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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

To protect the basic rights of human beings, Summa Health System has adopted specific guidelines to ensure the private rights of each patient. If you have any questions about the information that appears in this brochure, please contact our patient liaison or advocate.

Access to Care
You shall be accorded impartial access to treatment or accommodations that are available or medically indicated, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, age or source of payment for care. If assistance or communication aids for impaired hearing, vision, speech, or manual skills are needed, Summa will make reasonable accommodations.

You, your family or your designee shall be included in ethical discussions and decisions that may arise during the course of your care. To avoid compromising Summa’s quality of care, clinical decisions (including tests, treatments and other interventions) are based on identified patient healthcare needs regardless of how the hospital compensates its employees or clinical staff. This philosophy is supported by policies and procedures available to patients, clinical staff, licensed independent practitioners and hospital personnel upon request.

Respect and Dignity

You have the right to considerate, respectful care and informational privacy, as manifested by the right to:

  • refuse to talk with or see anyone not officially connected with the hospital, including visitors or persons officially connected with the hospital but who are not directly involved in your care;
  • wear appropriate personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items, as long as they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment;
  • be interviewed and examined in surroundings designed to assure reasonable audio/visual privacy. This includes the right to have a person of one’s own sex present during a physical examination, treatment or procedure performed by a health professional of the opposite sex;
  • expect that discussion or consultation involving your care will be conducted discreetly and individuals not directly involved with your care will not be present without permission;
  • have your medical record read only by individuals directly involved in your treatment or the monitoring of its quality and by other individuals only with your written authorization, or unless required by state or federal law;
  • expect all communications and other records pertaining to your care, including the source of payment for treatment, to be treated as confidential;
  • request a transfer to another room if the patient in your present room or the patient’s visitors are unreasonably disturbing you; and
  • be placed in protective privacy when it is considered necessary for your personal safety.

Personal Safety
You have the right to receive care in a safe setting. You have the right to be free from all forms of abuse and harassment. You have the right to be free from restraints of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff. You have the right to personal privacy.

Identity
You have the right to know the identity and professional status of individuals providing service to you and to know which physician or other practitioner is primarily responsible for your care. This includes your right to know of the existence of any professional relationship among individuals who are treating you, as well as the relationship of the hospital to any other health care or educational institution involved in your care. You have the right to know the reasons for any proposed change in the Professional Staff responsibility for his/her care. Your participation in clinical training programs or in gathering of data for research purposes should be voluntary.

Information
You have the right to obtain any complete and current information concerning your diagnosis (to the degree known), treatment and any known prognosis. This information should be communicated in a timely manner and in terms that you can be expected to understand. When it is not medically advisable to give such information to you, the information should be made available to a legally authorized individual.

Communication
You have the right to access people outside the hospital by means of visitors and by verbal and written communication. Ask your nurse for information about visiting hours and restrictions. If you do not speak or understand the predominant language of the community, you have the right to have access to an interpreter. You have the right to access information contained in your clinical records within a reasonable time frame.

Confidentiality of Admission
You have the right to request that your admission to the hospital be kept confidential. You also have the right to have family member or representative of your choice and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital. If you would like your stay at our hospital to remain confidential, please inform your nurse. If you do choose confidentiality, people outside the hospital will not have access to you via hospital communication. This means you will not be able to receive flowers, mail or incoming phone calls and that operators will not confirm your stay at the hospital to people who may inquire.

Consultation
You, at your own request and expense, have the right to consult with a specialist.

Consent
You have the right to be reasonably informed about and to participate in decisions made involving your healthcare. To the degree possible, this should be based on a clear, concise explanation of your condition and of all proposed technical procedures, including the possibilities of any risk of mortality, serious side effects, problems related to recuperation and probability of success. You should not be subjected to any procedure without voluntary, competent and understanding consent or that of your legally authorized representative. Where medically significant alternatives for care and treatment exist, you shall be so informed. You have the right to know who is responsible for authorizing and performing procedures or treatment. You shall be informed if the hospital proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation or other research and educational projects affecting your care or treatment, and you have the right to refuse to participate in such an activity. You have the right to formulate advanced directives and to have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives. You have the right to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care/treatment and discharge plan.

Refusal of Treatment
If you are a competent adult, you may refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law. When refusal of treatment by you, the patient, or your legally authorized representative prevents the provision of appropriate care in accordance with ethical and professional standards, the relationship with the patient may be terminated upon reasonable notice.

Transfer and Continuity of Care
You may not be transferred to another facility unless you have received a complete explanation of the need for the transfer and the alternatives to such a transfer and unless the transfer is acceptable to the other facility. You have the right to be informed by the responsible practitioner or his delegate of any continuing healthcare requirements following the discharge from the hospital. You have the right to request a transfer to another facility if you are not satisfied for any reason.

Pain Management
As a patient at Summa, you can expect to receive information about pain and pain relief measures; to be cared for by professionals who respond quickly to reports of pain; that your reports of pain will be believed; and that you will have a concerned staff that is committed to pain prevention and management. You have the right to participate in the development and implementation of your pain management plan.

