Patient Rights & Responsibilities

At Covenant Health, we take your safety and security very seriously. This page contains a list of patient rights that will make your visit with us as rewarding as possible.

Our patients have the right to exercise the following rights without regard to sex, national origin, race, age, economic status, educational or religious background, or the source of payment for care:

Patient Rights

Our patients have the right to exercise these rights without regard to age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression:

  1. Considerate and respectful care that preserves dignity and recognizes psychosocial; spiritual; cultural and personal values, beliefs, and preferences.
  2. Receive information about our organization, its services, its practitioners and providers, and patients’ rights and responsibilities.
  3. Effective communication including free access to language interpretive services, and receiving information, written and verbal, in a manner that you understand.
  4. Patients have the right to communication (mail, visitors, phone calls) unless the patient chooses to restrict communication. If it becomes necessary to restrict a patient's visitors, mail, telephone calls or other forms of communication, the restrictions are evaluated for their therapeutic effectiveness and are fully explained to the patient and are determined with their participation.
  5. Have a family member or other representative of your choosing, and your physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  6. Know the name of the physician who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care, and the names and professional status of persons providing care, treatment, and services.
  7. Respect for personal privacy and confidentiality, visual and auditory, during care discussions, consultations, examinations, and treatment.
  8. You have the right to be told the reason for the presence of any individual.
  9. You have the right to have visitors leave prior to an examination and when treatment is being discussed or performed.
  10. You have the right to confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to your care and stay in the hospital. You will receive a separate “Notice of Privacy Practices” that explains your privacy rights in detail and how we may use and disclose your protected health information.
  11. Patient Visitation Rights
  12. A family member, friend or other individual of your choice may be present for emotional support during the course of your stay, unless the individual’s presence infringes on other’s rights, safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated.
  13. Impartial access to medically appropriate or necessary treatment options that promote continuity of care, regardless of cost or benefit coverage.
  14. Receive a reasonable response to reasonable requests and needs for treatment and services.
  15. You have the right to receive accommodation for a disability.
  16. Participate in decisions about your care, treatment, and services with respect to the following:
    1. Receive information about your health status, course of treatment, and prospects for recovery.
    2. Make decisions regarding medical care and receive as much information about any proposed treatment or procedure as needed in order to give informed consent or refuse a course of treatment.
    3. The refusal of care and treatment to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal.
    4. Be informed about outcomes of care, treatment, and services that would enable you or family to make current and future decisions affecting your care including unanticipated outcomes that relate to sentinel events considered reviewable by The Joint Commission.
    5. Be informed by of any research / educational projects involving your care and treatment, and to understand that refusal to participate in a research project will not affect your care or treatment.
    6. You have the right to leave the hospital even against the advice of physicians, to the extent permitted by law.
  17. Be provided information about pain relief measures, a concerned staff committed to pain prevention and management, health professionals who respond quickly to and believe reports of pain, state of the art pain management, and dedicated pain relief specialists.
  18. Access to pastoral care and other spiritual services.
  19. The right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment, including verbal, physical, psychological, sexual or emotional while under the care of the hospital.
  20. Access to protective services, including guardianship and advocacy services, conservatorship, and child or adult protective services.
  21. The right to be free from seclusion or restraints of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff.
  22. Formulate advance directives including the designation of a surrogate decision-maker if you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or become unable to communicate your wishes regarding care. Covenant Health will honor advance directives in the inpatient and outpatient hospital settings to the extent the organization is able, based on its mission, vision, and values, and applicable law and regulation.
  23. You have the right to participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of your care including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services and foregoing or withholding life sustaining treatment.
  24. Care of the dying which provides comfort and dignity to the patient through effective pain management, and acknowledgment of the psychosocial and spiritual concerns of the patient and the family regarding dying and the expression of grief.
  25. Be informed, by the physician, or a delegate of the physician, of continuing health care requirements following discharge from the hospital. Upon your request, a friend or family member may be provided with this information also.
  26. Request another health care practitioner or consultant from another facility.
  27. Transfer to another facility or organization if the patient is medically stable, has been completely examined by a physician, the need for transfer established and communicated to the patient and an accepting physician and facility have been secured.
  28. Request and receive a detailed explanation of a bill for services rendered.
  29. The opportunity to voice complaints about care and recommend changes freely without being subject to coercion, discrimination, reprisal, or unreasonable interruption of care; and to have those complaints reviewed, and when possible, resolved (see also Administrative Policy #11-RI, Patient and Family Requests/Complaints). Patients and family members are encouraged to call the Guest Request Line at extension 40625.
    1. If a patient or family member wishes to lodge a formal complaint with the Texas Department of Health, they may do so either by phone, fax or mail to:
      Health Facility Compliance Group/MC 1979
      Texas Department of State Health Services
      1100 W. 49th Street
      Austin, TX 78756
      Fax: 512-834-6653
      Complaint Hotline: 1-888-973-0022
    2. If a patient or family member wishes to lodge a formal complaint with The Joint
      Commission , they may do so either by email, phone, fax, or mail to:
      Fax: Office of Quality Monitoring 630-792-5636
      Mail: Office of Quality Monitoring - The Joint Commission
      One Renaissance Boulevard - Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
    3. If patients have questions about how to file a complaint, they may contact the Joint Commission at this toll free U.S. telephone number, 8:30 - 5 p.m.(central time), Mon - Fri: 800-994-6610

Ethical issues

The Ethics Committee at Covenant Health serves as the advisory body to deal with ethical issues that arise in the case of treatment choice. The patient or designated representative can bring ethical issues to the committee by contacting Covenant Health System Department of Spiritual Care.