You have the right to:
- Considerate and respectful care, and to be made comfortable. You have the right to respect for your cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values, beliefs and preferences.
- Have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
- Know the name of the licensed health care practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care, and the names and professional relationships of physicians and non-physicians who will see you.
- Receive information about your health status, diagnosis, prognosis, course of treatment, prospects for recovery and outcomes of care (including unanticipated outcomes) in terms you can understand. You have the right to effective communication and to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care. You have the right to participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of your care, including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services, and forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment.
- Make decisions regarding medical care, and receive as much information about any proposed treatment or procedure as you may need in order to give informed consent or to refuse a course of treatment. Except in emergencies, this information shall include a description of the procedure or treatment, the medically significant risks involved, alternate courses of treatment or non-treatment and the risks involved in each, and the name of the person who will carry out the procedure or treatment.
- Request or refuse treatment, to the extent permitted by law. However, you do not have the right to demand inappropriate or medically unnecessary treatment or services. You have the right to leave the hospital even against the advice of members of the medical staff, to the extent permitted by law.
- Be advised if the hospital/licensed health care practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting your care or treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in such research projects.
- Reasonable responses to any reasonable requests made for service.
- Appropriate assessment and management of your pain, information about pain, pain relief measures and to participate in pain management decisions. You may request or reject the use of any or all modalities to relieve pain, including opiate medication, if you suffer from severe chronic intractable pain. The doctor may refuse to prescribe the opiate medication, but if so, must inform you that there are physicians who specialize in the treatment of pain with methods that include the use of opiates.
- Formulate advance directives. This includes designating a decision maker if you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or become unable to communicate your wishes regarding care. Hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital shall comply with these directives. All patients’ rights apply to the person who has legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf.
- Have personal privacy respected. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. You have the right to be told the reason for the presence of any individual. You have the right to have visitors leave prior to an examination and when treatment issues are being discussed. Privacy curtains will be used in semi-private rooms.
- Confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to your care and stay in the hospital. You will receive a separate “Notice of Privacy Practices” that explains your privacy rights in detail and how we may use and disclose your protected health information.
- Receive care in a safe setting, free from mental, physical, sexual or verbal abuse and neglect, exploitation or harassment. You have the right to access protective and advocacy services including notifying government agencies of neglect or abuse.
- Be free from restraints and seclusion of any form used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
- Reasonable continuity of care and to know in advance the time and location of appointments as well as the identity of the persons providing the care.
- Be informed by the physician, or a delegate of the physician, of continuing health care requirements and options following discharge from the hospital. You have the right to be involved in the development and implementation of your discharge plan. Upon your request, a friend or family member may be provided this information also.
- Know which hospital rules and policies apply to your conduct while a patient.
- Designate a support person as well as visitors of your choosing, if you have decision-making capacity, whether or not the visitor is related by blood, marriage, or registered domestic partner status, unless:
a. No visitors are allowed.
b. The facility reasonably determines that the presence of a particular visitor would endanger the health or safety of a patient, a member of the health facility staff, or other visitor to the health facility, or would significantly disrupt the operations of the facility.
c. You have told the health facility staff that you no longer want a particular person to visit.
However, a health facility may establish reasonable restrictions upon visitation, including restrictions upon the hours of visitation and number of visitors. The health facility must inform you (or your support person, where appropriate) of your visitation rights, including any clinical restrictions or limitations. The health facility is not permitted to restrict, limit, or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
Have your wishes considered, if you lack decision-making capacity, for the purposes of determining who may visit. The method of that consideration will comply with federal law and be disclosed in the hospital policy on visitation. At a minimum, the hospital shall include any persons living in your household and any support person pursuant to federal law.
Examine and receive an explanation of the hospital’s bill regardless of the source of payment.
Exercise these rights without regard to sex, economic status, educational background, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, medical condition, marital status, registered domestic partner status, or the source of payment for care.
File a grievance. If you want to file a grievance with the hospital, you may do so by writing or by calling:
Quality Improvement Department
P.O. Box 689
Santa Barbara, CA 93102
The grievance committee will review each grievance and provide you with a written response within 30 days. The written response will contain the name of a contact person at the hospital, the steps taken to investigate the grievance process, the results of the grievance process and the date of completion of the grievance process. Concerns regarding quality of care or premature discharge will also be referred to the appropriate Utilization and Quality Control Peer Review Organization (PRO).
File a complaint with the California Department of Public Health regardless of whether you use the hospital’s grievance process. Their contact information is:
Department of Health Services
1889 N. Rice Ave., Suite 200
Oxnard, CA 93036
File a complaint with The Joint Commission if you have any unresolved patient safety or quality of care concerns. Their contact information is:
Office of Quality Monitoring
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
NOTICE TO CONSUMERS: Medical doctors are licensed and regulated by the Medical Board of California, which you may contact at 1-800-633-2322 or www.mbc.ca.gov.
This Patient Rights document incorporates the requirements of The Joint Commission; Title 22, California Code of Regulations, Section 70707; Health and Safety Code Sections 1262.6, 1288.4, and 124960; and 42 C.F.R. Section 482.13 (Medicare Conditions of Participation), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Public Law 104‐191 (together with its implementing regulations, “HIPAA”).
You have the right to complete an advance directive. This document allows you to put your health care wishes in writing, as well as designate someone to make treatment decisions for you if you become incapacitated and cannot make those decisions for yourself.
An advance directive lets your family and physicians know:
- Who should make health care decisions for you when you are unable to make them
- The kinds of medical treatment you want or don’t want
- How comfortable you want to be
- How you want people to treat you
- What you want your loved ones to know
To include an advance directive in your medical record, you may submit your completed advance directive form, along with the registration form (English and Spanish) any time to any Cottage Health facility. You may also call Medical Social Services at 805-569-7495 or Spiritual Care at 805-569-8386 to get these forms.
To make it easy for your caregivers to access your advance directive, Cottage Health will convert your document to an electronic file and make it available through our secure electronic health record. This way, if you are admitted to one of our facilities, your wishes are already on file.
To have your advance directive added to the Cottage Health electronic health record:
- Bring the completed forms to hospitality (front desk), Health Information Management or the admitting area at any of our facilities.
- Or mail to:
Health Information Management
PO Box 689
Santa Barbara, CA 93102-0689
You should also tell your family you have an advance directive on file at the hospital so they can access a copy in an emergency.
More Information on Advance Directives
Frequently Asked Questions
MedlinePlus: Advance Directives
When patients and family members have questions about treatment decisions or other areas of care, these may involve ethical issues. You or your family may request a consultation with our Bioethics Resource Committee.
For more information, contact our Spiritual Care Department at 805-569-8386. If you have urgent concerns during the evening or weekend, contact the hospital operator to reach our on-call chaplain.
Your care and safety are important to us. If you have concerns, speak with your nurse, who is in the best position to answer questions and resolve any issues. You may also contact the Cottage Health Quality Improvement Department at 805-569-7244.
Speak up if you have questions or concerns. If you don’t understand, ask again. You have the right to know.
Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Be an active participant.
Educate yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are receiving and your treatment plan.
Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
Know what medications you take and why you take them. Ask questions if something is unfamiliar.
Use your call light when an alarm has gone off in your room or any time you need help or want to get out of bed.
Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.