In an institutional setting such as this, it is frequently easy to lose sight of the fact that the patient is an individual human being with personal needs and expectations. There is often a tendency to consider the patient as a subject or just another of a large number of persons moving through the center. Proper health care requires the establishment of a close doctor-patient relationship based upon mutual respect and understanding. In order to reinforce this premise, the Center for Eye Care has adopted the following Patients' Bill of Rights.
Adherence to these concepts will help to insure that we are providing quality care to all of our patients.
1. The patient has the right to the most appropriate optometric, ophthalmological and/or other health care, regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, mental/physical handicap or ability to pay.
2. The patient has the right to expect that individuality will be respected.
3. The patient has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, to be addressed by proper name and without undue familiarity, to be listened to and to receive an appropriate response.
4. The patient has the right to be treated in a warm, friendly and unhurried manner in an atmosphere of concern and frankness.
5. The patient has the right to know the names of all people participating in their care.
6. The patient has the right to a full explanation about the diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and treatment alternatives.
7. The patient has the right to information on financial aid when unable to afford optometric care.
8. The patient has the right to accurate and complete information regarding the extent and nature of services available to them. The patient also has the right to know the risks, opportunities and obligations associated with these services.
9. The patient has the right to be advised if the Center for Eye Care proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting their care or treatment. The patient has the right to refuse to participate in such research projects, to receive more traditional care, or to be referred for such if it is not available.
10. The patient has the right to know when they are participating in research investigations and to give prior, full, valid, informed consent.
11. The patient has the right to privacy and the right to speak confidentially with students, interns, residents, fellows, physicians, optometrists and other personnel without being overheard.
12. The patient has the right to confidentiality of their records, which will not be released to third parties without signed consent of the patient. Records will be made available to the patient upon request.
13. The patient has the right to appropriate consultation, or referral, when indicated.
14. The patient has the right to seek another opinion, if desired.
15. The patient has the right to refuse treatment.
16. The patient has the right to continuity of care.
17. The patient has the right to prompt attention in an urgent or emergent situation.
18. When a treatment plan includes a spectacle prescription, the patient will be given the choice of having it filled at the Center for Eye Care or elsewhere. The patient has the right to receive a copy of the spectacle prescription.
No catalog of rights can guarantee the patient the kind of treatment they have a right to expect. The Center has many functions to perform, including: the prevention and treatment of ocular disease and vision anomalies, the education of both health professionals and patients and the conducting of clinical research. All of these activities must be carried out with an overriding concern for the patient, and above all, the recognition of individual dignity as a human being. Success in achieving this recognition assures success in the defense of the right of the patient.