Are you ready for JCAHO?- BWH Bulletin - For and about the People of Brigham and Women's Hospital
Skip to contents
January 5, 2001
Browse the archive
In This Issue:
First Night, First Baby
Referral Program Extended through March 31
Are you ready for JCAHO?
Ask Yourself: How does BWH support the rights of all patients?
Each patient cared for at BWH has the right to access all services within the capacity of the hospital, its stated mission and its applicable laws and regulations. Access to Care—BWH provides emergency care regardless of patients’ ability to pay, and makes available uncompensated care consistent with patients’ needs and financial status. To avoid compromising the quality of care, clinical decisions (including tests, treatments and other interventions) are based on identified patient health care needs. Patients are only transferred in stable condition, when they so request or when another hospital provides medical care that BWH cannot. Interpreter services are available to overcome language barriers. Respect for Personal Values and Beliefs—Patients have a right to care that safeguards their personal dignity and respects their cultural, psychosocial and spiritual values. BWH makes available social workers and chaplains to counsel patients regarding spiritual needs. Patients whose religious beliefs do not allow certain types of therapy are respected—particularly with regard to transfusions—to the extent permitted by law. Informed Participation in Decisions—The patient has a right to make all treatment decisions in consultation with the health care providers. Patients must give informed consent to any therapy, and can make decisions regarding withholding of care in consultation with their physicians and nurses. Every patient must be aware of the potential benefits and risks of treatment and procedures. Additionally, patients have the right to know the identity of caregivers that are playing a prominent role in their care. BWH’s research protocols are subject to review and approval by the Hospital’s Human Subjects Research Committee. All patients participating in research protocols understand that it is purely voluntary, and give informed consent. The BWH Ethics Committee is committed to consulting with patients and families, and providing them with educational materials when ethical issues arise in their care. BWH patients also have the right to complete an advance directive. In the absence of the actual advance directive, the substance of the directive is documented in the patient's medical record. Pain Management—Patients' rights regarding pain assessment and management include initial assessment, regular reassessment, access to providers with pain assessment/management education and education for themselves and their families when appropriate. Privacy and Confidentiality—The hospital provides for effective communication (including services for the hearing and speech impaired) for the patient’s right to privacy and security and for the patient’s right to confidentiality of information. Patient Complaints—The Department of Patient Relations provides a specific channel through which patients and their families may communicate concerns, complaints or complements. The department is committed to overseeing reviews of, and responses to, all complaints.