The patient bill of rights is a list of assurances to those receiving medical care. It may take the form of a law or non-binding official public statement. The Patient Bill of Rights provides patients with information regarding honest treatment and autonomy over medical decisions, among other patient rights. Institutions are encouraged to translate and/or make The Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities understandable to meet the needs of their patients and their families. A copy of these rights may be offered, or made available, to the patient.
When medical care is rendered, the health care provider and/or organization qualified to provide the service is responsible for performing the procedures or treatments needed for the patient.
The American Nursing Association (ANA) Patient Bill of Rights states that the patient has the right to considerate and respectful care; to relevant, current, and understandable information about their diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis; to make decisions about the planned care and the right to refuse care; to have an advance directive (such as living will) concerning treatment if they become incapacitated; the right to privacy in all procedures, examinations, and discussions of treatment; to confidential handling of all information and records about their care; to look over and have all records about their care explained; to suggest changes in the planned care or transfer to another facility; to be informed about the business relationships among the hospital and other facilities that are part of the treatment and care; to decide whether to take part in experimental treatments; to understand their care options after a hospital stay; to know about the hospitals policies for settling disputes and to examine and receive an explanation of all changes.
The patient bill of rights is important because it was created to assure the patient that the health care system is fair and works to meet patients’ needs. It gives patients a way to address any concerns that they may have and stresses the importance of the patient/provider relationship. It encourages patients to participate in their health by taking on an active role and by laying out the rights and responsibilities for all patients and health care providers.