As a patient in CentraState Medical Center (a New Jersey Hospital), you have the following rights (under state law and regulations):
- To receive the care and health services that the hospital is required by law to provide
- To receive an understandable explanation from your physician of your complete medical condition, recommended treatment, expected results, risks involved and reasonable medical alternatives. If your physician believes that some of this information would be detrimental to your health or beyond your ability to understand, the explanation must be given to your next of kin or guardian.
- To give informed, written consent prior to the start of specified non-emergency medical procedures or treatments. Your physician should explain to you – in words you understand – specific details about the recommended procedure or treatment, any risks involved, time required for recovery, and any reasonable medical alternatives.
- To refuse medication and treatment after possible consequences of this decision have been explained clearly to you, unless the situation is life-threatening or the procedure is required by law.
- To be included in experimental research only if you give informed, written consent. You have the right to refuse to participate.
- To contract directly with a New Jersey licensed registered professional nurse of the patient’s choosing for private professional nursing care during his or her hospitalization. A registered professional nurse so contracted shall adhere to hospital policies and procedures in regard to treatment protocols, so long as these requirements are the same for private duty and regularly employed nurses. The hospital, upon request, shall provide the patient or designee with a list of local non-profit professional nurses association registries that refer nurses for private professional nursing care.
- To expect and receive appropriate pain management as an integral component of that person’s care consistent with sound nursing and medical practices.
Communication and Information
- To be informed of the names and functions of all health care professionals providing you with personal care.
- To receive, as soon as possible, the services of a translator or interpreter if you need one to help you communicate with the hospital’s health care personnel.
- To be informed of the names and functions of any outside healthcare and educational institutions involved in your treatment. You may refuse to allow their participation.
- To receive, upon request, the hospital’s written policies and procedures regarding life-saving methods and the use or withdrawal of life support mechanisms.
- To be made aware of their right to participate in end of life decisions.
- To be advised, in writing, of the hospital’s rules regarding the conduct of patients and visitors.
- To receive a summary of your patient rights that includes the name and phone number of the hospital staff member whom you can ask questions or complain about any possible violation of your rights.
- To have prompt access to the information in your medical record. If your physician feels that this access is detrimental to your health, your next of kin or guardian has the right to see your record.
- To obtain a copy of your medical record, at a reasonable fee, within 30 days after a written request to the hospital.
Cost of Hospital Care
- To receive a copy of the hospital payment rates. If you request an itemized bill, the hospital must provide one, and explain any questions you may have. You have a right to appeal any charges.
- To be informed by the hospital if part or all of your bill will not be covered by insurance. The hospital is required to help you obtain any public assistance and private health care benefits to which you may be entitled.
- To be assisted in obtaining public assistance and the private health care benefits to which the patient may be entitled. This includes being advised that they are indigent or lack the ability to pay and that they may be eligible for coverage, and receiving the information and other assistance needed to qualify and file for benefits or reimbursement.
- To receive information and assistance from your attending physician and other health care providers if you need to arrange for continuing health care after your discharge from the hospital.
- To receive sufficient time before discharge to arrange for continuing health care needs.
- To be informed by the hospital about any appeal process to which you are entitled by law if you disagree with the hospital’s discharge plan.
- To be treated with courtesy, consideration, and respect for your dignity and individuality.
- To have access to storage space in your room for private use. The hospital must also have a system to safeguard your personal property.
Freedom From Abuse and Restraints
- To be free from physical and mental abuse.
- To be free from restraints, unless they are authorized by a physician for a limited period of time to protect the safety of you or others.
- To have the right to access protective services.
Privacy and Confidentiality
- To have physical privacy during medical treatment and personal hygiene functions, unless you need assistance.
- To confidential treatment of information about you. Information in your records will not be released to anyone outside the hospital without your approval, unless it is required by law.
- To treatment and medical services without discrimination based on age, religion, national origin, sex, sexual preferences, handicap, diagnosis, ability to pay or source of payment.
- To exercise all your constitutional rights.
Questions and Complaints
You are responsible for presenting questions or grievances to a designated hospital staff member and you have the right to receive a response within a reasonable period of time. The hospital must provide you with the address and telephone number of the New Jersey Department of Health agency that handles questions and complaints.
You may contact the New Jersey Department of Health Complaint Hotline directly at 800-792-9770. You may also contact CentraState Medical Center’s Director of Patient/Resident Satisfaction at 732- 294-2523 or the Patient Representative at 732-294-2707.
If your concerns cannot be resolved through your patient representative, we encourage you to contact The Office of Quality and Patient Safety at The Joint Commission:
• At www.jointcommission.org using the “Report a Patient Safety Event” link in the “Action Center” on the home page of the website
• By fax to 630-792-5636
• By mail to the Office of Quality and Patient Safety, The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
This list of Patient Rights is an abbreviated summary of the current New Jersey law and regulations governing the rights of hospital patients.
For more complete information, consult New Jersey Department of Health regulations at N.J.A.C. 8:43G-4, or Public Law 1989-Chapter 170, available through your hospital.