Patient Rights

Patient Rights, Visitation and Responsibilities

Riverside’s commitment to you

All patients have the right:

  • To know by name the physicians, nurses and other providers responsible for coordinating and providing your care, and to speak freely with your caregiver.
  • To be well informed about your illness, possible treatments and likely outcomes of care (including unanticipated outcomes), and to discuss this information with your provider. You have the right to designate someone to receive this information on your behalf.
  • To access interpretation and translation services in support of your care, at no cost to you.
  • To receive a discharge planning evaluation through the hospital screening process, as well as upon the request of the patient, patient’s representative or patient’s physician. This evaluation will be developed by, or under the supervision of, a registered nurse, social worker or other appropriately qualified personnel.
  • To know the reason why you are given tests or treatments and who is giving them to you.
  • To considerate care that respects your personal values and cultural, religious and ethical beliefs.
  • To know the general nature and inherent risk of any procedure or treatment that is prescribed for you.
  • To change your mind about any procedure for which you have given your consent, provided that you let your physician know of your decisions before you have been medicated.
  • To refuse to sign a consent form if you do not feel that everything has been satisfactorily explained to you.
  • To cross out any part of the consent form that you do not want applied to your care.
  • To refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action.
  • To request that a person of the same sex be present during an examination by someone of the opposite sex.
  • To be provided with an explanation of your visitation rights and any clinical limitations on such rights, including the reason for limitations.
  • To be assured that visitors enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with your preferences and reasonable clinical and operational limitations.
  • To be assured that visitation privileges will not be restricted based on age, race, ethnicity, national origin, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, military status or other legally protected status.
  • To have your or your legal decision-maker’s requests for receiving visitors of your choosing honored, and to refuse visitors or withdraw consent to see visitors of your choosing at any time.
  • To expect that your personal privacy, medical record and confidentiality will be respected to the fullest extent consistent with the treatment prescribed for you and in accordance with legal requirements.
  • To request, either directly or through your own physician, for medical purposes, a consultation from another or additional physicians, if you so desire, unless requested on a discriminatory basis.
  • To examine your bill and receive an explanation of it.
  • To volunteer to participate in or refuse to participate in medical training programs, clinical trials or research projects. You may withdraw at any time without impacting your access to care.
  • To be offered the opportunity to complete an advance directive describing the care you would like should you become incapacitated, and to name the person to make decisions for you. To receive assistance in completing the advance directive, if requested, and to rescind it at any time.
  • To participate in the consideration of ethical issues that arise in your care.
  • To impartial access to health care services without regard to age, race, ethnicity, national origin, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, religion, sex, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation.
  • To an appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  • To be free from seclusion and restraint, of any form, that are not medically necessary.
  • To receive care in a safe setting that is free from all forms of physical and mental abuse, exploitation and neglect.
  • To access information contained within your medical records within a reasonable time frame.
  • To voice complaints or recommend changes freely without being subject to coercion, discrimination, reprisal or unreasonable interruption of care.
  • To have a designated support person if you have a diagnosed disability and need ongoing support and assistance for that disability.

Your commitment to Riverside

All patients have the responsibility:

  • To provide accurate and complete information to the best of your knowledge about matters relating to your health. All patients and their families are responsible for reporting perceived risks in the patient’s care and unexpected changes in the patient’s condition.
  • To notify your physician, nurse manager, nurse or other appropriate health care provider if you do not understand and need further explanation concerning your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  • To respect the privacy of other patients and follow Riverside’s instructions, policies, rules and regulations in place to support quality care for you and a safe environment for all in the hospital.
  • To exhibit mutual consideration and respect with staff responsible for your care by maintaining civil language and conduct in all interactions.
  • To ask visitors to conduct themselves in a responsible way consistent with the clinical and operational needs of our patients to promote a safe, quiet and healing environment, and to let your physician or nurse know if you are receiving too many visitors from outside the facility.
  • To follow Riverside’s safety rules related to patient care and conduct while on our property so that we may provide a safe, caring and inclusive environment in all our locations. This includes abiding by the following Riverside policies:
  • Smoke and Tobacco Free policy. No smoke or tobacco product usage on properties.
  • No Weapons policy. No weapons of any kind are allowed, including firearms, knives, pepper spray and Tasers.
  • Code of conduct outlining our expectations for respectful interactions. Abusive and disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated. Use this QR Code for more information on our expectations.

    Patient Rights QR code

  • To cooperate and follow the care prescribed for you, and to let us know if you are in pain so that it may be assessed.
  • To let us know if you are dissatisfied with any aspect of your care or feel that any of your rights have been violated. You may do this through your physician or nurse manager or by contacting the facility patient advocate.
  • To meet your financial obligations to the hospital. As a nonprofit institution, Riverside depends upon income from patient accounts to maintain its financial stability and meet its obligations. For information regarding Riverside’s Financial Assistance Program, please visit our website at or call the Riverside Customer Service Center at 757-989-8830, option 3, or 1-800-675-6368, option 3.

Riverside Health System recognizes the importance of a patient’s participation in all aspects of their care. Executing an advance directive is one option that expresses personal health care choices. An advance directive is a legal form that lists your wishes about medical care and treatment. You may also name someone to make choices about your medical care and treatment if you can’t. Advance Care Directives are written in advance of a serious illness, to let other people know your wishes. The Patient Self Determination Act (effective Dec. 1, 1991) mandates that all health care institutions provide adult patients with written information about their rights to make decisions concerning their medical care. The execution and possession of an Advance Directive is a completely personal choice. The decision is the patients.

Visit here for more information on Advanced Cared Directives.