Patient Rights & Responsibilities

We want to encourage you, as a patient of Grace Cottage, to speak openly with your health care team and to take an active part in your treatment.

As a Grace Cottage patient, you have the right:

  • To considerate and respectful care and recognition of personal dignity.
  • To have an attending physician responsible for coordinating care, and to know the name of that physician and any other person responsible for procedures or treatment.
  • Except in emergencies, to be informed by his/her physician of complete and current information concerning his/her diagnosis, treatment, any known prognosis, medically significant risks, and medically significant alternatives in terms the patient can reasonably be expected to understand, and to make an informed consent to, or informed refusal of, treatment or procedures.
    • If the patient consents, if the patient is incompetent or unable to understand, or if it is not medically advisable to give such information to the patient, the information may also be received by the patient’s agent as designated in his/her advance directive, immediate family members, reciprocal beneficiary, civil union partner or guardian, who may make medical decisions on behalf of the patient as authorized by law.
    • If the patient, or an authorized person on behalf of the patient, refuses treatment, he/she shall be informed of the medical consequences of that action.
  • To privacy
    • Case discussion, examination, treatment are to be discreetly conducted.
    • Those not directly involved in the patient’s care are present only with patient’s permission.
    • If the patient requests, a person of his/her own sex is present during examination by a health care professional of the opposite sex.
    • The patient is not to remain disrobed any longer than is required for accomplishing the medical purpose involved.
    • The patient may wear appropriate personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items if they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment.
  • To have access to information regarding Advance Directives, to formulate an Advance Directive, and to have the Hospital staff implement your Advance Directive in compliance with Hospital policies and procedures.
  • To confidentiality – Only individuals directly involved with the patient care, or those monitoring the quality or effectiveness of that care, shall have access to the patient’s medical records. Others may have access only with legal authority or the patient’s written authorization.
  • To reasonable responses to reasonable requests for services within the capacity of the hospital, including without exception:
    • Transfer to another room, if physically possible, if unreasonably disturbed by another person in that room or place.
    • Transfer to another facility only after receiving complete information concerning need for, and alternatives to, such transfer and acceptance by the receiving facility.
    • To receive professional assessment of pain and professional pain management.
    • To be informed in writing of the availability of hospice services and the eligibility criteria for those services.
  • To know the identity and professional status of individuals providing service to him/her, and the existence of any professional relationship among those individuals and/or between those individuals and any other health care or educational institutions involved in his/her care.
  • To know patient census and full-time equivalent numbers of nurses who provide direct care for each shift/unit
  • To refuse to participate in clinical training programs.
  • To refuse to participate in human experimentation or in projects gathering data for research.
  • To continuity of care and information from attending physician of any continuing health care needs after discharge.
  • To an itemized, detailed and understandable explanation of charges, regardless of source of payment.
  • To information about what hospital rules and regulations apply to him/her as a patient
  • Whenever possible, to 24 hours per day visitation for patients who are children by their guardians or parents, or for patients who are terminally ill by their guardians, agents, reciprocal beneficiaries, civil union partners or immediate family members
  • To an interpreter for a patient who does not speak or understand English, or who is hearing impaired, if the language barrier or impairment presents a continuing problem to patient understanding of the provided care and treatment.

To assist us in providing the quality of care and services you expect and deserve, you as a patient at Grace Cottage Hospital, or the person who may make medical decisions on your behalf as authorized by law, have certain responsibilities. You are responsible to:

  • Provide complete and accurate information, including your full name, address, home telephone number, date of birth, insurance carrier and coverage, employer, and when necessary, your Social Security number.
  • Provide the Hospital or your doctor with a copy of your advance directive if you have one.
  • Provide complete and accurate information about your health and medical history, including present condition, past illnesses, hospital stays, medications (including vitamins, herbals and other drugs), and any other matters that pertain to your health, including perceived safety risks.
  • Ask questions about your treatment, diagnosis and/or prognosis and when you do not understand instructions or information being given to you.
  • Report unexpected changes in your condition to your doctor or nurse.
  • Tell your doctor if you believe that you cannot follow through with the plan for your care, treatment or follow-up services. Accept responsibility for your actions if you should refuse or choose not to follow care, treatment and/or services plans.
  • Actively participate in your pain management plan. Alert us when you are in pain and assist your doctor and nurse in assessing your level of pain and the effectiveness of pain relief interventions.
  • Leave valuables at home and only bring necessary items for your hospital stay. Never bring a weapon, alcohol or non-authorized drug/medication into the Hospital.
  • Use only the medications prescribed for you in the amount specified.
  • Treat all Hospital staff, other patients and visitors with courtesy and respect. Abide by all Hospital rules and safety regulations, including the no smoking policy. Be mindful of noise levels, privacy and number of visitors.
  • Fulfill your financial obligations for care and treatment in a timely manner. Be honest with us about your financial needs so that we may connect you to resources that can assist you with these obligations.
  • Talk to a member of the staff if you are dissatisfied with the care or services you have received.

Updated February 2020

Click here for a copy of the Vermont state law that lists your rights as a patient.