Patient Rights & Responsibilities
The Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg & Calhoun Counties (RMC) recognizes that during illness or emergency treatment, the concern for personal dignity and human relationships is always of great importance. RMC further recognizes that infants, children, adolescents, and their parents/guardians, as well as all patients, have a right to expect and request the following when receiving services from RMC.
You have the right to:
- Provide employees and medical staff at RMC the names, addresses and telephone numbers of your family members and representatives, as well as any family or treating physician, and request that they be informed of your admission to the hospital within a reasonable time period after your admission and request for notification.
- Considerate, respectful care at all times and under all circumstances with recognition of your personal dignity being paramount. You are not required to perform services for the facility that are not for therapeutic purposes in your plan of care.
- Incorporate your own personal clothing items with those provided by RMC while you are admitted to the hospital on an inpatient status, as long as those clothing items do not interfere with the diagnostic procedures or treatment as directed by your attending physician.
- Actively participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care, as well as request information on the identity and professional status of those involved in your care, including whether or not your care giver is a student or trainee, or is professionally associated with other individuals or other healthcare institutions involved in your care. You also have the right to speak with the physician responsible for your care should you have any medical concerns.
- Make informed decisions about your healthcare. To assist you in making informed decisions about your care, you have the right to be advised of your current health status, as well as being actively involved, both prior to and during the course of your treatment. You have the right to request or refuse treatment. However, this right must not be construed as a mechanism to demand the provision of treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate. In your care planning and treatment, you have the right to be informed as to all proposed technical procedures including the potential benefits and potential drawbacks or risks as well as alternatives to the care being recommended. You have the right to appropriate assessment and management of pain.
- Request or refuse medically appropriate treatment to the extent permitted by law, as well as request information concerning the potential medical consequences of such decisions. If you refuse a recommended treatment, such refusal will not affect your right to receive other necessary and available care.
- Formulate an advance directive such as a Living Will or Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney. After preparation and execution of an advance directive, you are entitled to the expectation that the hospital staff and practitioners will honor the advance directive to the extent permitted by law.
- Expect that, within the hospital’s capacity and policies, RMC make reasonable efforts to comply with any patient’s request for appropriate and medically indicated care and services.
- RMC is committed to providing individuals with impartial access to treatment or accommodations that are both available within the hospital’s capacity and medically indicated, regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, or sources of payment for care.
- Request (provided such request is medically appropriate and legally permissible) to be transferred to another facility after being informed about the medical needs for, risk, benefits and alternatives to transfer. However, you will not be transferred until the proposed medical facility to which you will be transferred has fully agreed to accept you as a patient.
- Personal privacy, to receive care in a safe setting, and to be free from all forms of verbal and physical abuse or harassment while a patient at RMC. You have the expectation of respect, dignity and reasonable comfort while a patient at RMC.
- Refuse to talk with or see anyone not officially connected with the hospital, including personal visitors and persons officially connected with the hospital, but not directly involved in your care.
- Expect that any discussion or consultation involving your care will be conducted discretely, and that reasonable steps will be taken to insure the confidentiality of your medical healthcare status to the extent permitted by law.
- Be interviewed and examined in surroundings designed to promote reasonable visual and auditory privacy, including the right to have a person of ones own sex present during certain parts of a physical examination, treatment, or procedure performed by a health professional of the opposite sex, as well as the right to remain disrobed no longer than is necessary for accomplishing the medical purpose for which disrobing is needed.
- Access people outside of the hospital by means of verbal and written communication, as well as visitation by immediate family members, and others, in accordance with the hospital visitation policy. If you would prefer not to have visitors, please inform your nurse. Your physician may restrict your visitors if he determines it to be harmful to your well being.
- Request access to an interpreter if you do not speak or understand the predominant language of the community or within the healthcare facility.
- Be free from restraints of any form including medications that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by the staff of RMC. Restraints will be implemented only if needed to improve your well-being and less restrictive measures have been found to be ineffective to protect you or others from possible harm.
- Confidentiality of your clinical records, except in such cases where suspected abuse or public health hazards may be present or when reporting such events is permitted or required by law. You have the right to expect all communications and other records pertaining to your care, including the source of payment for treatment, to be treated as confidential and, except as otherwise provided by law, RMC will not honor a request for the release of copies of medical records without the receipt of your expressed written consent, or a person authorized by law to act on your behalf.
- Access information contained in your clinical records within a reasonable time frame, and to have the information explained as appropriate, except when restricted by law or except that access to your medical records be restricted under the following conditions:
- the information is about another person and disclosure would cause sufficient harm to the other individual to warrant withholding;
- inspection could be reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of you or another person; the information includes
- information obtained under a promise of confidentiality (from someone other than a healthcare provider), and disclosure could reveal the source;
- the information is held by an oversight agency, and disclosure could impede an ongoing oversight or law enforcement activity;
- the information is collected as part of a clinical trial, the trial is in progress, an institutional review board has approved the denial of access and the patient has agreed to the denial when consenting to participate; and
- the information is complied principally in anticipation of, or for use in, a legal proceeding.
