St. Louis Children’s Hospital cares about the rights of its patients and families. The information outlined here serves to inform you of these rights, and helps guide hospital staff to ensure all children and parents have their rights supported.
Access to Care
All patients rights are supported without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, education or source of payment.
- Individual cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal beliefs and preferences will be respected.
- You may wear personal clothing and religious or other symbolic items as long as they do not interfere with treatment and diagnostic procedures.
- Chaplaincy services are available at any time for assistance and support.
To ensure your rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) a patient:
- Will receive a copy of our notification of privacy practices at or before the time of services.
- May request that patient directory information not be disclosed.
- May find out how confidential health information may be used and what disclosures have been made as required by state and federal regulations.
- May access your medical records for review and obtain a copy in accordance with our policy.
- May request an amendment or correction to your confidential health information under certain circumstances.
- May be assured that any discussion or consultation involving your care will be conducted with discretion and not in the presence of individuals not involved in your care without your permission.
- May be assured that your medical record will be read only by individuals involved in your care or in the monitoring of its quality.
- May file a complaint by contacting the hospital operator at 454.6000 and request to speak with the hospital’s privacy officer. If this process does not provide resolution you may contact the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services 202.690.7453.
As a patient you:
- Will be provided reasonable visual and auditory privacy in all interviews and examinations.
- May request transfer to another room if the actions of another patient or visitor are unreasonably disturbing.
- May refuse to talk with or see anyone not directly involved with your care, including visitors.
- Information about pain and pain relief measures.
- Health professionals committed to pain management who will respond quickly to reports of pain with state-of-the-art pain relief therapies.
- An appropriate pain management plan when you go home.
In return, we expect you will:
- Ask your doctor or nurse what to expect regarding pain and discuss pain relief options.
- Ask for pain relief when pain first begins.
- Help your doctor or nurses assess your pain and tell them if the pain is not relieved.
- Tell your doctor and nurse about any worries you have about taking pain medication.
Quality of Care
Family members are an important part of the healthcare team and together share in the responsibility to provide care for you. As a caregiver, you know your child better than anyone and can help us learn about your child by taking part in your child’s care. Share with us the names of medications your child is taking. Tell us about your child’s allergies to medicine, food or other types of allergies. Ask us questions to better understand the care we are providing and how to help while in the hospital and after discharge.
Identity of Those Providing Care
The physician or practitioner responsible for and/or directing your care, or of any person performing treatments, procedures, or providing other care and services should identify him or herself to you including their professional status.
You may also ask about the professional or financial relationships among the individuals, healthcare or educational institutions that may affect your care.
You may access people and information outside of the hospital by means of visitors and written and oral communication. The patient has the right to receive visitors they designate including, but not limited to a spouse, domestic partner, another family member or a friend regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. The patient has the right to withdraw or deny visitation privileges based on their preferences.
If you do not speak, read, hear or understand English, we will arrange for you to have access to an interpreter.
Decision Making and Consent
Patient/families are encouraged to be actively involved in all aspects of your care and at a minimum should participate in the development and implementation of the treatment plan that includes pain management and discharge preparation.
- You may obtain from the physician or practitioner responsible for your care complete and current information regarding your diagnosis, treatment and the outcomes of your care, including any unanticipated outcomes.
- All information relating to your care will be communicated in terms that you can understand. When it is not medically advisable to provide information to the patient, the information will be made available to a legally authorized individual.
- Your participation in decisions regarding your healthcare is vital. Your decisions should be based upon a clear, concise explanation of your condition and of all proposed procedures, including the possibilities of any probable risks or serious side effects, problems related to recuperation and probability of success.
- Decisions about care, treatment and services, or the cessation of such care, treatment, or services, may at times present questions, concerns, or other dilemmas. You or your caregivers may request assistance from the Medical Ethics Committee by contacting your charge nurse or chaplaincy services.
- You may refuse care, treatment and services in accordance with law.
- You will not be subjected to any procedure without your voluntary, competent and understanding consent or the consent of your legally authorized representative.
- You will receive information of all medically significant alternatives for your care and treatment.
- You will be informed of any human experimentation or research project that may affect your care or treatment, and you will have the ability to refuse participation in any such activity.
- You will be free from restraints or seclusion that are not medically necessary or are imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff, or used in a manner that is not consistent with federal or state regulations.
Patient Complaint Management and Grievance Process
St. Louis Children’s Hospital believes that patient grievances are opportunities for improvement, and encourages families to express their concerns without fear of compromising the care being provided or future access to care. If you have a concern or a complaint, contact your nurse, charge nurse or department manager by telephone (314.454.6000), letter or visit them personally. They will work with you to promptly resolve the issue.
If you feel the issue was not resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right to file a grievance with the hospital using the following process:
- First, submit your grievance to senior hospital management either verbally or in writing.
- The hospital administration will respond to you within two working days to acknowledge your grievance and will investigate your grievance promptly.
- After investigation, the hospital will provide you with a written response addressing your grievance, generally within ten working days, depending on the complexity of the grievance. Our response will contain the name of a contact person, the steps taken on behalf of the patient/complainant to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance investigation and the date of completion.
While these internal processes are available to you, external grievance processes through state agencies are also available for the timely review of concerns and more serious issues that may affect your care. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services at the address listed below may also receive complaints or concerns about the care you receive, coverage decisions or premature discharge:
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Bureau of Health Facility Regulation
PO Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65109-0570
Grievances regarding quality of care or patient safety may also be filed with The Joint Commission.
Division of Accreditation Operations
Operations Office of Quality Monitoring
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181 USA
Phone: toll-free 800.994.6610
You will not be transferred to another facility without being given an explanation of the need for transfer, any alternatives to being transferred, or without the other facility’s agreement to accept the transfer. Upon discharge or transfer, the physician or practitioner responsible for your care will inform you of any instructions or information regarding your continuing healthcare needs. You may request and receive an itemized and detailed description of your total bill of services rendered by the hospital, regardless of the source of payment for your care.
- Providing us with information that, to the best of your knowledge, is accurate and complete about all matters relating to your health.
- To report sudden changes in your condition to the responsible practitioner.
- To report whether you clearly understand a contemplated treatment or other procedure and what is expected of you during such care.
- You are responsible for following the treatment plan agreed upon with your physician or practitioner including the nurses and other healthcare staff carrying out the orders and treatment plan.
- You are responsible for keeping appointments or, when not able to do so, for notifying the practitioner in charge.
- You are responsible for your actions affecting your health care.
- Refusing treatment or not following the practitioner’s instructions may adversely affect your health.
Respect and Consideration of Others
You are responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel and for assisting in the control of noise, smoking and the number of visitors you may have while in the hospital.
You are responsible for being respectful of the property of other persons and of the hospital.