Patient Bill of Rights
Health care is a human right and you must be aware of your Patient Bill of Rights here at University Medical Oncology. Central to the delivery of health care is an appreciation that the personal experience of illness is generally the principal concern of individual patients seeking care and/or advice. Along with their illnesses, their needs, and their bodies, patients and their families bring their individual experiences, capabilities, motivation and expectations to the health delivery environment. Physicians and other caregivers do the same.
Patients have a right to make important decisions that affect the course of their lives. As physicians, we have a responsibility to enhance and assist patients in the exercise of this right through an open dialogue that informs patients about therapeutic possibilities and their odds for success. While final choice belongs to the patient or his or her designee, these choices gain meaning and accuracy if they are the result of a process of mutual influence and understanding between physician and patient, where the physician is personally invested in the outcome and when the patient and physician have joint responsibility for the outcome. This collaborative relationship-centered framework for health care delivery comes with both rights and responsibilities. As your physician, I will make every effort to:
1. Create a safe, secure, clean, supportive and disciplined service-oriented health care working environment dedicated to both the quality and dignity of life. Within this environment, you have the right to expect the following:
- To be treated not just as a patient with cancer but as a whole person with a range of biologic, emotional, social, and informational needs.
- To participate in all decisions about your care.
- For me to relate to you as one competent adult to another, always attempting to consider your emotional, social, and psychological needs as well as your physical needs.
- For me to spend a reasonable amount of time with you on each visit and give you my undivided attention during that time.
- An opportunity for you to express the full range of emotions that dealing with a serious illness provokes, including expressions of fear of both pain and the unknown and any anger directed at the people you love and/or the professionals participating in your care.
- To be able to talk to your doctor, family, and friends about your illness and, if it is your choice, the right to privacy in refusing to talk with others about your illness.
- To be able to draw on your spirituality and beliefs so that you may better cope with your illness in your own way, even if that way is different from the way in which your family might choose.
- For me to provide you with any information you request concerning my professional training, experiences, philosophy, and fees.
- That your phone calls will be returned as promptly as possible, especially those that you indicate are urgent.
- As your physician, I will make every effort to ensure clinical management of your illness that uses the best evidence from research and experience and that minimizes practice error and inappropriate care, optimizing outcomes and value. With this commitment, you have the right to expect:
- For me to recommend and provide you with the care most likely to be beneficial to you.
- To be told the truth about all known options for treatment of your illness and to have the goals of that treatment explained in the belief that your taking control of information is therapeutic.
- Encouragement for you to ask questions about your illness and its treatment and for me to answer your questions as clearly as possible.
- To be able to discuss and explore non-traditional treatment options with me and expect me to give you my honest opinion about such unconventional therapies.
- To be able to discuss and obtain the assistance of other professional opinions about your care if you desire or if I believe it to be in your best interest.
- To be able to decline treatment that I might recommend or that you believe to be a futile intervention.
- To be as free of pain as medically possible.
- An environment conducive to hope; to hope that your illness will be cured, to hope for a longer life, to hope for a good quality of life, and to hope for compassionate care throughout the course of your illness.
- To be encouraged by me and those that assist me in your care to live life as close to normal as your disease permits, to think about other things besides your illness and its treatments. Even with the toughest treatments, there is generally time for relaxation and pleasure.
In recognition of this relationship-centered framework, we, your professional caregivers have a right to expect from you:
- To comply with our agreed upon treatment plan.
- To be as candid as possible with us about what you need and expect.
- To inform us of all forms of therapy with which you are involved.
- To keep all appointments except in cases of urgent matters.
- To be as considerate as possible of our need to adhere to a schedule to see other patients.
- Call us during normal working hours if at all possible. If you have problems or concerns, call us anytime.
- Encourage your family and friends to coordinate their requests for information so that all members of your family get the same information about your care with your permission.
- To inform our office of changes in your insurance coverage when or if this occurs, and to be responsible to educate us about your health insurance coverage requirements regarding referrals and pre-certification.
- To let us know if language or communication problems are an issue so that we may help for you to arrange to have a caregiver/interpreter in attendance with you during office visits.