FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Your Rights as a Patient

IAdvance Directives
If you are no longer able to make your own decisions about your medical care, you do not lose your right to accept or refuse treatment. To ensure your wishes are respected, you can complete an “Advance Health Care Directive.” This document gives instructions, in advance, about your wishes regarding your health care.

You are not required to complete an advance directive, and you will receive the same quality of health care whether you complete one or not. If you become unable to make your own decisions and do not have an advance directive, your family or others close to you may be asked to make decisions for you based on what they believe you would want. If you are under age 18, your parent or guardian will usually make decisions about your medical care.

Advance directives can be completed through your attorney’s office, or you can download the necessary forms at

As a FirstHealth patient, you have the right to:

  • Reasonable access to care.
  • Care that is considerate and respectful of his/her personal values and beliefs.
  • Be informed about and help make decisions about your care and help develop and implement your treatment care plan, discharge plan, and pain management plan.
  • Relevant, current, and understandable information concerning his/her diagnosis, treatment including alternatives of care, and prognosis from his/her physician.
  • Know the name of the physician and other direct caregivers responsible for coordinating his/her care.
  • Right to refuse any drugs, treatment or procedure offered by the facility, to the extent permitted by law, and a physician shall inform the patient of his/her right to refuse drugs, treatment or procedures and of the medical consequences of the patient’s refusal of any drugs, treatment or procedure.
  • Have an Advance Directive (such as a living will, health care proxy, or durable power of attorney for health care) concerning treatment or designating a surrogate decision maker with the expectation that the hospital will honor the intent of that directive to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy.
  • Security and personal privacy.
  • Confidentiality of all communications and records pertaining to his/her care, except in cases such as suspected abuse and public health hazards when reporting is permitted or required by law.
  • A patient who does not speak English shall have access, when possible, to an interpreter.
  • A patient, or patient designee/support person, upon request, shall have access to all information contained in the patient’s medical records.
  • Review the records pertaining to his/her medical care and to have the information explained or interpreted as necessary, except when restricted by law and in accordance to hospital policy.
  • Reasonable response by the hospital, within its capacity and policies, to the patient’s request for appropriate and medically indicated care and services.
  • Information on the hospital’s business relationships with educational institutions and other health care providers or payers who may influence the patient’s treatment and care.
  • Participate in or decline proposed research studies or human experimentation affecting care and treatment or requiring direct patient involvement and care.
  • Reasonable continuity of care, and to be informed by physicians and other caregivers of available and realistic patient care options and health care requirements following discharge and the means for meeting them.
  • Access to protective services.
  • Information on hospital policies and practices that relate to patient care, treatment, and responsibilities.
  • Be informed of available resources for resolving disputes, grievances, and conflicts, such as ethics committee, patient representative, and the grievance process.
  • An appropriate assessment and management of their pain
  • To expect emergency procedures to be implemented without unnecessary delay
  • Good quality care and high professional standards that are continually maintained and reviewed
  • Be informed and give consent prior to the start of any treatment or procedure or both, unless it is an emergency situation. Consent then may be withdrawn at any time that the patient does not wish to participate in the procedure or treatment.
  • Assistance in obtaining consultation with another physician at the patient’s request and expense
  • Medical and nursing services without discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity,  national origin or source of payment
  • Not to be awakened by hospital staff unless it is medically necessary
  • Be free from needless duplication of medical and nursing procedures
  • Be transferred to another facility, when medically permissible, after receiving complete information and an explanation concerning the needs for and alternatives to the transfer
  • Be informed of their rights at the earliest possible time in the course of their hospitalization
  • Be free from physical and mental abuse and corporal punishment and to be free from restraint or seclusion, of any form, imposed by staff as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation
  • Right to examine and receive a detailed explanation of his/her bill and a right to full information and counseling on the availability of known financial resources for his/her health care.
  • Right to designate a patient designee/support person including, but not limited to a spouse, family member, same-sex partner, domestic partner, friend, or other individual who supports the patient during his or her hospital stay and may exercise the patient’s visitation rights on his or her behalf.  There is no limit on who may be designated a support person by the patient and there is no restriction based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
  • A patient has the right to designate visitors who shall receive the same visitation privileges as the patient’s immediate family members, regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to the patient.
  • Seek a review by the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) related to quality care issues or coverage issues, or seek appeal for a premature discharge issue (This applies to Medicare beneficiaries only.)

Quality Improvement Organization (QIO)
The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence
100 Regency Forest Drive, Suite 200
Cary, NC  27511-8598
Toll-free (800) 682-2650

As a patient of FirstHealth, you are responsible for:

  • Giving details about past illnesses, hospitalizations, medicines and other matters related to your health
  • Asking questions when you do not understand information or instructions
  • Telling doctors and other caregivers if you believe they cannot follow through with their treatment
  • Being aware of the hospital’s obligation to be reasonably efficient and impartial in providing care to other patients and the community
  • Be considerate of other patients and hospital staff
  • Giving information for insurance and, when needed, for working with the hospital to arrange payment
  • Providing a current copy of your Advance Directive
  • Being aware of how your lifestyle affects your health
  • Report pain to doctor or nurse
  • Asking for pain relief when the pain first begins and whenever the pain is not tolerable
  • Learn about pain relief options
  • Participating in a pain management plan with patient caregivers

* A spouse, family member, same-sex partner, friend, or other individual who supports the patient during his or her hospital stay and may exercise the patient’s visitation rights on his or her behalf. There is no limit on who may be designated a support person by the patient-there is no restriction regardless of gender, race, color, sexual orientation, religion, disability or age.

Click here for FirstHealth’s Notice of Privacy Practice, which explains our privacy policies regarding your personal health information and details your health-information rights under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996).

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