the right to receive upon request, information relating to financial assistance available through the hospital.
  • Receive a full explanation of the reason for transfer, provisions for continuing care and acceptance by the receiving institution (except in emergencies).
  • Be informed in writing about the hospital’s policies and procedures for initiation, review, and resolution of a complaint or grievance in a manner you can understand, including the address where complaints may be filed with the department of health and hospitals.  You also have the right to expect a timely response to your complaint or grievance from the hospital.
  • Assistance in obtaining consultation with another physician or practitioner at your request and own expense.
  • Upon request, regardless of reimbursement mechanisms, to be informed of customary charges, in advance, for the type of hospital stay anticipated.


Patients, family members, or guardians, have the responsibility to know all hospital rules and what is expected of you during your hospital stay. Patients, family members and guardians are responsible to:

  • Be informed of your responsibility to comply with hospital rules, cooperate in your own treatment, provide a complete and accurate medical history, be respectful of other patients, staff and property, and provide required information regarding payment of charges.
  • Report any condition that puts you at risk (for example, allergies or hearing problems).
  • Report unexpected changes in your condition to the health care professionals taking care of you.
  • Provide a copy of your Advance Directive, Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney for health care, and any organ/tissue donation permissions to the health care professionals taking care of you.
  • Tell us who, if any, visitors you want during your stay.
  • Recognize and respect the rights of other patients, families, and staff.  Threats, violence, or harassment of other patients and hospital staff will not be tolerated.
  • Comply with the hospital’s no smoking policy.
  • Refrain from conducting any illegal activity on hospital property. If such activity occurs, the hospital will report it to the police.
  • Promote your own safety by becoming an active, involved, and informed member of your health care team.
  • Ask questions if you are concerned about your health or safety.
  • Make sure your doctor knows the site/side of the body that will be operated on before a procedure.
  • Remind staff to check your identification before medications are given, blood/blood products are administered, blood samples are taken, or before any procedure.
  • Remind caregivers to wash their hands before taking care of you.
  • Be informed about which medications you are taking and why you are taking them.
  • Ask all hospital staff to identify themselves.
  • Be responsible for your actions if you refuse care or do not follow care instructions.
  • Pay for the health care that you received as promptly as possible.
  • Follow the care plans suggested by the health care professionals caring for you while in the hospital. You should work with your health care professionals to develop a plan that you will be able to follow while in the hospital and after you leave the hospital. 


Concerns or complaints may be voiced to SBPH's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) by calling (504) 826-9500.

You also have the right to express a complaint or grievance externally by contacting the:

Department of Health and Hospitals

P.O. Box 3767

Baton Rouge, La. 70821-3767

or call (225) 342-6429 or toll free at 1-866-280-7737.


You may also contact:

The Joint Commission, a hospital accreditation organization at:

The Joint Commission–Office of Quality Monitoring

One Renaissance Boulevard

Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

(800) 994-6610 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.