Patient's Guide


Patient Rights

Respect and Dignity
Patients have the right to appropriate medical care and services that respect their personal values and beliefs, and to be treated with dignity at all times. Respect for dignity includes the patients' right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.

Patient privacy is a consideration in facility designs, in all communication with or about patients, and in information system implementation.

Patient records, care discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and conducted with discretion. Patient participation in training or research is voluntary and is treated with the same confidentiality as patient care.

Patient Communication
Patients have the right to have their own physician, family member or other representative of their choice be notified promptly of their admission to the hospital. Each patient and family has the right to receive complete explanations regarding procedures and treatment in a language or manner that they can understand. Patients and families also have the right to know the name and professional status of the people involved in their care and which physician has primary responsibility for their care.

Additionally, patients have the right to receive or refuse visitors, mail and telephone calls during their stay at The Melham Medical Center as allowed by their medical condition and treatment. The Melham Medical Center will support restriction of a patient's access to phone calls, mail, visitors, and other forms of communication ONLY when deemed necessary by the physician, patient, or family as a component of the patient's care.

Patient Education
Patients and their families are provided with appropriate education and training to enhance knowledge of the patient's illness and treatment needs, and to learn and demonstrate skills and behaviors that promote wellness or improve function.

Equal Consideration
Available and medically appropriate patient care and treatment services are offered to patients solely on the basis of medical condition, without differentiation or consideration of race, age, gender, disability, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or ability to pay. (See policy Admission/Registration.)

Patients have the right to expect reasonable safety and accessibility in the physical environment of the hospital. Compliance with ADA and other applicable laws and regulations help assure a safe and accessible environment. Patients have the right to be free from restraints of any form that are not medically necessary.

Patients have the right to ask questions and be involved in decisions about their medical condition and treatment. Patients and, when appropriate, their families have the right to be informed about the outcomes of care, including unanticipated outcomes.

Patients have the right to access information contained in their clinical records within a reasonable time frame. Patients have the right to participate in the consideration of ethical issues arising in the provision of their care, including resolution of conflict, withholding resuscitative measures, foregoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment, maintaining comfort and pain relief, and participation in investigative studies and/or clinical trails.

Patients have the right to designate a representative decision-maker (Advance Directive/Durable Power of Attorney) in the event that they become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or procedure or are unable to communicate their wishes regarding care.

Pain Management
Patients have a right to pain assessment and management. The Melham Medical Center healthcare providers will ensure this right by discussing pain assessment and management with all patients and/or surrogate decision makers upon admission, and throughout the hospital stay. Healthcare providers will work with the patients and with each other to establish patient-centered goals for pain relief, including the development, implementation, evaluation, and modification of a pain management plan.

Patients shall be reasonably informed by their physician so that they can participate in decisions involving their healthcare. To the degree possible, the following will be provided: clear, concise explanations of the patient's condition; procedure or treatment recommended; the anticipated benefits, the inherent risks and discomforts; reasonable alternatives; and who will treat them or perform the procedure. Patients shall not be subject to any procedure without voluntary, competent consent or the consent of their legally authorized representative. Patients shall be informed of and consent to all human experimentation or other research/educational projects affecting their care or treatment. Patients shall have the right to refuse any treatment. Patients shall have the right to see a different physician or specialist for consultation.

Many children, particularly mature minors (age 14+), have the cognitive ability to participate in healthcare decisions and provide informed consent. Children with decision-making capacity, regardless of age, should be involved in their healthcare decisions. Their verbal, and in some cases written, assent for procedures and treatments should be sought.

Refusal of Treatment
Patients may refuse recommended procedures or treatments to the extent permitted by law. Patients also have the right to know how this refusal may affect their medical condition. Treatment refusal may constitute termination of the patient/provider relationship upon reasonable notice.

Protective Services
Patients have the right to contact Protective Services. The hospital will assist in determining the patient's need for special services through the Social Work Department.

Transfer and Continuum of Care
To ensure the continuity of care, appropriate patient information is communicated to any healthcare organization or provider to/from which patients are admitted, referred, transferred, or discharged. Relevant patient information includes, but is not limited to: the reason for transfer or discharge, the patient's physical and psychosocial status at time of transfer, a summary of care and/or service provided, progress toward achieving goals, and instruction or referrals provided to the patient. Patients may not be transferred to another facility or organization unless they have been given an explanation of the need for the transfer and available alternatives.

Hospital Rules and Regulations
Patients shall have the right to be informed of hospital rules and regulations as they apply to them. (Patient Handbooks are available in patient rooms or a copy will be given upon request).

Parent/Guardian Rights
Parents or guardians of hospitalized children at The Melham Medical Center have the right to visit their children or call the patient care unit at any time. They have the right to receive information needed to give informed consent for their children's medical treatment. Additionally, they have the right to refuse treatment for their children to the extent permitted by law, and the right to know how this refusal may affect their children's medical condition.

Grievance Process
Patients and their representatives have the right to share concerns or complaints regarding their care, facilities and/or personal interactions with the staff. When a concern or complaint is received relating to the patient rights outlined in this document, the grievance will be responded to verbally within five days, and in writing within thirty days, by the most appropriate individual.


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145 Memorial Drive - Broken Bow, NE 68822 - Phone: (308) 872-4100