Campuses: Home button

Patient Rights and Responsibilities Policy

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Florida Hospital Waterman and the medical staff have adopted the following policy of patient rights and responsibilities.  Inpatients are informed of their patient rights and responsibilities at the time of registration via the patient handbook.  Outpatients are provided a copy of Patient Rights and Responsibilities upon request.


The patient has the right to:

  • impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations, regardless of race, national origin, religion, handicap, or source of payment. 
  • exercise his/her rights without regards to sex, culture, economic, educational, or religious background.
  • treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment.
  • safe care, treatment and services.
  • appropriate assessment and management of pain, information about pain, pain relief measures, participation in pain management decisions, request or reject the use of various modalities to relieve pain.
  • have family members (or other representatives of his/her choosing) and his/her physician notified promptly when admitted to the hospital.
  • have access to spiritual counseling and pastoral visits/services.
  • effective communication and interpretation, including access to translation services and services to address vision, speech, hearing, language and cognitive impairment.
  • have access to people outside the hospital through visitors, interpreters, verbal and written communication.
  • designate visitors of his/her choosing, if the patient has decision-making capacity, whether or not the visitor is related by blood or marriage, unless a) no visitors are allowed; b) the facility reasonably determines that the presence of a particular visitor would endanger the health/safety of a patient, hospital staff, other visitors, or would significantly disrupt the operations of the hospital; c) the patient has indicated he/she no longer wants this person to visit; d) however, Florida Hospital Waterman may establish reasonable restrictions upon visitation, including restrictions upon the hours of visitation and number of visitors.
  • have access to a telephone and space for private conversations as appropriate to the needs of his/her care, treatment and services.
  • voice complaints freely and recommend changes regarding the quality of services through the established process, and without being subject to coercion, discrimination, reprisal, or unreasonable interruption of care, treatment and services.
  • have access to protective and advocacy services including notifying government agencies of neglect or abuse.

Respect and Dignity:  The patient has the right to:

  • considerate and respectful care at all times with recognition of her/'her personal dignity.
  • reasonable responses to any reasonable requests made for service.
  • be made comfortable, with consideration of his/her psychosocial, spiritual, cultural, and personal values, beliefs and preferences.
  • be free from restraints and seclusion of any form used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • an environment that preserves dignity and contributes to a positive self image.

Privacy and Confidentiality:  The patient has the right to:

  • full consideration of privacy concerning his/her medical care program.  Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly.  The patient has the right to be advised why any individual is present during a consultation, examination or treatment.
  • confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to care and stay in the hospital.  The patient's or legally authorized representative's written permission shall be obtained before medical records can be made available to anyone not directly concerned with the patient's care.
  • request, access, amend and receive accounting of disclosures regarding his/her medical record/health information, as permitted under applicable law and regulation.

Medical Information and Consent:  The patient has the right to: 

  • give or withhold informed consent.
  • give or withhold informed consent to produce or use recordings, films, or other images of the patient for purposes other than his or her care.
  • receive information in a manner tailored to the patient's age, language, and ability to understand.
  • know the name of his/her primary physician and the name and professional relationships of other physicians and people involved in his/her care at the time care is rendered.
  • prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests.
  • information about the illness, course of treatment and prospects for recovery in terms that the patient can understand.
  • information about treatment or procedures as needed in order to give informed consent or refusal.  Except in emergencies, this information shall include a description of the procedures or treatment, the medically significant risks, alternate courses of treatment or non-treatment and the risks involved in each.
  • be informed if the hospital/personal physician plans to perform human experimentation affecting care or treatment, and his/her right to refuse participation.
  • respect and protect his/her rights during research, investigation, and clinical trials.
  • know if medical treatment is for purposes of experimental research and to give his or her consent or refusal to participate in such experimental research.

Provision of Information:  The patient has the right to:

  • knowledge of the hospital rules and policies which apply to patient conduct.
  • information about his/her responsibilities related to his or her care, treatment and services.

Medical Treatment Decisions:  The patient has the right to: 

  • active participation in discussions/decisions regarding care, treatment and services.  To the extent permitted by law, this includes the right to refuse care, treatment and services.  This includes foregoing treatment, withdrawing life sustaining treatment, withholding resuscitative services, leaving the hospital against the advise of physicians, or executing an Advance Directive.  If the treating physician is unable to honor the directive he/she will discuss this with the patient or patient's surrogate.  To the extent permitted by law, these rights also apply to a patient's surrogate decision-maker.
  • have the family involved in care, treatment, and services decisions to the extent permitted by the patient or surrogate decision-make, in accordance with law and regulation.
  • have the surrogate decision-maker provided with the information about outcomes of care, treatment and services that the patient needs in order to participate in current and future health care decisions.
  • information to the patient or surrogate decision-maker about unanticipated outcomes of care, treatment and services that relate to sentinel events considered reviewable by the Joint Commission.  (The licensed independent practitioner responsible for managing the patient's care treatment and services, or his or her designee informs the patient about unanticipated outcomes of care, treatment and services when the patient is not already aware of the occurrence or when further discussion is needed.)
  • consult with specialists at his/her own request and expense.
  • have decisions addressed about care, treatment and services received at the end of life.
  • be advised of his/her rights in the event of terminal illness.  These rights address privacy,m confidentiality and treatment for the primary and secondary symptoms of illness, pain management, psychosocial and spiritual concerns.
  • consent to their family/support system's involvement, as appropriate, in making decisions regarding the care, treatment and services the patient receives.
  • have their surrogate decision-maker presented with the option to donate tissues or organs when appropriate.

