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Saint Thomas River Park Hospital

Patient Rights and Privacy

As a patient at Saint Thomas River Park Hospital, your privacy and rights are very important to us. For your convenience, we’ve provided information on your rights & responsibilities and your right to privacy under HIPAA.

Saint Thomas River Park Hospital’s patient rights/responsibilities and privacy policies reflect on the importance of respect and privacy, confidentiality, information and consent for care for each and every patient. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

Please feel free to download our current Patient Rights/Responsibilities and Patient Privacy Policies by clicking one of the links here:

Patient Rights

All patients have the right to receive care in a safe setting where they will be informed about their health, treatment and recovery. Each patient has the right to personal privacy and rights to complete information about their hospital bill.

You have the right to:
  • Receive compassionate, respectful care.
  • Be well informed about your illness or injury, possible treatments and the likely outcome of these treatments. Your physician has a responsibility to discuss this information with your or your chosen representative.
  • Have a family member (or representative of your choice) and your physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care.
  • Know the name and role of each person who assists in your care.
  • Accept or refuse any treatment, as permitted by law. If you refuse a recommended treatment, you have the right to receive all other needed and available care.
  • Formulate advance directives, and have the hospital staff and others who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives.
  • Receive care in a safe setting, free from abuse or harassment.
  • Be shown consideration for your personal privacy. The hospital, your physician and others caring for you will protect your privacy as much as possible.
  • Review your medical records and have the information explained to you.
  • Know that your medical records will remain confidential and will be released only with your written permission or if the law specifically requires or permits reporting. When we release records to other (such as insurance companies), we remind them that the records are to be kept confidential.
  • Know if the hospital has outside relationships that my influence your treatment and care. Such relationship may be with educational institutions, healthcare providers or insurers.
  • Choose whether to participate in research efforts, which may affect your care. If you choose not to participate, you will receive the most effective care the hospital otherwise provides.
  • Be told of reasonable alternatives for your care when acute inpatient hospital care is no longer appropriate.
  • Be informed about hospital rules that affect you and your treatment.
  • Receive an explanation of your bill regardless of the source of payment and to receive information or be advised of the availability of any sources of financial assistance.
  • Participate in the discussion of ethical issues that may arise during your treatment.
  • Know about hospital resources (such as care team-patient conferences) that can answer your questions and help you solve problems regarding your illness, treatment choice or hospital stay.
  • Be free from any form of restraints whether physical or pharmaceutical, that is not medically indicated.
  • Have an interpreter if you are not comfortable communicating in English or if you are hearing-impaired.
  • Access protective and advocacy services.
  • Follow your spiritual and religious beliefs and customs as much as possible.
  • Have a person of the same sex with you during certain exams and treatments.
  • Refuse to see or talk with anyone who is not directly involved in your care.
  • Appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  • Voice any concerns to caregivers or nursing management. In most cases this communication will resolve concerns quickly and effectively.

Patient Responsibilities

Patients are responsible for providing Saint Thomas River Park Hospital and their practitioners with complete and accurate information regarding present and past illnesses and operations, hospitalizations, medications, and other health-related items, including any unanticipated changes in their condition.

You have the responsibility to:
  • Provide honest information about your health. This includes past illnesses, hospital stays and use of medications.
  • Ask questions when you do not understand information or instructions.
  • Tell your physician if you believe you cannot follow through with your treatment.
  • Be considerate, along with your visitors, toward care providers, other staff members and other patients.
  • Provide insurance information and when necessary, make arrangements for paying your bills.
  • Recognize the effect that your lifestyle has on your health. Your daily choices do affect your long-term health.
  • Express any dissatisfaction with care or services rendered so that improvements or explanations can be made.

  • *The patient has the right to be informed/participate in decisions regarding care;
  • *The patient has the right to designate a decision maker;
  • *The patient has the right to have access to protective services;
  • *The patient has the right to participate in the development and implementation of the care plan:
  • *The patient has the right to have family members and the patient physician notified promptly of the patient’s admission;
  • *The patient has the right to receive care in a safe setting;
  • *The patient has the right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment;
  • *The patient has the right to have access to information in the patient’s record within a reasonable time frame;
  • *The patient has the right to be free from restraint or seclusion of any form that is not medically necessary or is used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff;
  • *The patient has the right to information about pain and pain relief measures, a concerned staff committed to pain prevention, health professionals who respond quickly to reports of pain, and state of the art pain management.
  • *The patient is responsible for asking the doctor or nurses what to expect regarding pain and pain management, discussing pain relief options with doctor or nurse, working with doctor or nurses to develop a pain management plan, asking for pain relief when pain first begins, help doctor or nurse measure your pain, and telling doctor or nurse if your pain is not relieved.
If you have a grievance or complaint, please call our Quality Department at 931-815-4210 or hospital operator 931-815-4000 and ask to speak with the Risk Manager. You may also file a complaint or grievance regarding quality of care issues with the following organizations.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth St SW Ste 4T20
Atlanta, GA 30303-8909
Phone: (404) 562-7500
Fax: (404) 562-7162

The Joint Commission
Complaint Hotline

Tennessee Dept of Health
Healthcare Facilities Complaint Hotline

Patient Privacy

Saint Thomas River Park Hospital is committed to protecting the healthcare information of its patients pursuant to the Federal Guidelines outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

We consider you a partner in your hospital care. When you are well-informed, participate in treatment decisions, and communicate openly with your doctor and other health professionals, you help make your care as effective as possible. Saint Thomas River Park Hospital encourages respect for the personal preferences and values of each individual.

Who must follow this law?
  • Most doctors, nurses, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and many other health care providers
  • Health insurance companies, HMOs, and most employer group health plans
  • Certain government programs that pay for health care, such as Medicare and Medicaid
What information is protected?
  • Information your doctors, nurses, and other health care providers put in your medical records
  • Conversations your doctor has with nurses and others regarding your care or treatment
  • Information about you in your health insurer’s computer system
  • Billing information about you at your clinic
  • Most other health information about you held by those who must follow this law
You have rights over your health information.

Providers and health insurers who are required to follow this law must comply with your right to:
  • Ask to see and get a copy of your health records
  • Have corrections added to your health information
  • Receive a notice that tells you how your health information may be used and shared
  • Decide if you want to give your permission before your health information can be used or shared for certain purposes, such as for marketing
  • Get a report on when and why your health information was shared for certain purposes
  • File a complaint
To make sure that your health information is protected in a way that doesn’t interfere with your health care, your information can be used and shared:
  • For your treatment and care coordination
  • To pay doctors and hospitals for your health care and help run their businesses
  • With your family, relatives, friends, or others you identify who are involved with your health care or your health care bills, unless you object
  • To make sure doctors give good care and nursing homes are clean and safe
  • To protect the public’s health, such as by reporting when the flu is in your area
  • To make required reports to the police, such as reporting gunshot wounds
Without your written permission, your provider cannot:
  • Give your health information to your employer
  • Use or share your health information for marketing or advertising purposes
  • Share private notes about your mental health counseling sessions
Adapted from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights

If you believe your health information was used or shared in a way that is not allowed under the privacy law, or if you weren’t able to exercise your rights, please call Saint Thomas River Park Hospital’s Privacy Officer at (931) 815-4124.

You can also file a complaint with your provider, health insurer or with the U.S. government.

Go online to www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/ for more information.

A separate law provides additional privacy protections to patients of behavioral health treatment programs.For more information, go online to www.samhsa.gov.