Your Patient Rights

Know Your Patient Rights and Responsibilities

As a patient at Houston Northwest Medical Center, we’re dedicated to respecting and upholding the patient rights to which you are entitled. Houston Northwest prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Your rights may be exercised on your behalf by a representative if you lack decision-making capacity, cannot speak for yourself, are legally incompetent or are a minor. Below are the patient rights and responsibilities for those staying at Houston Northwest.

Patient Rights

Dignity. You have the right to considerate and respectful care.

Knowledge. You have the right to obtain current and understandable information about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. You are entitled to discuss and request information related to procedures and treatments, risks involved, length of recuperation and reasonable alternatives and immediate and long-term financial implications of treatment choices. You have the right to know the identity of the persons involved in your care. You also have the right to be informed of the hospital’s charges and available payment methods.

Decision-making. You have the right to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care, to make informed decisions concerning your care, the right to be informed of your health status and the right to be involved in care planning and treatment.

Advance directives. You have the right to make advance directives concerning treatments or designating someone to serve as a decision-maker in your stead if you become unable to communicate your wishes, and have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy.

Notification. You have the right to communication without language, visual, hearing or learning barriers.

Support. The hospital will allow a family member, friend or other individual of your choosing to be present with you during the course of your hospital stay. In fact, we encourage you to have someone stay with you as much as possible, unless the individual’s presence infringes on others’ rights, safety or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. An involved support person is important in providing you with emotional support. Your support person can also help you remember the questions you need to ask your health care team. The person you choose may or may not be your surrogate decision-maker or your legally authorized representative.

Privacy. You have the right to personal privacy. We’ll extend every consideration of privacy possible. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment should be conducted so as to protect your privacy, to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy.

Pain. You have the right to proper assessment and proper management of your pain.

Confidentiality. You have the right to confidentiality of your clinical reports; to expect that all communications and records pertaining to your care will be treated as confidential by the hospital, except in cases such as suspected abuse and public health hazards where reporting is required by law, to the extent permitted by law.

Records review. You have the right to access information contained in your clinical records within a reasonable time frame; you have the right to review the records pertaining to your medical care and to have the information explained or interpreted as necessary, with the knowledge of your doctor, except when restricted by law.

Access. You have the right to expect that the hospital will respond reasonably within its capacity and policies to your request for appropriate and medically indicated care and services. You have the right to request or refuse treatment. This right must not be construed as a mechanism to demand the provision of treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate. When medically appropriate and legally permissible, or when requested by you, you may be transferred to another facility.

Safety. You have the right to receive care in a safe setting.

Abuse. You have the right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.

Restraints. You have the right to be free from seclusion and restraints, of any form, imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff. Seclusion or restraint can only be used in emergency situations if needed to ensure the patient’s physical safety and less restrictive interventions have been determined to be ineffective.

Relationships. You have the right to be informed of the existence of business relationships among the hospital, education institutions, other health care providers or payers that may influence your treatment or care.

Experimentations. You have the right to consent to or decline to participate in proposed research studies or human experimentation, if the hospital is involved in research that might involve you.

Continuity. You have the right to reasonable continuity of care when appropriate and to be informed of realistic patient care options when hospital care is no longer appropriate.

Concerns. You have the right to make a complaint or file a grievance, and to be informed of resources for resolving disputes and grievances. Mechanisms include the manager of your unit or hospital area, Quality Improvement representative and ethics committee, among others.

Patient Responsibilities

Participation. Patients are responsible for participation in their care.

Information. Patients are responsible for providing information about past illnesses, hospitalization, medications and other health-related matters. Patients should also take responsibility for requesting needed information from health care providers when they do not fully understand information and instructions.

Directives. Patients are responsible for ensuring health care providers have a copy of any written advance directives they may have.

Compliance. Patients are responsible for informing the doctor and other caregivers if they anticipate problems in following prescribed treatments.

Cooperation. Patients are responsible for making reasonable accommodations to the needs of the hospital, including following hospital rules concerning but not limited to smoking, respect for property and privacy of other patients, controlling visitors and noise and being considerate of other patients.

Financial. Patients are responsible for providing necessary information for insurance claims and assuring financial obligations to the hospital are fulfilled.

Lifestyle. Patients are responsible for recognizing the impact of their lifestyle on their personal health.

Questions or Concerns

We’re committed to making your stay here as comfortable as possible. Should you feel the need, you can talk to us about any part of your visit. If you have any questions about your rights or responsibilities, please contact us.

Patient Complaints

During your stay, we welcome you to voice any concern, complain or issue to your nurse, nurse manager or department director in your area. If your complaint isn’t resolved to your satisfaction, you may speak with a representative of our Quality Improvement Department by calling (281) 440-2143.

This process resolves most complaints. Additionally, if you desire to use it, there is a national help line operated by Tenet Health System, our parent corporation, where you can express your concerns. That phone number is (800) 743-6333.

If the complaint process above does not resolve your complaint or concern, or if you wish to file a formal grievance, you have the right to do so. Information about the formal grievance process is provided below. You have a right to make a complaint with the Texas Department of Health or The Joint Commission, regardless of whether you choose to use our hospital grievance process first, or later, or not at all.

The Texas Department of Health

Texas Department of Health
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, Texas 78756
Phone: (888) 973-0022

The Joint Commission

Office of Quality Monitoring
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Phone: (800) 994-6610
Fax: (630) 792-5636
Email: complaint@jointcommission.org