- Request information concerning RMC’s possible relationships with home health care providers, or other outside parties that may influence your care.
- Consent or decline to take part in research affecting your care. If you choose not to take part, you will receive the most effective care the hospital otherwise provides.
- Examine, and request an explanation of, your bill regardless of the source of payment. You also have the right to request information about payment methods.
- Expect appropriate continuity of care if necessary, and to be informed by care providers of available and appropriate discharge alternatives when the services of RMC are no longer feasible or required.
- Advance notice of transfer to another location within the facility and will be given an opportunity to participate in planning the move.
- Be informed of hospital policies and practices that relate to your care, treatment, and responsibilities. You have the right to know about RMC’s resources such as customer service representatives, patient complaint procedures, and the formal grievance process. You additionally have the right to request an ethics consultation that may help you resolve problems and questions about your hospital stay and care.
- File an informal complaint, as well as a formal grievance, with Customer Service at 803-395-2430 concerning the quality of care and treatment you received while a patient at RMC. Additionally, you have the right to contact The Joint Commission, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, RMC’s State Survey Agency, or KEPRO, the Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization, RMC’s Quality Improvement Organization, concerning a complaint dealing with the quality of care you have received, or of an allegation of premature discharge from RMC at the following addresses and phone numbers:
The Joint Commission
Office of Quality Monitoring and Patient Safety
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
S.C. Dept. of Health & Environmental Control
Attn: Licensing Department
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
5201 W. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 900
Tampa, FL 33609
Filing a complaint will not affect your current and/or future care.
For information about your rights and responsibilities, or to give us feedback on your care, please contact an RMC Customer Service Representative at 803-395-2430.
You, as a patient at the Regional Medical Center (RMC), are responsible for providing information about your health, including past illnesses, hospital stays, and the use of medicine, as well as any information on relatives or others you wish to be informed of your admittance to RMC.
You are responsible for:
- asking questions when you do not understand information or instructions. If you believe you cannot follow through with your treatment, you are responsible for informing your doctor. You are responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily responsible for your care.
- assuring that the financial obligations of your health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
- providing information for insurance and for working with the hospital to arrange payment when needed.
- following hospital rules and regulations affecting patient health care and conduct.
- being considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel, and for assisting in the control of noise and the number of visitors.
- being considerate of the needs of other patients, staff and the hospital. This applies to your visitors as well. This hospital works to provide care efficiently and fairly to all patients and the community. Your health depends not only on your hospital care, but in the long term on the decisions you make in your daily life. You are responsible for recognizing the effects of your lifestyle on your personal health.
- adhering to RMC’s smoke free environment policy prohibiting smoking on the RMC campus.
- presenting advance directives such as living wills and healthcare power of attorney should present such documents at the time of admission or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter.
- informing the staff of any concerns you have related to your safety.
Patient Visitation Rights
The Regional Medical Center encourages full and equal visitation for all visitors in accordance with the patient’s preferences. Visitation privileges at the Regional Medical Center are not restricted, limited or otherwise denied on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or payment source. Each patient has the right to:
- consent to receive the visitors whom he/she designates, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including same-sex domestic partner), another family member or friend;
- withdraw or deny such consent at any time;
- designate a “support person” (family member, friend, or other individual) to be present for emotional support during the course of your stay unless the individual’s presence infringes on others’ rights, safety or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated.
Visitation may be limited or restricted when clinically appropriate to protect the health and safety of all patients and provide safe care.
A justified clinical restriction may include:
- a court order limiting or restraining contact;
- behavior presenting a direct risk or threat to the patient, staff or others in the immediate environment;
- behavior disruptive of the functioning of the patient care unit;
- reasonable limitations on the number of visitors at any one time;
- patient’s risk of infection by the visitor;
- visitor’s risk of infection by the patient;
- extraordinary protections because of a pandemic or infectious disease outbreak;
- patient’s need for rest or privacy;
- need for privacy or rest by another individual in the patient’s shared room;
- when the patient is undergoing a clinical intervention or procedure and the treating health care professional believes it is in the patient’s best interest to limit visitation during the clinical intervention or procedure.
If a patient believes that his/her visitation rights have been violated, the patient or his/her “support person” may contact Customer Service at 803-395-2430.
* If you do not understand the Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities as set forth above or if you want further clarification on any of the Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities, you may contact a Customer Service Representative at 803-395-2430.