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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

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MultiCare Health System Privacy and Patient Rights

Patient Rights By Law

You have the right to:

  • Be treated and cared for with dignity and respect.
  • Confidentiality, privacy, security, complaint resolution, spiritual care, and communication. If communication restrictions are necessary for patient care and safety, we will document and explain the restrictions to you and your family.
  • Be protected from abuse and neglect; and
    • Have access to protective services.
  • Complain about your care and treatment without fear of retribution or denial of care.
  • Timely complaint resolution.
  • Be involved in all aspects of your care including:
    • Refusing care and treatment; and
    • Resolving problems with care decisions.
  • Information of unanticipated outcomes that will be provided to you or your family or any surrogate decision-makers you have identified.
  • Be informed and agree to your care.
  • Family input in care decisions.
  • Have advance directives and for the hospital to respect and follow those directives.
  • Request no resuscitation or life-sustaining treatment.
  • End-of-life care.
  • Donate organs and other tissues with:
    • Medical staff input; and
    • Direction by family or surrogate decision makers.
  • A written statement of these patient rights.

MultiCare Has Adopted and Implemented Policies and Procedures:

  • To identify patients who are potential organ and tissue donors;
  • To address research, investigation, and clinical trials including:
    • How to authorize research if you choose to participate;
    • Require staff to follow informed consent laws; and
    • Not hindering your access to care if you refuse to participate in a research study.

Additional Patient Rights

You have the right to:

  • An interpreter, free of charge.
  • Know about your condition and to be told about the results of care, including unexpected ones.
  • To pain management.
  • Understand the choices for treatment including alternatives (including no treatment), risks and benefits.
  • Obtain a second opinion.
  • Know the name and role of each person giving you care.
  • Know about your medications, any equipment used, and community resources you might need.
  • Choose whether or not you would like to participate in medical research studies. You should have complete information about the study and sign a consent if you choose to participate. If you choose not to participate, your medical care will not be negatively affected.
  • Have your bill explained to you.
  • Obtain copies of your medical records. You may do so by contacting the MultiCare Health Information Management Department (medical records) 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/treatment for one of the above conditions, tell the appointment scheduler when you make your appointment and to your provider.

Patient Responsibilities

  • 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 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 us know as soon as possible.
  • Deal with your bill promptly and let the billing department know if you need to make special payment arrangements.
  • Refer to Customer Service if you need more information or help.

Concerns, Complaints, Grievances

If you have a concern regarding care or service provided at any MultiCare location, we want to talk with you. You may file this complaint without fear of retribution or denial of care.

  • Notify any staff member of your concern
  • Speak with manager directly about your concern
  • Email us at:
  • Write us at: MultiCare Health System; PO Box 5299 MS:315-3C-CD; Tacoma, WA 98415-0299

When we receive your concern, we will send it to the right person for evaluation. If we are unable to immediately resolve your issue, we will provide a written notice within 45 days. The letter will contain:

  • The name of the person responsible for evaluation;
  • The basic steps taken to look into and resolve the issue; and
  • The results and the date when done.

You have the right to file a complaint with the Washington State Department of Health, at 800-633-6828, or you may contact one of the following:

  • The complaint system for the state is available online.
  • Adult Protective Services 877-734-6277
  • Child Protective Services 800-422-7517
  • Consumer Protection Agency 800-551-4636
  • Health Facilities and Services Licensing 800-633-6828
  • Medicaid Fraud Control Unit 360-586-8888
  • State Attorney General 360-753-6200

In addition, you may contact Qualis Health at 800-949-7536 for quality of care issues, insurance coverage decisions, or to appeal a premature discharge.

Patients or family members may contact the Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring:

The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook, Terrace, IL 60181
800-994-6610 (toll free)
630-792-5636 (fax)