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Patients & Visitors > PatientRights
 
Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) respects, protects and promotes patient rights, and is deeply committed to providing equitable, compassionate and high quality care to all patients. WRNMMC does not discriminate based on race, national origin, color, religion, age, rank, disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.

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Patient Rights
  1. To Receive Quality Care
    You have the right to receive quality medical and dental care and treatment. If you are an inpatient at WRNMMC and we cannot provide the care you require, we will transfer you to another facility as soon as it is medically advisable.
  2. To Receive Explanations of Care
    You have the right to receive an explanation of what to expect regarding your diagnosis, treatment, and medical procedures. If we are not able to provide this information to you, we will communicate it to appropriate family members or your designated decision maker.
  3. To Receive Pain Management
    You have the right to be treated for the relief of pain and discomfort consistent with accepted medical and safety practices.
  4. To Participate in Your Care
    You have the right to be involved in all aspects of your care, including treatment decisions. If you are incapable, a member of your family or your designated decision maker will be allowed to participate in these decisions.
  5. To Provide Informed Consent
    You have the right to receive the necessary information to make knowledgeable decisions regarding consent or refusal of treatment. The information will include details regarding possible complications, risks, benefits, and any alternative treatments available.
  6. To Know the Identity of Healthcare Staff
    You have the right to know the name and professional status of your healthcare provider and personnel primarily responsible for your care.
  7. To Understand Rules and Regulations
    You have the right to be informed of WRNMMC rules and regulations relating to patient and visitor conduct (such as rules prohibiting smoking), and should expect compliance with those rules from others.
  8. To Refuse Treatment
    You have the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the consequences of your refusal.
  9. To Receive Respectful Treatment
    You have the right to respectful treatment and considerate care, with recognition of your personal dignity. You have the right to be called by your preferred name and to be in an environment that maintains dignity and adds to a positive self-image. You have the right to be free from non-medically required restraints and seclusion.
  10. To Be Provided Privacy, Security and Safety
    You have the right, within law and military regulations, to security, personal privacy and confidentiality of information regarding your medical treatment. You have the right to receive care in a safe environment free from all forms of abuse, neglect, and mistreatment, and the right to access protective and advocacy services in cases involving such maltreatment.
  11. To Express Your Feelings
    You have the right to express your feelings, such as fear, anxiety or sadness. WRNMMC staff, clergy, social workers and mental health professionals are able to provide emotional support, if necessary. You have the right to have someone with you for emotional support unless that person compromises your or other’s rights, safety or health. You also have the right to deny visitation at any time.
  12. To Express Your Beliefs
    You and your family members/visitors have the right to express spiritual beliefs and cultural practices as long as they do not harm others or interfere with treatment. Chaplains are available to help you or to contact your own clergy.
  13. To Arrange for an Advance Directive
    You have the right to create an Advance Directive. An Advance Directive is a “living will,” “power of attorney,” or other written plan that states the treatments or life support measures you wish to accept or refuse if you become incapable of making such decisions. In this written document, you can designate a decision maker who will have authority to make decisions for you if you become unable to do so.
  14. To Decide if You Want to Participate in Research
    You have the right to be advised if we propose to engage in, or perform research associated with your care. You will be provided a description of the expected benefits, potential discomforts, risks, alternative services, and a full explanation of all procedures to be followed. You also have the right to refuse to participate in any research programs and to drop out at any time. Refusal to participate will not compromise your care or access to services.
  15. To Receive Clear Communications
    You have the right to communication that you can understand. The hospital will provide sign language and foreign language interpreters as needed at no cost to you. Information given will be appropriate to your age, understanding and language. If you have vision, speech, hearing, and/or other impairments, you will receive additional aids to ensure your communication needs are met.
  16. To Voice Your Concerns
    You have the right to voice concerns or complaints regarding your experience as a patient at WRNMMC. You are entitled to information about all available mechanisms for the initiation, review, and resolution of any complaints or concerns. Please direct any concerns or questions to the Customer Service Advocate in your clinic or to the Patient Relations office (301-295-0156). If you or your family needs to discuss an ethical issue related to your care, a member of the Ethics Committee is available by pager at all times by calling 301-295-4611.
Patient Responsibilities
  1. To Provide Information About Your Health
    It is your responsibility to provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to your health. It is up to you to let your healthcare provider know if you have any questions or concerns about your treatment.
  2. To Provide Information About Your Advance Directive
    If you have a written Advance Directive, it is your responsibility to let your healthcare provider know about it, and to bring a copy of it for your medical record.
  3. To Follow WRNMMC Rules and Regulations
    You and your family members/visitors are responsible for following all rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct, including, but not limited to, assisting in the control of noise and smoking/vaping only in designated areas outside of the medical center.
  4. To Comply with Recommended Medical Care
    It is your responsibility to comply with your provider’s recommended treatment plan. This includes all recommended medications, treatments, and follow-up care. It is your responsibility to accept the consequences of your care decisions, including any decision not to comply with your provider’s recommendations.
  5. To Be Respectful and Considerate of Others
    You and your family members/visitors are expected to be considerate and respectful of WRNMMC property, the rights and property of other patients and healthcare personnel. It is your responsibility to support mutual consideration and respect by maintaining civil language and conduct in your interactions with staff and others around you.
  6. To Meet All Financial Responsibilities
    It is your responsibility to meet all financial obligations. You are expected to report third party payer or other health insurance coverage to help reduce the cost of care provided to you.
  7. To Arrive on Time for Appointments
    It is your responsibility to be on time for appointments, and to notify us if you cannot keep a scheduled appointment.
  8. To Return Medical Records
    In the case that your medical records are given to you for appointments or consultations, it is your responsibility to ensure that your records are promptly returned to us for appropriate filing and maintenance. Your medical records, including x-rays, are the property of WRNMMC and are maintained for your benefit by medical staff responsible for safeguarding the information in your records against loss, defacement, tampering or use by unauthorized persons. You are not authorized to maintain your original medical records, but are allowed to request and keep copies of them.
  9. To Ask Questions or Acknowledge when You do not Understand Your Treatment or Care Decisions
Go to Patient Rights

WRNMMC is accredited by the Joint Commission. If you have a concern that is not resolved to your liking by WRNMMC, you may write to the Joint Commission, Office of Quality Monitoring, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181, call 1-800-994-6610, or email complaint@jointcommission.org