Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

At Knapp Medical Center we respect your rights as a patient and recognize that you are an individual with unique health care needs. We want you to know what your rights are as a patient, as well as what your obligations are to yourself, to your physician, to other patients, and to Knapp Medical Center. We encourage a partnership between you and your health care team. Your role as a member of this team is to exercise your rights and to take responsibility by asking for clarification of things you do not understand.

You Have the Right to:

1. Considerate and Respectful Care
We respect your right to:

  • Expect quality treatment, commitment to your safety and continuity of care.
  • Be treated with dignity. The hospital prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
  • Ask all personnel involved in your care to introduce themselves, state their role in your care, and explain what they are going to do for you.

2. Information About Your Treatment
You have the right to effective communication. Your health care team will describe your proposed treatment to you. You can expect the team to provide or explain the following:

  • The name of the physician, clinical psychologist, or other practitioner who has primary responsibility for your care, treatment, or services,
  • your condition and proposed treatment,
  • benefits and risks of the proposed treatment,
  • the alternatives to the proposed treatment and the benefits and risks of each alternative,
  • your role in your care,
  • the knowledge and skills you will need,
  • the prognosis, and
  • what to expect during recuperation.

You have the right to receive information in a manner you understand. You will be fully informed about the outcome of your care and treatment, including unanticipated outcomes.

The hospital will inform you or your surrogate decision-maker about unanticipated outcomes of care, treatment, and services that relate to sentinel events considered reviewable by The Joint Commission.

The physician (licensed independent practitioner) responsible for managing your care, treatment, and services, or his or her designee, will inform you about unanticipated outcomes of care, treatment, and services when you are not already aware of the occurrence or when further discussion is needed.

If you have limited English language skills or hearing problems which inhibit your ability to communicate, please let staff know. Interpretive services will be provided as needed.

3. Participate in Decisions About Your Care
We respect and support your right to:

  • Agree to treatment with your informed consent, which consists of a full explanation of your care by your physician, including the risks and benefits of the proposed treatment and any alternative treatment options. You also have the right to withhold informed consent.
  • Refuse a diagnostic procedure or treatment.
  • Appropriate assessment and management of your pain.

It is your right to decide whether you wish to be treated and, if so, by which method of treatment. If you elect to refuse treatment you will be informed of the medical consequences of your decision.

If you are a minor, your family and/or legal guardian will be involved in all of your treatment planning decisions.

If you are unable to exercise these rights, Knapp Medical Center will extend these same rights to your legally designated representative.

4. Advance Directives
Knapp Medical Center encourages its patients to issue advance directives before they face serious illness. Communicate your future medical care choices now through advance directives. Below is some general information on the four types of advance directives recognized under Texas law. Advance directives can be changed or cancelled at any time.

Directive to Physicians
A Directive to Physicians is also known as a “living will.” This document allows you to tell your physician not to use artificial methods to prolong the process of dying if you are terminally ill. A Directive does not become effective until you have been diagnosed with a terminal or irreversible condition. If you sign a Directive, talk it over with your physician and ask that it be made part of your medical record. If for some reason you become unable to sign a written Directive, you can issue a Directive verbally or by other means of non-written communication, in the presence of your physician.

If you have not issued a Directive and become unable to communicate after being diagnosed with a terminal or irreversible condition, your attending physician and legal guardian, or certain family members in the absence of a legal guardian, can make decisions concerning withdrawing, withholding or providing life-sustaining treatment. Your attending physician and another physician not involved in your care also can make decisions to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment if you do not have a guardian and certain family members are not available.

Medical Power of Attorney
Another type of advance directive is a Medical Power of Attorney, which allows you to designate someone you trust, an agent, to make health care decisions on your behalf should you become unable to make these decisions yourself.

The person you designate has authority to make health care decisions on your behalf only when your attending physician certifies that you lack the capacity to make your own health care decisions.

Your agent must make health care decisions after consulting with your attending physician, and according to the agent’s knowledge of your wishes, including your religious and moral beliefs. If your wishes are unknown, your agent must make a decision based on what he believes is in your best interest.

Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate Order
An Out-of-Hospital DNR Order allows you to refuse certain life-sustaining treatments in any setting outside of a hospital. This advance directive must be issued in conjunction with your attending physician.

Declaration for Mental Health Treatment
Another type of advance directive deals with mental health treatment issues only. A Declaration for Mental Health Treatment allows you to tell health care providers your choices for mental health treatment, in the event that you become incapacitated.

Legal Aspects Of Advance Directives
An advance directive does not need to be notarized. Neither this hospital nor your physician may require you to execute an advance directive as a condition for admittance or receiving treatment in this or any other hospital. The fact that you have executed an advance directive will not affect any insurance policies that you may have.

