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Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities

Rights that can be exercised by the patient, or patient’s designated representative, as appropriate.

Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center wants you to have the best possible care. We want you to know what your rights are as a patient, as well as what your obligations are to yourself, your physician and the hospital. We encourage you or those who represent you to talk openly to those involved in your care.


Individuals shall be accorded impartial access to treatment and available or medically indicated accommodations, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, culture, language, creed, sex, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or socioeconomic status.

As a patient, you have a right to:

  • Quality care provided by competent personnel in a considerate, respectful, and safe environment.
  • Have your personal privacy respected consistent with the care prescribed for you. Communications with staff and records pertaining to your care, including the source of payment for treatment, shall be kept confidential consistent with applicable law.
  • Make informed decisions about your care, including requesting consultation or second opinion from another physician, or requesting transfer to another facility. This includes receiving information, explanations, consequences and options needed to make an informed decision and to request or refuse treatment.
  • Create an Advance Directive and have it honored to the extent of the law. Information on Advance Directives is available upon request.
  • Be informed of circumstances in which your Advance Directive will not be followed.
  • Request and receive a complete explanation of our charges and your bill.
  • Know the name and professional status of the persons responsible for your care.
  • Hear from your physician(s) and other provider(s) in a language that you understand, your health status including diagnosis and prognosis, the treatment prescribed, and any follow-up care instructions.
  • Have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  • Have ethical concerns about your treatment of care appropriately addressed. For specific concerns or further information, call the Patient Representative at extension (865) 331-1611 or page the Administrative Supervisor through the Operator “0”.
  • Receive visitors whom you designate, including, but not limited to, spouse, domestic partner (including same-sex domestic partner), another family member, member of clergy, chaplain, minister, faith leader, or friend. You or your designated representative have the right to withdraw or deny visitors at any time. A family member, friend, or other individual may be with you for emotional support during the course of your stay. In addition, individuals with disabilities have the right to be accompanied by a support person in specific situations. The right to a support person is separate from the right to visitors.
  • File a grievance with the hospital and to have your grievance reviewed and resolved by the Grievance Committee in a timely manner, usually within 7 days. A grievance form (“Patient Grievance Document”) is available to document your concern. The hospital will provide a written response to all grievances. For additional information or to file a grievance, contact the Patient Representative at (865) 331-1161.
  • File a grievance related to unlawful discrimination. To file a discrimination grievance, submit the grievance in writing to Covenant Health Non-Discrimination Coordinator, Covenant Health Integrity-Compliance Office, 3003 Lake Brook Boulevard, Suite 102, Knoxville, TN 37909, or the Centralized Case Management Operations, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, by email: [email protected]. File a complaint electronically via the OCR Complaint Portal at
  • Respect for your cultural and personal values, beliefs and preferences, and to exercise your religious and cultural practices (including religious and spiritual services), as long as they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatment.
  • Actively participate in decision making and in developing and implementing your treatment, plan of care and discharge plan.
  • Access, request amendment to, and obtain information on disclosures of your medical records in a timely manner.
  • Be free from unlawful discrimination, mental or physical abuse, or harassment and be treated in a respectful manner supportive of your dignity.
  • Name a designated family member or personal representative you trust to act as your surrogate decision maker.
  • Be free from seclusion and restraints, except as medically necessary and consistent with applicable law.
  • Receive effective communication. Free aids and services are provided such as qualified language interpreters, written information in other formats (large print, audio, accessible electronic format, etc.), and information written in other languages. If these services are needed, please inquire at the registration desk or by contacting the Administrative/House Supervisor by contacting the facility operator at “0”.
  • To ensure effective communication with patients and their companions who are deaf or hard of hearing, we provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services free of charge, such as sign language and oral interpreters, video remote interpreting services, TTY or relay services, note takers, written materials, and televisions with caption capability. Please ask your nurse or the Administrative/House Supervisor for assistance. You can contact the Administrative/House Supervisor by calling your facility’s operator at “0” or (865) 331-1111. The operator will page the Administrative/House Supervisor to assist you. The hospital will provide patients and their companions who require auxiliary aids or services with such assistance throughout the patient’s time at the hospital as requested by the patient.
  • Covenant Health hospitals respond to complaints and grievances in a timely and respectful manner. You can contact the Administrative/House Supervisor at any time to resolve a concern about effective communication by calling your facility’s operator at the number above (voice or TTY). The operator will page the Administrative/House Supervisor to assist you. You may also file a grievance with the hospital and have your grievance reviewed and resolved by the Grievance Committee in a timely manner, usually within 7 days. A grievance form (“Patient Grievance Document”) is available to document your concern. The hospital will provide a written response to all grievances. For additional information or to file a grievance, contact the facility’s Administrative/House Supervisor or the facility’s Patient Representative.
  • Not to be transferred to another facility unless you have received a complete explanation of the need for the transfer and of the alternatives to such a transfer and unless the transfer is acceptable to the other facility.
  • Be informed by practitioner (or delegate) prior to discharge of any continuing health requirements.
  • Expect upon discharge, there will be a smooth “hand-off” transition to post-hospital care.
  • Express a complaint or concern about your care with your physician, nursing manager, or supervisor. Any staff member can help you start this process. Most complaints have obvious causes that can be resolved to your satisfaction by discussing this with appropriate hospital personnel or your physician.
  • If you are an inpatient Medicare beneficiary, to receive a notice of discharge and non-coverage rights and to file complaints related to quality of care, coverage, or premature discharge with the appropriate Utilization and Quality Control Quality Improvement Organization. The hospital will assist you with referring such complaints.
  • Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center is a Joint Commission-accredited facility. Anyone who has concerns about the safety or quality of care at an accredited organization may share those concerns with The Joint Commission:
    • At, using the “Report a Safety Concern” link in the “Connect With Us” section on the home page of the website.
    • By mail to The Office of Quality and Patient Safety (OQPS), The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181

While the hospital recognizes that you have rights which should be protected and appropriately cared for, it also recognizes that you, your family/representatives and visitors have certain responsibilities to assist the hospital to appropriately care for you during your hospital stay.

As a patient you are responsible to/for:

  • Share complete and accurate medical history and information.
  • Actively participate in your care and follow instructions and medical orders.
  • Advise your nurse, physician, and/or Patient Representative of any dissatisfaction you may have regarding care.
  • Express any concerns about your ability to follow the proposed plan of care or course of treatment.
  • Your actions if you refuse treatment or do not follow the practitioner’s instructions.
  • Personal valuables/possessions that you maintain during your stay that have not been deposited with facility for safekeeping and for which receipt has been issued.
  • Cooperate in your care and ask questions if you do not understand your care, treatment or service or what you are expected to do.
  • Respect the needs, rights, and property of other patients, family members, and caregivers.
  • Report unexpected changes in your condition or perceived risks in your care to the responsible practitioner.
  • Meet your financial obligations associated with your care.
  • Cooperating with the hospital visiting rules and regulations which are to protect the rights of individual patients and others in such areas as privacy, confidentiality, and a safe environment.
  • Supporting mutual consideration and respect by maintaining civil language and conduct in interactions with staff and licensed independent practitioners.
Covenant Health