As a patient of Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS), you have the following rights under state law and regulations. These rights are posted in our patient rooms and in various locations throughout the system.
- To receive the care and health services that the healthcare system 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 and documented in your medical record.
- To give informed written consent prior to the start of specified, non-emergency medical procedures or treatments. Before you consent, your physician should explain to you - in words you understand - specific details about the recommended procedure or treatment, the medically significant risks involved, time required for recovery, and any medically accepted alternatives. If you are not able to give informed, written consent, the healthcare system will seek consent from your next of kin or guardian, or representative appointed through an advance directive, or as otherwise authorized by law.
- To refuse medication and treatment to the extent permitted by law after possible consequences of this decision have been explained clearly to you.
- To expect reasonable continuity of care.
- To appropriate assessment, management, and treatment of pain as an integral part of your care.
- To expect that your pain management will be provided by healthcare professionals who are committed to pain prevention and who respond quickly to reports of pain.
- To be included in experimental research only if you give informed, written consent. If you are not able to consent, you will be included in research only with the consent of your guardian or the person you have chosen to make healthcare decisions. You have the right to refuse to participate.
- To contract directly with a New Jersey-licensed registered professional nurse of your own choosing for private professional nursing care (private duty nursing) during your hospitalization. Upon request, the healthcare system will provide you with a list of local non-profit professional nurses' association registries that refer nurses for private duty nursing care.
Communication & Information
- To be informed of the names and functions of all physicians and healthcare professionals providing you with direct care. These people shall identify themselves by introduction or by wearing a name tag.
- To receive as soon as possible, the services of a translator or interpreter if you need one to help you communicate with the healthcare system's healthcare 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 healthcare system's written policies and procedures regarding life-saving methods and the use or withdrawal of life support mechanisms.
- To be advised, in writing, of the healthcare system'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 healthcare system's staff member to whom you can ask questions or complain about any possible violation of your rights. Please call 609-853-7490 to be connected with the Princeton HealthCare System Patient Representative.
- To have prompt access to the information in your medical record with proper authorization, unless your physician determines that such access would harm your health, and explains this in the medical record. If this occurs, then your next of kin or guardian shall have a right to see the record.
- To obtain a copy of your medical record within 30 days after a written authorization/request for the state-mandated fee. If your physician has determined that access to the record would harm your health, then the medical record will be made available to your legally authorized representative or to another physician that you choose.
Cost of Hospital Care
- To receive a copy of the healthcare system's payment rates. If you request an itemized bill, the healthcare system must provide one, and respond to any questions you may have. You have the right to appeal any charges, and to an explanation of procedures to follow in making such an appeal.
- To be informed by the healthcare system if part or your entire hospital bill will not be covered by insurance. The healthcare system is required to help you obtain public assistance and private healthcare benefits to which you may be entitled, including information regarding indigency and eligibility for charity care.
- To receive information and assistance from your attending physician and other healthcare providers if you need to arrange for continuing healthcare after your discharge from the healthcare system.
- To receive sufficient time before discharge to arrange for continuing healthcare needs.
- To be informed by the healthcare system about any appeal process to which you are entitled by law if you disagree with the healthcare system's discharge plans.
- To be transferred to another facility only when you or your family has made the request, or instances where the transferring healthcare system is unable to provide you with the care you need.
- Except in a life-threatening situation where immediate transfer is necessary, to receive an advance explanation from a physician of the reasons for your transfer and possible alternatives, confirmation of acceptance from the receiving facility, and a description of possible risks of transfer.
- 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 healthcare system must also have a system to safeguard your personal property.
Freedom from Abuse & Restraints
- To freedom from physical and mental abuse.
- To freedom from restraints, unless they are authorized by a physician for a limited period of time to protect your safety or the safety of others.
Privacy & Confidentiality
- To have physical privacy during medical treatment and personal hygiene functions, unless you need assistance.
- To have your privacy respected when hospital personnel need to discuss your care and condition.
- To confidential treatment of information about you. Information in your records that includes your identity will not be released to anyone outside the healthcare system without your approval, unless such disclosure is necessary to permit others to provide healthcare to you, is required to obtain payment for healthcare services, or is required or permitted by law.
- To treatment and medical services without discrimination based on race, age, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, diagnosis,, socioeconomic status or source of payment.
- To retain and exercise all your constitutional, civil, and legal rights.
- Each patient is able to choose who may visit him or her during his or her stay at Princeton HealthCare System, regardless of whether the visitor is a family member, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), a civil union partner, or other type of visitor.
- Visitation privileges shall not be denied or abridged on the basis of race, creed, color, age, nationality, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or source of lawful income.
- Each patient is able to have the visitors that they choose to visit them enjoy "full and equal" visitation privileges consistent with their wishes.
- Princeton HealthCare System may restrict patient access to visitors based on reasonable clinical needs. When restricting visitation rights PHCS shall explain to the patient (or Support Person as applicable) the reasons for the restrictions or limitations on the patient's visitation rights.
- Each patient is able to withdraw his or her consent to allow visitation at any time.