For Patients

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Spanish Patient Rights and Responsibilities.

We, the physicians, nurses and staff of St. Joseph Hospital, are committed to delivering the best care possible to all our patients. We treat each patient as an individual, striving to show you the same respect we would to a member of our own family. Our goal is to facilitate your care through clear communication between you and the entire healthcare team, recognizing that you are the ultimate decision maker. As a patient, you have the right to personal consideration, information about your care and full participation in it. Specifically you, or the person legally responsible to make decisions regarding your care, should expect the following:

You Have the Right To:

  • Considerate and respectful care, and to be made comfortable. You have the right to respect for your cultural, psychosocial, spiritual and personal values, beliefs and preferences.
  • Have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Know the name of the physician who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care and the names and professional relationships of other physicians and non-physicians who will see you.
  • Receive information about your health status, diagnosis, prognosis, course of treatment, prospects for recovery and outcomes of care (including unanticipated outcomes) in terms you can understand. You have the right to effective communication and to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care. 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 withdrawing life-sustaining treatment.
  • Make decisions regarding medical care, and receive as much information about any proposed treatment or procedure as you may need in order to give informed consent, or refuse a course of treatment. Except in emergencies, this information shall include a description of the procedure or treatment, the medically significant risks involved, alternate courses of treatment or non-treatment and the risks involved in each and the name of the person who will carry out the procedure and treatment.
  • Request or refuse treatment, to the extent permitted by law. However, you do not have the right to demand inappropriate or medically unnecessary treatment or services. You have the right to leave the hospital even against the advice of physicians, to the extent permitted by law.
  • Be advised if the hospital/personal physician proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting your care or treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in such research projects.
  • Receive reasonable responses to any reasonable requests made for service.
  • Appropriate assessment and management of your pain, information about pain, pain relief measures and to participate in pain management decisions. You may request or reject the use of any or all modalities to relieve pain, including opiate medication, if you suffer from severe chronic intractable pain. The doctor may refuse to prescribe the opiate medication, but must inform you that there are physicians who specialize in the treatment of severe chronic pain with methods that include the use of opiates.
  • Formulate Advance Directives. This includes designating a decision-maker if you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or become unable to communicate your wishes regarding care. Hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital shall comply with these directives. All patient rights apply to the person who has legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf.
  • Have personal privacy respected. Case discussions, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. You have the right to be told the reason for the presence of any individual. You have the right to have visitors leave prior to examination and when treatment issues are being discussed. Privacy curtains will be used in semi-private rooms.
  • 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.
  • Receive care in a safe setting, free from mental, physical, sexual or verbal abuse and neglect, exploitation or harassment. You have the right to access protective and advocacy services including notifying government agencies of neglect or abuse.
  • Be free from restraints and seclusion of any form used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • Reasonable continuity of care and to know in advance the time and location of appointments as well as the identity of the persons providing the care.
  • Be informed by the physician, or a delegate of the physician, of continuing healthcare requirements and options following discharge from the hospital. You have the right to be involved in the development and implementation of your discharge plan. Upon your request, a friend or family member may be provided with this information also.
  • Know which hospital rules and policies apply to your conduct while a patient.
  • Designate visitors of your choosing, if you have decision-making capacity, whether or not the visitor is related by blood or marriage, unless:
    • No visitors are allowed.
    • The facility reasonably determines that the presence of a particular visitor would endanger the health or safety of a patient, a member of the health facility staff, or other visitor to the health facility, or would significantly disrupt the operations of the facility.
    • You have told the healthcare facility staff that you no longer want a particular person to visit. However, a health facility may establish reasonable restrictions upon visitation, including restrictions upon the hours of visitation and the number of visitors.
  • Have your wishes considered, if you lack decision-making capacity, for the purposes of determining who may visit. The method of that consideration will be disclosed in the hospital policy on visitation. At a minimum, the hospital shall include any persons living in your household.
  • Examine and receive an explanation of the hospital’s bill regardless of the source of payment.
  • Exercise these rights without regard to sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, educational background, economic status or the source of payment for care.
  • File a grievance. If you want to file a grievance with St. Joseph Hospital, you may do so by writing or by calling: Service Representatives, Quality Management Dept., St. Joseph Hospital, 1100 W. Stewart Dr., Orange CA 92868, phone (714) 771-8000 extension 11000, or by e-mailing: The Grievance Committee will review each grievance and provide you with a written response within seven days. The written response will contain the name of a person to contact at the hospital, the steps taken to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance process and the date of completion of the grievance process. Concerns regarding quality of care or premature discharge will also be referred to the appropriate Utilization and Quality Control Peer Review Organization (PRO).

You may also file a complaint with the state Department of Health Services regardless of whether you use the hospital’s grievance process. The state Department of Health Service’s address and phone number is: California Department of Public Health, 681 S. Parker St., Ste. 200, Orange, CA 92868. 714-567-2906.

You may contact the Joint Commission's Office of Quality Monitoring with any unresolved patient quality of care or safety concern by either calling 800-994-6610 or visiting


Optimal patient care depends on the cooperation between you and your healthcare team. You can positively affect your care, and the care of others, by fulfilling similar responsibilities for personal consideration, complete information and active participation. Specifically, we expect that you will:

  • Be cooperative with hospital and medical staff.
  • Treat hospital and medical staff, as well as other patients, in the same courteous, dignified manner that you expect from your healthcare team.
  • Be considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel, and assist in the control of noise, a smoke-free environment and the number of visitors.
  • Be responsible for being respectful of the property of other persons and of the hospital.
  • Provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about your medical history, present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medical care and other matters related to your health.
  • Report any changes in how you feel to your physician or a member of your healthcare team as soon as possible.
  • Report whether you clearly understand your plan of care and what is expected of you.
  • Follow hospital rules and regulations for the safety and effectiveness of all involved.
  • Participate in your plan of care and accept the consequences for any refusal of treatment or choice to not follow recommendations of the healthcare team.
  • Accept financial responsibility for your care and costs.
  • Be responsible for follow-up care and ongoing healthcare needs.

If you have any questions about your rights and responsibilities, if our policies need clarification, or if you have any questions, concerns, complaints or suggestions, please call the hospital operator (0) and ask for a Service Representative or the House Supervisor. Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can reach a Service Representative directly at 714-771-8000 ext.11000.