Continuity of Care:  The patient has the right to: 

  • reasonable continuity of care and advance knowledge of the time and location of appointments, including the name of the physician providing the care.
  • be informed by the physician, or a delegate of the physician, of the patient's continuing health care requirements following discharge from the hospital.
  • receive a complete explanation of the need for transfer to another medical facility and of the alternatives to such a transfer.

Refusal of Treatment:  The patient has the right to:  

  • leave the hospital, even against the advice of physicians.
  • written information about the right to refuse care, treatment or services.
  • respect related to decisions regarding refusal of care, treatment or services in accordance with law and regulations.
  • respect related to the surrogate decision-maker's right to refuse care, treatment and services on the patient's behalf, in accordance with law and regulations.

Financial Information:  The patient has the right to:

  • examine and receive an explanation of the bill, regardless of the source of payment.
  • be given, upon request, full information and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for his or her care.
  • be given, upon request, prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care.
  • a copy of a reasonably clear and understandable itemized bill and, upon request, to have the charges explained.
  • (if eligible for Medicare) to know upon request and in advance of treatment whether the health care provide or health care facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate.

Personal Safety:  The patient has the right to:

  • expect reasonable safety of their person according to hospital practices and environment, and to be placed in protective privacy when the hospital determines it necessary for personal safety.
  • receive care in a safe setting free from real or perceived mental, physical, sexual or verbal abuse, neglect, exploitation or harassment from anyone, including staff, students, volunteers, other patients, visitors, or family members.

Complaints or Concerns:  The patient has the right to:

  • have complaints reviewed by the hospital
  • express grievances regarding any violation of his or her rights, as stated by Florida law, through the grievance procedure of the health care provider or health care facility which served him or her and to the appropriate state licensing agency.

Filing complaints:

A complaint against the hospital may be reported: 

  • In writing to the Professional Services Department, Florida Hospital Waterman, 1000 Waterman Way, Tavares, FL  32778
  • By calling Professional Services at 352.253.3333, ext. 4044
  • By calling the Consumer Assistance Unit health facility complaint hotline at 1.888.419.3456 (press 1)
  • By writing to the Agency of Health Care Administration Consumer Assistance Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive, Bldg. 1, Tallahassee, FL  32308

 The public may also contact the Joint Commission to report quality of care concerns by:

  • Email:  complaint
  • Fax:  Office of Quality Monitoring, 630.792.5636
  • Mail:  Office of Quality Monitoring, The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, IL  60181

A complaint against a health care professional may be reported:

  • In writing to the Professional Services Department, Florida Hospital Waterman, 1000 Waterman Way, Tavares, FL  32778
  • By calling Professional Services at 352.253.3333, ext. 4044
  • By calling the Consumer Assistance Unit health facility complaint hotline at 1.888.419.3456 (press 2)
  • By writing to the Agency of Health Care Administration Consumer Assistance Unit, PO Box 14000 1, Tallahassee, FL  32317-4000


Compliance with Instructions:  The patient has the responsibility to:   

  • provide to the health care provider, to the best of his or her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to her or her health.
  • report unexpected changes in his or her condition to the health care provider.
  • report to the health care provider whether he or she comprehends a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him or her.
  • follow the treatment plan agreed upon with his/her primary health care professional.  This includes following instructions of other health care providers as they carry out the orders of the primary healthcare professional and enforce hospital rules and regulations.
  • keep appointments with the responsible practitioner and whenever unable to do so, to notify him or her.
  • conduct self in an appropriate manner while receiving care from healthcare personnel for his/her actions if he/she refuses treatment or does not follow the instructions for his/her care.  When refusal of treatment prevents the appropriate care in accordance with professional standards, the relationship with the patient may be terminated upon reasonable notice.

Compliance with Financial Obligations:  The patient has the responsibility to:   

  • assure that the financial obligations of his/her health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.

Compliance with Providing Information:  The patient has the responsibility to:   

  • provide, to the best of his/her knowledge, accurate and complete information about the present complaint, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other health matters.
  • report unexpected changes in his/her condition to the responsible caregiver.
  • make it known whether he/she clearly understands a course of action regarding medical care, and in what ways he/she is expected to cooperate.