Patient Rights and Responsibilities
Patient Rights by Law
- You have the right to personal privacy.
- You have the right to receive care in a safe setting.
- You have the right to be informed of patient rights and receive a written copy, in advance of furnishing or discontinuing patient care, whenever possible.
- You have the right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
- You have a right to file a grievance and to be informed of the process to review and resolve the grievance. (See information below on how to file a grievance.)
- You have the right to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care.
- You or your representative have the right to make informed decisions regarding your care, including being informed of your health status, being involved in care planning and treatment, and being able 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.
- If you are an adult, you have the right to formulate advance directives and to have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives.
- You have the right to have a family member or representative of your choice and your physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
- You have the right to the confidentiality of your clinical records.
- You have the right to access information contained in your clinical records within a reasonable time.
- You have the right to 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.
Additional Patient Rights:
- You have the right to an interpreter, free of charge.
- You have the right to an explanation of your condition and to be informed about the outcomes of care, including unanticipated outcomes.
- You have the right to an assessment of your pain and input on your pain management.
- You have the right to understand the choices for treatment including alternatives (including no treatment), risks and benefits.
- You have the right to obtain a second opinion.
- You have the right to choose whether or not you would like to participate in medical research studies with complete information about the study, your written consent to participate if you choose, and no reprisal in your medical care if you choose not to participate.
- You have the right to know the name and role of each person participating in your care.
- You have the right to know about your medications, any equipment used, and community resources you might need.
- You have the right to pastoral care and other spiritual services.
- You have the right to have your bill explained to you.
- You have the right to obtain copies of your medical records. You may do so by contacting the MultiCare Medical Records Department at 253-403-1081.
Special Rights of Adolescents
In addition to the patient rights stated above, the law provides the following rights for adolescent patients.
- A minor patient 13 years or older may consent to outpatient treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues (drugs and alcohol).
- A minor patient 14 years or older may consent to outpatient treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
- A minor patient, regardless of age, may consent to birth control or pregnancy-related care.
- Emancipated minors may consent for their own treatment.
- If you wish to be seen for diagnosis or treatment for one of these conditions, please let the appointment scheduler know when you make your appointment and communicate this with your provider.
- Let someone know if you don't understand what you are being told.
- Tell us everything you know about your health.
- Let someone know if there are changes in your condition.
- Participate in your health care by making decisions, following directions and accepting responsibility for your choices.
- Respect the rights and privacy of others.
- If you are unable to keep an appointment, let someone know as soon as possible.
- Deal with your bill promptly and let the billing department know if you need to make special payment arrangements.
Concerns, Complaints, Grievances
If you have a concern regarding care or service provided at any MultiCare location, we want to work with you to address your issues. We ask that you:
- Notify any staff member of your concern
- Speak with management staff directly about your concern
- A prompt response to your issues
- An answer to your complaint within a reasonable amount of time
- We will try to resolve your concern as quickly as possible to your satisfaction
We encourage you to contact your health care provider or the department supervisor to discuss your concerns. You also may call our Health Information, Customer Concern and Grievance Line, Monday though Friday, 8am to 4:30pm (After hours, please leave your name and phone number and we will return your call promptly on the next working day.) Pierce County 253-403-1739; South King County 253-372-7039 or 866-247-2366. After hours, in an emergency situation involving a significant grievance or complaint, please contact the operator at 253-403-1000. You may also notify MultiCare in writing at the dedicated address for this purpose: Grievance MultiCare Health System Customer Service Department P.O. Box 5299 Tacoma, WA 98415-5299 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Upon receipt of your concern/grievance, if not done in person, we will refer the complaint to the appropriate person for investigation and they will contact you within 5 days of receipt of the complaint.
They will provide you with a point of contact, phone number and ask for further information to resolve the issue. If we are unable to immediately resolve your issue, we will provide a written notice within 45 days that contains the name of the person responsible for conducting the investigation, the basic steps taken to investigate and resolve the grievance, the results and the date of completion.
You also have the right to file a complaint with the Washington Department of Health, regardless of whether you choose to first use the MultiCare Health System concern/grievance process. The Washington Department of Health Hospital Complaint Hotline is 800-633-6828.
You do have the right to file a complaint or ask for help from any of the following Washington State agencies:
- Adult Protective Services 800-442-5129
- Child Protective Services 800-422-7517
- Consumer Protection Agency 800-551-4636
- Health Facilities and Services Licensing 800-633-6828
- Medicaid Fraud Control Unit 253-593-2154
- State Attorney General 800-551-4636