Patient’s Bill of Rights

No discussion about the health care system and the health care team would be complete without including the patient, or sometimes referred to as the client. A patient is a human being under the care of a doctor along with nurses and one or more medical assistants.

Regardless of health care needs or environmental disposition, the patient is the most important part of the health care team. Without a patient, the health care team has little, if any, reason for existence.

Chapter 2

Commitment to Patients

Medical assistants are expected to be committed to their doctor’s patients and provide them with the best care possible within their scope of practice. This care must reflect their belief in the value and dignity of every person as an individual.

Understanding Patient’s Rights

Additionally, medical assistants must understand the patient’s rights and responsibilities as they apply to providing and receiving health care services. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has developed standards that address the rights and responsibilities of patients to promote excellence in providing health care services. The next two sections review the rights and responsibilities of patients when they enter a relationship with a health care service facility or medical office.

Students seeking additional detailed information should refer to the Patients’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities and the Accreditation Manual for Hospitals published by the JCAHO.


Patients have certain rights consistent with the law.

1.) Briefly state who created the Patient’s Bill of
2.) When was it created?
3.) What are the most important aspects of the Patient’s Bill of
1. Medical Care – A patient has the right to quality care and treatment consistent with available resources and generally accepted standards. The patient has the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and government regulations. However, the patient should be informed of the consequences of refusal.
2. Respectful Treatment – A patient has the right to considerate and respectful care, with recognition of his personal dignity.
3. Privacy and Confidentiality – A patient is entitled, by law, to privacy and confidentiality concerning medical care.
4. Identity – A patient has the right to know, at all times, the identity, professional status, and professional credentials of health care personnel, which includes medical assistants. They also have the right to know the name of the medical assistant primarily responsible for their care.
5. Explanation of Care A patient has the right to an explanation concerning his diagnosis, treatment, procedures, and prognosis of illness in terms the patient can understand.
6. Informed Consent – A patient has the right to be advised in nonclinical terms of information needed to make knowledgeable decisions on consent or refusal of treatments. Such information should include significant complications, risks, benefits, and alternative treatments available.
7. Research Projects – A patient has the right to be advised if the medical office or clinic proposes to engage in or perform research associated with his care or treatment. The patient has the right to refuse to participate in any research projects.
8. Safe Environment – A patient has the right to care and treatment in a safe environment.
9. Medical Office or clinic Rules – A patient has the right to be informed of office or facility rules and regulations that relate to the patient or visitor conduct. The patient is entitled to information for the initiation, review, and resolution of patient complaints.
Patient’s Responsibilities
1. Providing Information – A patient has the responsibility to provide, to the best of his knowledge, accurate and complete information about complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to personal health.
2. Respect and Consideration – A patient has the responsibility to be considerate of the rights of other patients, and to assist in the control of noise, and smoking. The patient is responsible for being respectful of the property of other persons and of the medical office or
3. Compliance with Medical Care – A patient is responsible for complying with the medical treatment plan, including follow-up care recommended by medical assistants.
4. Reporting of Patient Complaints – A patient is responsible for helping the physician provide the best possible care. The patient’s recommendations, questions, or complaints should be reported to the patient contact representative.

Suggested Activities!
      Visit: 1. Patient’s Bill of Rights
 Medical Assistant Forum:
      Discuss: Patient’s Bill of Rights

The Patient’s Bill of Rights was first adopted by the American Hospital Association in 1973 and revised in October, 1992. President Clinton on March 26,1997 appointed a committee to access to promote and assure health care quality and value and protect consumers and workers. Then, the Patient’s Bill of Rights became law in June 29, 2001 by Senate.
Patient rights were developed with the expectation that hospitals and health care institutions would support these rights in the interest of delivering effective patient care. The American Hospital Association encourages institutions to translate and/or simplify the bill of rights to meet the needs of their specific patient populations and to make patient rights and responsibilities understandable to patients and their families.
There are several things in the Bill of rights and they are:
1…Considerate Medical Care
2…Respectful treatment
3…Privacy and Confidencally
4…Identity of health care workers
5…Explaination of Treatment
6…Informed consent to treat
7…Notified of research projects
8…Safe environment
9…medical office or clinic or hospital rules and regulations.
According to the American Hospital Association, a patient’s rights can be exercised on his or her behalf by a designated surrogate or proxy decision-maker if the patient lacks decision-making capacity, is legally incompetent, or is a minor.
Advance To Next Chapter: Professional Ethics

NOTE: Continue only after reading this and the previous lessons!

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