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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.

Marijuana Policy

Marijuana is legal for medical and recreational use in Washington state. However, possession and consumption of marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

Marijuana in any form is prohibited throughout MultiCare’s grounds and facilities. This policy applies to patients, visitors and employees. Please do not bring marijuana to MultiCare.

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: customerservice@multicare.org
  • 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)

Email: complaint@jointcommission.org
Website: www.jointcommission.org