Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Any discussion with a physician, nurse practitioner, nurse, technician, counselor, or other health care professional can be valuable to the patient in terms of both health and learning. Patients are encouraged to take an active part in the exchange. If they do not feel that their concerns are being addressed or that their question are being answered, they are encouraged to tell their clinician or restate their specific needs. Gordon State College Health Services staff has an obligation to establish a climate that diminishes anxiety and encourages and embraces honest, open communication between the provider and the patient.

Health Services may terminate the rights of the patients, thus ending the Patient-Provider relationship, and refuse medical care to a patient for situations including, but not limited to, the following circumstances when a patient may be: non-compliant, unreasonably demanding, threatening to the provider or staff, or otherwise contributing to a breakdown in the Patient-Provider relationship.

As a patient, you have the RIGHT to:

  • Dignity: The patient has a right to have their dignity as an individual recognized and respected. They have a right to the same considerations and respect as anyone else, regardless of age, race, beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, and/or lifestyle.
  • Privacy: The patient has a right to privacy whenever and wherever possible. They should expect that their discussion, examination, and treatment would be conducted in a private environment and that medical information be maintained in accordance with accepted medical records, privacy, and security guidelines.
  • Confidentiality: The patient has a right to confidential treatment of all communications and records related to them. Permission must be obtained before Student Health Center staff gives information to anyone not directly connected with the patients' case. This requirement applies to parents, relatives, close friends, and college/university personnel. There are limited exceptions required by law, such as reporting certain communicable/infectious diseases, parental or guardian permission to treat minors (under the age of 18), or situations which threaten the patient's safety or the safety of others.
  • Access: The patient has the right to access and utilize Health Services, but with the right comes the responsibility to understand the scope and range of available services and make appropriate use of these services and related provider's time. The patient has a right to have reasonable access to information regarding diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
  • Provider Change: The patient has a right to change providers. The Heath Services has a right to assign patients to providers based upon patient demand and staff availability.

As a consumer of Health Services, the patient has responsibilities as well as rights. The patient can help by being RESPONSIBLE in the following ways:

  • By Being Honest: The patient is responsible for being honest and direct about everything that relates to his/her needs for Student Health Centers. The patient needs to tell those who are helping him/her how they feel about the things that are happening to them.
  • By Making Sure They Understand: The patient is responsible for the understanding of their health problems or needs to their satisfaction. If they do not understand the treatment plan, test procedure, or patient education information, they should ask the interviewer or practitioner about it. The patient needs to be sure they understand- ask questions!
  • By Making Appropriate Use of Services and Staff Time: The patient has a responsibility to understand the scope and range of available services and make appropriate use of these services and related provider time.
  • By Following the Prescribed Plan: It is the patient's responsibility to advise the Health Services staff trying to help them, whether or not they can and want to follow the prescribed plan. If the patient is in agreement with the plan, they need to follow it. If they are not in agreement with the plan, they should be encouraged to talk to their health care provider about the concerns.
  • By Reporting Changes: It is the patient's responsibility to tell the Health Services about any changes in their health in relationship to the treatment provided.
  • By Keeping Your Appointment: It is the patient's responsibility to keep appointments at the scheduled time, or notify the Health Services staff if they cannot keep or will be late for an appointment.
  • By Knowing Your Interviewer or Practitioner: The patient should try to know or remember the name of the personnel who serves them. The Health Services staff will try to make this an easy task by introducing themselves and wearing nametags. The patient is encouraged to make note of this, either mentally or on paper. The patient's health is shared responsibility with the Health Services staff.
  • By Being a Participant: It is the patient's responsibly to become an active participant in decision regarding his/her own care.