Franciscan Health Hospitals Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Whether you come to our hospital for medical care or to have a test or other procedures done, your rights as a patient must be respected.

As a patient at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, you have the right to:

  • Be fully informed of all your patient rights and receive a written copy, in advance of furnishing or discontinuing care whenever possible
  • Not be discriminated against because of your race, beliefs, age, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or your ability to pay for care
  • Be treated with dignity and respect, including cultural and personal beliefs, values and preferences
  • Confidentiality, reasonable personal privacy, security, safety, spiritual or religious care accommodations and communication. If communication restrictions are necessary for patient care and safety, the hospital must document and explain the restrictions to the patient and family
  • Be protected from neglect, exploitation and verbal, mental, physical or sexual abuse
  • Access to protective and advocacy services
  • Receive information about your condition, including unanticipated outcomes
  • Agree and be involved in all aspects and decisions of your care, including:
    • Refusing care, treatment and services to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the consequences of your actions
    • Resolving problems with care decisions; the hospital will involve the surrogate decision-maker when you’re unable to make decisions about your care
  • Receive information in a manner tailored to your age, language needs and ability to understand. An interpreter, translator or other auxiliary aids, tools or services will be provided to you for vital and necessary information free of charge
  • Make informed decisions regarding care, including options, alternatives, risks and benefits. The hospital honors your right to give, rescind and withhold consent
  • Receive appropriate medical screening examination or treatment for an emergency medical condition within the capabilities of the hospital, regardless of your ability to pay for such services
  • Have a family member or representative of your choice and your physician notified
  • Know the individual(s) responsible for, as well as those providing, your care, treatment and services
  • Family or representatives notification of your admission and input in care decisions; designate any individual to be present for emotional support during the course of your stay
  • An appropriate assessment and management of your pain
  • Be free from restraints and seclusion of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff
  • Have advance directives and for hospitals to respect and follow those directives; the hospital honors advance directives, in accordance with law and regulation and the hospital’s capabilities, religious directives and policies
  • End-of-life care: request no resuscitation or life-sustaining treatment
  • Donate organs and other tissues, including medical staff input and direction by family or surrogate decision-makers
  • Review, request amendment to and obtain information on disclosures of your health information in accordance with law and regulation
  • File a grievance (complaint) and to be informed of the process to review and resolve the grievance

As a patient at our hospital, you have the responsibility to:

  • Tell your care providers everything you know about your health, and to let someone know if there are changes in your condition. Provide accurate and current health information to your health care team.
  • Make known when you have advance directives and provide documents describing your preferences and wishes to the admitting staff or clinical health care team
  • Ask for explanation and information if you do not understand what you are told
  • Participate in your health care by helping make decisions, following the treatment plan prescribed by your physician and accepting responsibility for your choices
  • Demonstrate respect and consideration for other patients and hospital personnel
  • Follow hospital rules and regulations about safety and patient care during your stay, such as those about visitors, smoking, noise, etc.
  • Meet your financial commitments: Deal with your bill promptly, and contact the billing department if you need to make special arrangements
  • Support mutual consideration and respect by maintaining civil language and conduct in interaction with staff and medical staff
  • Tell your care providers and to be informed of the process to review and resolve the grievance without fear of retribution or denial of care

File a grievance

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health takes every complaint seriously and want to work with you to address your issues. If you believe you have experienced discrimination or that your rights have been violated, you may initiate a formal grievance. We ask that you speak with management staff directly about your concern. You may also call and speak with the Hospital Patient Advocate during business hours or you may notify them in writing. The Customer Concern Line is 253‐530‐2299 / or 1‐877‐426‐4701. The Patient Advocate will contact you upon receipt of the grievance, and will refer the complaint to the appropriate manager for investigation. The Manager or designee may contact you within two working days of the receipt your grievance to discuss your concerns. Once the concerns are clarified, our policy allows 10 working days for a thorough investigation and follow‐up by the manager or designee. A written response detailing the steps taken on your behalf to investigate the grievance, and the results of the process will be mailed no later than 10 days from the receipt of the grievance. The letter will also have the name and number of a contact person for any further correspondence.

You also have a right to file a complaint with the Washington Department of Health, regardless of whether you choose to first use the hospital grievance process. The Washington Department of Health Hospital Complaint Hotline is 1‐800‐633‐6828. Any concern about patient safety or care in the hospital, that the hospital has not addressed, may also be referred to the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring at 1‐800‐994‐6610.