Patients and Visitors
Patient Information Center
A hospital stay can be a very difficult time for both patients and their families. At Saint Thomas Highlands Medical Center, we are committed to making your visit as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Here in our Patient Information Center, you’ll find the answers to all your questions—everything from admissions and registration to billing and medical insurance. Of course, if you ever have a question, please feel free to call (931) 738-4150. We’ll do everything we can to make you feel right at home.
Patient Rights & Responsibilities
While you are a patient at Saint Thomas Highlands Medical Center, your rights include the following:
- You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect; as an individual who has personal needs, feelings, preferences and requirements.
- You have the right to privacy in your treatment and personal needs. You have the right to a safe and secure environment.
- You have the right to be fully informed of all services available to you and of any charges and financial arrangements available for such services.
- You have the right to be fully informed of your rights as a patient and of all rules and regulations governing your conduct as a patient in this facility.
- You have the right to obtain from your physician complete current information concerning your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in terms you can understand. When it is not medically advisable to give such information, the information should be made available to the appropriate person on your behalf. You have the right to know the names of physicians responsible for coordinating your care, and the specialty of the physician responsible for care, and the function of any individual providing services.
- You have the right and the responsibility to participate in the development of your treatment plan.
- You have the right to receive from your physician any further information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment. Except in emergencies, such information of informed consent should include but not necessarily be limited to the specific procedure and/or treatment. If medically significant alternatives for care or treatment exist, or when you request information concerning medical alternatives, you have the right to such information. You also have the right to know the names of the persons responsible for the procedures and/or treatment concerning your care.
- You have the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by the law and be informed of the consequences of this right. You have the right to access protective services.
- You have the right to continuity of care. You will not be discharged or transferred except for medical reasons. If it becomes medically necessary for you to be transferred to another facility, you will be given reasonable advance notice concerning the need for and an alternative for such transfer. The institution to which you may be transferred will have first accepted you.
- You have the right to voice opinions, conflicts, recommendations and grievances in relation to policies and services offered by this facility without fear of restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination or reprisal. These issues may be addressed to your physician, the administrator, nursing services, your patient representative, or you may contact your local Department of Public Health.
- You have the right to be free from physical, chemical and mental abuse. Physical and chemical restraints may only be applied when ordered by your physician in writing and for a specific limited period, except when necessary to protect you from personal injury to yourself and others.
- You have the right to confidential treatment of your personal and medical records. Information from these sources will not be released without prior consent, except in your transfer to another healthcare facility, or as required by law, or under third party payment contracts.
- You have the right to be advised of and to refuse to participate in any medical experimentation or research. You have the right to information regarding organ donation.
- You have the right to the same level of care as other patients with the same health problems.
- You have the right to pain control.
- You have the right to appropriate assessment and management of pain.
- You have the right and responsibility to talk to your physician or nurses as soon as pain begins.
- You have the right and responsibility not to let fears keep you in pain.
- You have the right and responsibility to communicate your pain.
- You have a right to be involved in all aspects of your care.
- You have a right to receive a written statement of your rights.
Your Responsibilities as a Patient
You have responsibilities as a patient. You are responsible for providing information about your health, including past illnesses, hospital stays and use of medicine. You are responsible for asking questions when you do not understand information or instructions. If you believe you can’t follow through with your treatment, you are responsible for telling your doctor.
This hospital works to provide care efficiently and fairly to all patients and the community. You and your visitors are responsible for being considerate of the needs of other patients, staff and the hospital. You are responsible for providing information for insurance and for working with the hospital to arrange payment when needed.
Your health depends not just on your hospital care but in the long term, on the decisions you make in your daily life. You are responsible for recognizing the effect of lifestyle on your personal health.
A hospital serves many purposes. Hospitals work to improve people’s health; treat people with injury and disease; educate doctors, health professionals, patients and community members; and improve understanding of health and disease. In carrying out these activities, this institution works to respect your values and dignity.
- Providing Information: You are responsible for providing, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to your health. You are responsible for reporting unexpected changes in your condition. You may help the Hospital improve its understanding of your environment by providing feedback about service needs and expectations.
- Asking Questions: You are responsible for asking questions when you do not understand what you have been told about your care or what you are expected to do.
- Following Instructions: You are responsible for following the care, service, or treatment plan developed. You should express any concerns you have about your ability to follow and comply with the proposed care plan or course of treatment. Every effort is made to adapt the plan to your specific needs and limitations. When such adaptations to the treatment plan are not recommended, you are responsible for understanding the consequences of the treatment alternatives and not following the proposed course.
- Accepting Consequences: You are responsible for the outcomes if you do not follow the care, service, or treatment plan.
- Following Rules and Regulations: You are responsible for following the Hospital’s rules and regulations concerning patient care and conduct.
- Showing Respect and Consideration: You are responsible for being considerate of the Hospital’s personnel and property.
- Meeting Financial Commitments: You are responsible for promptly meeting any financial obligation agreed to with the Hospital.
Philosophy & Objectives:
The hallmark of our hospital’s philosophy is the conviction that all employees share a common objective of providing quality service to the many different customers that make up our business. This can only be accomplished through a team approach that embodies a spirit of cooperation with a central focus on the needs of those we serve.
Also important to our philosophy is the understanding that our hospital is an integral part of the community we serve. The hospital draws from, and contributes to, the resources of our community and seeks to enhance the community resources whenever possible.
Saint Thomas Highlands Medical Center is sensitive to its patients, physicians, employees and visitors.
Because of these convictions, we are committed to several primary principles:
- Team Work
- Mutual Respect
The achievement of these fundamental principles is dependent upon the establishment of goals and the daily operation of the hospital within a set of basic principles and values. We will constantly seek to operate our hospital in a manner which enhances its reputation:
To provide superior health care services to our patients, physicians, and community by continuously improving the safety and quality of care delivered.
Questions, Concerns, or Complaints:
If you or a member of your family need information or wish to discuss concerns, please speak with your nurse. Your nurse can have a Nursing Supervisor assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If they are unable to provide you with the needed information, they will help you reach the appropriate party.
You have the right to express your concerns about patient care safety to hospital personnel and/or management. If you or a member of your family has a problem or complaint, we ask that you speak with our Administrative Assistant, Nursing Supervisor, the Chief Nursing Officer, or the Chief Executive Officer. It is our sincere desire to provide you with the best health care available. If your concerns and questions can not be resolved at this level, contact The Joint Commission at (800) 994-6610, by fax at (630) 792-5636, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail at:
Office of Quality Monitoring
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
If you have an ethical concern, such as end of life decisions, and you desire information or assistance, we have in place an Ethics Committee to assist you. Again, notify your nurse or physician and they will assist you in speaking with the appropriate person(s).
If you have questions about your hospital bill or insurance coverage, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Business Office at (931) 738-9211.
If you have a question about your physician’s services, contact the particular physician. Physicians bill separately from the hospital for their services; they are independent providers and not employees of the hospital.
The public may also contact any of the following external agencies to report quality of care and/or safety issues.
Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services – CMS
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore MD, 21244-1850
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – DHHS
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville MD, 20857