Hospital Charges
With the exception of Medicaid and General Assistance, you have the right to request and receive an itemized and detailed explanation of your total bill for services rendered in the hospital. You have the right to timely notice prior to the termination of your eligibility for reimbursement by any third-party payer for the cost of your care, and of any limitations which may be placed upon your care.

Hospital Rules and Regulations
You should be informed of the hospital rules and regulations applicable to your conduct as a patient. You are entitled to information about the hospital’s mechanism for the initiation, review and resolution of patient complaints.

Compliments/Complaints
You have the right to voice your concerns without compromising your access to care. You can make a complaint or compliment directly to the hospital by calling the Summa Health System Service Excellence Department at (330) 375-6765 or by asking for a supervisor. You may lodge a complaint with the Ohio Department of Health and/or The Joint Commission directly even if you choose not to use the hospital’s grievance process. Complaints may be filed with the Ohio Department of Health’s Complaint Unit or The Joint Commission at the following addresses:

The Ohio Department of Health Complaint Unit
246 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43266
(800) 342-0553

or

The Joint Commission - Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60191
e-mail: complaint@jointcommission.org
phone: (800) 994-6610 
fax: (630) 792-5636


The hospital will review, investigate, and resolve each patient’s grievance within a reasonable time frame. Generally, an acknowledgement letter is sent within a week of receipt of the grievance. Resolution is expected as soon as possible but generally should not exceed 30 days. If the grievance will not be resolved, or if the investigation will not be completed within 30 days, the patient/ guest will receive an extension letter notifying them that the hospital will follow-up within a stated number of days with the resolution.

Organ Donation
Patients have the right to designate that they want to be an organ donor (most commonly indicated on a driver's license). When a deceased patient has not made such a designation, the patient's family has the right to designate that the deceased patient is to be an organ donor.

Medicare Beneficiaries Only
If you are a Medicare beneficiary and you have a complaint regarding quality of care, disagree with a coverage decision or you wish to appeal a premature discharge, you may contact KePRO to lodge a complaint:

KePRO, Inc.
Rock Run Center, Suite 100
5700 Lombardo Center Drive
Seven Hills, Ohio 44131
(800) 589-7337

Ethics Committee
An ethics committee has been established to assist patients, families, medical and other hospital staff in locating resources to assist in addressing or resolving ethical issues and/or concerns regarding patient care. The committee is dedicated to protecting patient rights and interests. For more information about the ethics committee, contact the patient liaison at Summa Akron City and St. Thomas Hospitals at (330) 375-3925 or the administrator on-call at (330) 375-3000 or (330) 375-3131. At Summa Barberton Hospital contact
the patient advocate at (330) 615-4046 or hospital administration at (330) 615-3027. Contact the patient advocate at Summa Wadsworth- Rittman Hospital at (330) 331-1095 or Western Reserve Hospital at (330) 971-7001.

Patient Safety Information
We at Summa Health System would like to assist in making your stay with us safe and comfortable as possible. The following suggestions may help:
  • Become a more informed healthcare consumer. SPEAK UP if you have questions or concerns about your care.
  • You may want to write down questions to ask your doctor.
  • Check your identification arm band and make sure it has your correct full name and birth date. The identification band will be used to identify you prior to giving medications, blood specimen collection or diagnostic testing by your caregivers.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask them to check your arm band before they do any procedure or test or give you medicines.
  • Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Don’t assume anything. Know the procedures you are to have and make sure healthcare workers tell you what they plan to do before consenting to a procedure.
  • Notice whether your caregivers have washed their hands. Hand washing is the most important way to prevent the spread of infections. Don’t be afraid to gently remind or ask a doctor or staff member to do this.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Put used tissue in a waste basket or ask for a tissue bag. Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
  • Please inform the doctors and nursing staff of known allergies or any reactions you may have had with medications in the past. When you are prescribed new medicines or different doses, ask the following questions:
    How does this medicine work for me?
    Are there any side effects; if so, what do I do if they occur?
    Is this medication safe to mix with other medications?
    What food, drink or activities should I avoid while taking this medication?
  • Please ask which physician is in charge of your care while you are a patient. Let them know how you think your care is progressing. Please feel comfortable asking questions about your care as it is very important that YOU become part of your health care team.
  • Know your surroundings to avoid falls. If you feel weak or dizzy when you sit or stand up remember to ask for help. Let us know if you have fallen recently or have a history of falls.
  • To prevent falls we recommend you wear slippers with non-skid soles or slipper socks with gripper soles or shoes for walking.
  • Notify the nursing staff whenever anything spills.
  • Please inform your nurse if you use any assistive devices for hearing, walking and seeing. Let us know if we can assist you.
  • Prior to discharge you (or a family member caring for you) can discuss your discharge instructions or plan with your doctor or nurse. Ask when you are to visit your doctor, and if you need to call their office for test results.
Visitation
Summa Health System respects the rights of patients to designate visitors, regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to the patients. Reference to family refers to family as defined by the patient. Visitation privileges will not be denied on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.