Your Patient Responsibilities

Are you that bad patient?

Are you that bad patient?

In a previous post, we talked about patient rights. But, what are your responsibilities as a patient? the care you receive at any health care facility depends upon the care offered, but it also depends partially upon how you act as a patient. What are your responsibilities once you become a patient?

Although patient responsibilities may vary by state, the basics are outlined below. As a patient, you might think about:

  • Providing complete and accurate information to the best of your ability about your health and current medications, including over-the-counter products and dietary supplements and any allergies or sensitivities so you can be treated accordingly;
  • Making it known whether you comprehend the course of your medical treatment and what is expected of you for your recovery;
  • Following the treatment plan as prescribed;
  • Keeping appointments and notifying your health care center or physician when you cannot keep an appointment (many health care facilities require a 24-48 hour window for notification, and some facilities may charge you if you do not abide by this responsibility);
  • Enlisting a responsible adult to transport you to and from the health care facility and to remain with you if indicated in your treatment plan;
  • Accepting responsibility for your actions should you decide to refuse treatment or not follow your physician’s orders for treatment and/or recovery;
  • Accepting financial responsibility for your treatment when not covered by your insurance;
  • Following the health care facility’s policies and procedures, and;
  • Being respectful of all employees at any given health care facility as well as to other patients.

In cases where you cannot meet these responsibilities, some health care facilities may refuse treatment or, in the case of incompetence, ask for a legally authorized responsible person, a guardian, next of kin or health care advocate to act in your behalf. This suggestion especially applies to minors and to patients who cannot care for themselves.

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