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2100 Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester, Massachusetts 02124
617.296.4000   chmail@cchcs.org

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Patient & Visitor Guide
  Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Your Medical Records

You have the right to access your medical records while you are a patient at Caritas Carney Hospital and after your discharge.  While you are here, you medical records serve as a worksheet for your healthcare team.  We do not recommend that you seek to review all of your medical records during your hospitalization.  Instead, we urge you to direct all questions to your doctor.  To review your medical records after discharge or to release them to another person or facility, please send your request in writing with your signature to the Medical Records Department.  No information can be given over the phone.  you may pick up your copy in person, or we will send it to you.  Depending on the circumstances, there may be a fee involved for transferring or receiving copies of your medical records.  For more information, call (617) 296-4000, ext. 4606.

Your Health Care Decisions

The situation may arise when you are unable to make your own health care decisions, or are unable to take part in planning your medical care because of an illness or injury.  Massachusetts law requires that all patients be given the opportunity to complete a health care proxy.  Caritas Carney Hospital encourages patients who are 18 or older to complete a health care proxy, which allows you to designate a relative, friend, or other person to make health care decisions on your behalf.  The health care proxy will remain a part of your patient file and will allow us to respect your values and wishes regarding your medical treatment. 

Your nurse, social worker or chaplain is available to discuss and review your health care proxy with you. 

Patients Rights

You have the right:

  • to expect high quality care regardless of race, color, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability or method of payment for your care.
  • to be treated with courtesy, compassion and respect at all times.
  • to be called by your preferred name.
  • to have your questions answered promptly.
  • to have privacy.
  • to have competent interpretative services if you are a non-English speaker.
  • to have a Certified American Sign Language Interpreter if you are deaf.
  • to talk to your doctor, nurse, social worker, chaplain or health care worker and know that the information you give will be used only to plan your care.
  • to know the name and job of everyone who takes care of you.
  • to know when and how students are involved in your care.
  • to refuse to have students involved in your care.
  • to refuse to be observed or examined by anyone not directly involved in your care.
  • to refuse to be involved in research.
  • to be given information necessary for you to understand your medical situation.
  • to be involved in your treatment. 
  • to be given information about different treatments available for your medical condition.
  • to have this information shared with your designated family members/significant others.
  • to be given information about different ways to help manage your pain.
  • to expect appropriate and effective management of your pain.
  • to stop treatment or refuse to undergo a procedure.
  • to be involved in planning your discharge.
  • to leave the hospital. (If you do leave when your doctor does not think that you should, you will be asked to sign a "Discharge Against Advice" form and the hospital will not be responsible for any problems that your leaving may cause you).
  • to ask about help available to pay your bill and to expect that you will be given this information.
  • to receive an explanation of any bill given to you.
  • to seek and receive information about financial assistance and free health care.  If non-emergent treatment is refused because of an economic status or a source of payment, you have the right to a prompt and safe transfer to a facility which agrees to treat you.
  • to look through your medical records and to get a copy (at a reasonable cost).  Your physician and/or nurse is available to answer your questions or help you to understand the information in the medical record.
  • to speak with a hospital representative about any problem or concern that you might have.
  • to ask to speak with representatives from the Ethics Committee about questions you may have. 

For further information about your rights, you can:

  • review information contained in Massachusetts Law,  This information is available through the Admitting Office, and is posted in the main floor/lobby of the hospital.  As of April 14, 2003, we are required under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and currently under Massachusetts law to maintain the privacy of your health information.
  • ask to speak to the hospital Patient Relations Manager by calling (617) 296-4000, ext. 2025.

Patient Responsibilities

As a patient at Caritas Carney Hospital, you also assume certain responsibilities that include: 

  • to be considerate of others by allowing your roommates and other patients privacy and quiet.
  • to respect the individuality of others, including racial, ethnic, and cultural differences.
  • to follow all hospital rules and regulations.
  • to observe non-smoking regulations
  • to pay your hospital bill promptly and to supply us with necessary health insurance information.
  • to understand your health care.  If you are unclear about either your condition or medical treatment, please ask your physician to other staff member to discuss them with you.
  • to report any pain and to discuss with the doctors/nurses any concerns that you might have.
  • to refuse medical treatment.  If you decide to refuse treatment, you are fully responsible for your decision and your health care. 
  • to supply us with appropriate information, including your past hospitalizations, medications or other matters relating to your health.
  • to leave valuables and unnecessary personal items at home.