5. Ethical Decisions
We understand that you and your family may be faced with making difficult treatment choices while you are here. We respect your right to make an individual decision that is based on your personal beliefs and values as well as on the available medical information. You or your legally designated representative will be personally involved in the consideration of all ethical issues involving your care.
To assist you with the decision-making process, we suggest you consider the following issues;

  • Do you have all the information you need to make a decision about your care?
  • In case you are unable to speak for yourself, have you appointed someone to speak on your behalf by executing a Medical Power of Attorney?

Your doctor is the first person to consult about patient care issues. However, if you need more help, Knapp Medical Center’s Ethics Committee will work with you and your doctor for assistance and guidance. Doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and a chaplain are members of this committee. If you would like information and/or a referral to this hospital committee, please ask your doctor or nurse.

6. Privacy
The staff at Knapp Medical Center strives to respect the privacy of all patients. Case discussions, examinations and treatments are confidential and will be conducted discreetly.

In addition, you have the right to:

  • Close the curtain around your bed or close the door when you want privacy.
  • Request no visitors
  • Request confidential status to protect your identity as a hospitalized patient.
  • Request a transfer to another room if you are unreasonably disturbed by another patient and/or visitor. Every effort will be made to accommodate you if another equally suitable room is available.

Knapp Medical Center's full privacy notice can be found here.

7. Confidentiality
Patient information is confidential and may not be disclosed to third parties without patient consent except as in accordance with applicable law. You or your legally designated representative may access your medical record.

8. Pain Management
You have the right to pain management. Effective pain relief is an important part of your care and treatment. The staff at Knapp Medical Center is committed to working with you to establish a goal for relief of your pain and to implementing a plan to achieve that goal.

9. Reasonable Response to Requests and Needs
You have the right to considerate and respectful care. Should you need a service not provided by Knapp Medical Center, you have the right to be assisted in transferring to another healthcare facility that can provide the needed service.
You also have the right to examine your hospital bill and to have it explained to you.

10. How to File a Complaint and/or Grievance
It is our desire to continuously improve the care we provide and our goal is excellence. We encourage you and your family to contact us if we have not met your expectations.

You have the right to make a complaint and/or grievance regarding the quality of care and/or service you receive at Knapp Medical Center. If you have a concern regarding any aspect of your care or service, we encourage you to address the concern with the Knapp Medical Center staff involved. You may also speak with the manager in charge.

If you then feel that your concern was not adequately addressed, please contact your patient advocate at (956)969-5239, or visit the office of Guest Services in the Main Lobby. The main goal of the Guest Services Department at Knapp Medical Center is to personalize the hospital experience and to respond to concerns, questions, anxieties or needs a patient or their family may have about the patient’s stay at Knapp Medical Center. After normal business hours, you may contact the hospital operator and your call will be directed appropriately.

Once Knapp Medical Center has received a complaint or grievance, all reasonable efforts will be made to resolve it as soon as possible. Knapp endeavors to resolve patient complaints within 24 hours and patient grievances within seven days.

You may also lodge a complaint and/or grievance with the Texas Department of Health directly, regardless of whether you have first lodged your complaint and/or grievance at Knapp Medical Center. Complaints and/or grievances may be filed with the Texas Department of Health at 1100 West 49th St., Austin, TX 78756-3199, or by calling the Texas Department of Health Complaint Hotline at 1-888-973-0022.

If Knapp cannot resolve a concern of yours that is related to patient care or patient safety, you may contact the Office of Quality Monitoring for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations by either calling 1-800-994-6610 or e-mailing complaint@jointcommission.org.

Knapp Medical Center values open communication and the presentation of a complaint and/or grievance will in no way compromise your care.

You Have the Responsibility to:

1. Provide Complete Medical Information
Provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about your present health status and your complete medical history, including illnesses, hospitalizations, medication, advance directives, and other matters related to your health.

2. Ask for Clear Explanations
If the explanation of your diagnosis, treatment, or role in your care is not clear, ask questions until you understand.

3. Make Informed Decisions
Because you are responsible for the decisions you make about your care, we encourage you to gather as much information as you need to make your decision. Once you and your physician have decided on a treatment plan, be sure to advise your physician if you feel unable to follow the plan. You may be asked to consent in writing to certain tests, procedures or surgical operations. Ask as many questions as you need to fully understand each document you are asked to sign.

4. Understand
Understand your role in your care and responsibilities for your healthcare. If there is anything you do not understand, ask any member of the health care team to explain it to you.

5. Report Changes
Tell your physician about any changes in your health.

6. Accept Financial Obligations
Ensure that your financial obligations are fulfilled as promptly as possible.

7. Respect Others’ Privacy
It is important to be considerate of other patients by observing their right to privacy, limiting your visitors and maintaining a quiet atmosphere. Telephones, television, radios and lights should be used in a manner agreeable to others.

8. Follow Hospital Rules and Regulations
Our focus is on patient care. Our policies help ensure a smooth operation. Patients, families and visitors must follow the hospital rules and regulations so we can provide the best care possible.