Patient Rights & Responsibilities

The following is the exact wording of NH RSA 151:21 as of February 2000. Legislation now requires that we provide each student with a copy of the Patients’ Bill of Rights law under NH RSA 151:21.

Patients’ Bill of Rights

The policy describing the rights and responsibilities of each patient admitted to the facility shall include, as a minimum, the following:

  1. The patient shall be treated with consideration, respect, and full recognition of his/her dignity and individuality, including privacy in treatment and personal care and including being informed of the name, licensure status, and staff position of all those with whom the patient has contact, pursuant to RSA 151:3-b.
  2. The patient shall be fully informed of a patient’s rights and responsibilities and of all procedures governing patient conduct and responsibilities. This information must be provided orally and in writing before or at admission, except for emergency admissions. The patient must acknowledge receipt of the information in writing. When a patient lacks the capacity to make informed judgements, the signing must be by the person legally responsible for the patient.
  3. The patient shall be fully informed in writing in language that the patient can understand, before or at the time of admission and as necessary during the patient’s stay, of the facility’s basic per diem rate and of those services included and not included in the basic per diem rate. A statement of services that are not normally covered by Medicare or Medicaid shall also be included in this disclosure.
  4. The patient shall be fully informed by a physician of his/her health care needs and medical condition, unless medically inadvisable and so documented in the medical records and shall be given the opportunity to participate in the planning of his/her total care and medical treatment, to refuse treatment, and to be involved in experimental research upon his/her written consent only.
  5. The patient shall be transferred or discharged after appropriate discharge planning only for medical reasons, for the patient’s welfare or that of other patients, if the facility ceases to operate, or for nonpayment for the patient’s stay, except as prohibited by title XVIII or XIX of the Social Security Act. No patient shall be involuntarily discharged from a facility because the patient becomes eligible for Medicaid as a source of payment.
  6. The patient shall be encouraged and assisted throughout his/her stay to exercise his/her rights as a patient and citizen. The patient may voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to facility staff or outside representative free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.
  7. The patient shall be permitted to manage his/her personal financial affairs. If the patient authorizes the facility to assist in this management and the facility so consents, the assistance shall be carried out in accordance with the patient’s rights under the subdivision and in conformance with state law and rules.
  8. The patient shall be free from emotional, psychological, sexual and physical abuse and from exploitation, neglect, corporal punishment and involuntary seclusion.
  9. The patient shall be free from chemical and physical restraints except when they are authorized in writing by a physician for a specified and limited time necessary to protect the patient or others from injury. In an emergency, restraints may be authorized by the designated professional staff member in order to protect the patient or others from injury. The staff member must promptly report such action to the physician and document same in the medical records.
  10. The patient shall be ensured confidential treatment of all information contained in his/her personal and clinical record, including that stored in an automatic data bank, and his/her consent shall be required for the release of information to anyone not otherwise authorized by law to receive it. Medical information contained in the medical records at any facility licensed under this chapter shall be deemed to be the property of the patient. The patient shall be entitled to a copy of such records, for a reasonable cost, upon his/her request.
  11. The patient shall not be required to perform services for the facility. Where appropriate for therapeutic or diversional purposes and agreed to by the patient, such services may be included in his/her plan of care and treatment.
  12. The patient shall be free to communicate with, associate with, and meet privately with anyone, including family and resident groups, unless to do so would infringe upon the rights of the patient. The patient may send and receive unopened personal mail. The patient has the right to have regular access to the unmonitored use of the telephone.
  13. The patient shall be free to participate in activities of any social, religious, and community groups, unless to do so would infringe upon the rights of others patients.
  14. The patient shall be free to retain and use his/her personal clothing and possessions as space permits, provided it does not infringe on the rights of other patients.
  15. The patient shall be entitled to privacy for visits and, if married, to share a room with his/her spouse if both are patients in the same facility and where both patients consent, unless it is medically contraindicated and so documented by the physician. The patient has the right to reside and receive services in the facility with reasonable accommodation of individual needs and preferences, including choice of room and roommate, except when the health and safety of the individual or other patients would be endangered.
  16. The patient shall not be denied appropriate care on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, marital status, sexual preference, or source of payment.
  17. The patient shall be entitled to treatment by the physician of his/her choice subject to reasonable rules and regulations of the facility regarding the facility’s credentialing process.
  18. The patient shall be entitled to have his/her parents, if a minor, or his/her spouse, or next of kin, or his/her personal representative, if an adult, visit the facility, without restriction, if the patient is considered terminally ill by the physician responsible for his/her care.
  19. The patient shall be entitled to receive representatives of approved organizations as provided in RSA 151:28.
  20. The patient shall not be denied admission to the facility based on Medicaid as a source of payment when there is an available space in the facility.

Responsibilities of Patients and Clients of PSU Health Services

  1. To provide full information about his/her illness or problem to allow proper evaluation and treatment in order to ensure optimal care.
  2. To ask sufficient questions to ensure appropriate comprehension of illness or problem, as well as the health professional’s recommendation for continuing care. If the care or course of treatment is unacceptable for any reason, it should be discussed with staff of the health service or a student advocate.
  3. To show courtesy and respect to health personnel and other patients.
  4. To not lend his/her personal identification to others as this may lead to errors in treatment and false documentation.
  5. To cancel or reschedule, as far in advance as possible, if unable to keep an appointment.
  6. To not give medication prescribed for self to others.
  7. To communicate with a health provider if conditions worsen or aren’t following the expected course.
  8. To refrain from behavior which would offend or harm others.
  9. To follow the rules and regulations of the PSU Health Services.
  10. To respect the property of Health Services.
  11. To take responsibility for his/her own health by following good health practices and by seeking medical services in a timely manner.
  12. To provide feedback on positive and negative aspects of health care process.