Patient Rights


  Patient Rights and Responsibilities



Summary: Employees of Charles River Community Health (CRCH) support and protect the fundamental human and civil rights of all patients and their families.  In addition, CRCH is in compliance with Patient Rights regulations as delineated in Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) policies and Massachusetts State law (42 CFR 484.10).  

Health Center Staff Responsibilities

  1. CRCH respects and supports patients’ rights. Staff does not discriminate against any individual regardless of race, color, religious creed, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran or military status, marital status, or national origin/ethnicity.
  2. The organization recognizes each patient as an individual with unique health needs, respects each patient’s personal dignity, and provides considerate and respectful care based upon the patient’s individual needs.
  3. The organization addresses ethical issues in providing patient care. These issues include the following:
    1. Patient’s rights are respected and supported.
    2. Patients are involved in aspects of care.
  • Patient’s cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values are respected.
  1. Informed consent is obtained. Informed consent is not merely a signed document.  It is an ongoing process that considers patient needs and preferences, compliance with law and regulation, and patient education.  In order to have informed consent, the patient and family are given information about:
    1. the patient’s condition;
    2. proposed treatments or procedures;
    3. potential benefits and drawbacks of proposed treatments or procedures;
    4. alternative treatment(s) or procedure(s);
    5. the physician or other practitioner primarily responsible for the patient’s care;
    6. others authorized to or performing procedures or treatments;
  2. The family when available participates in care decisions.
  3. Patients involved in research studies consent to participation.
  4. Patients can expect that their reports of pain are believed, that information about pain and pain relief measures is available, that medical, nursing personnel are committed to working with the patient to prevent pain and to respond to patient’s reports of pain.
  5. The organization demonstrates respect for the following patient needs:
    1. Confidentiality;
    2. Privacy;
  • Security;
  1. Communication;
  2. Cultural beliefs and values;
  3. Access to the facility;
  • Resolution of complaints.

Patient Responsibilities: The provision of patient care services is the result of mutual effort, and the participation of the patient, family members and/or significant others in the effort. In addition to having rights, the patient and those participating in his/her treatment have certain responsibilities, as follows:

  1. To provide accurate and complete information regarding health matters, including all changes that happen during the course of treatment.
  2. To provide the organization with accurate information such that appropriate determinations may be made regarding services, fees, and whether or not the patient is covered by a health insurance plan.
  3. To follow the treatment plan as established by the care provider in conjunction with the patient.
  4. To assume responsibility for his/her actions in the event that he/she (the patient) does not follow the established plan of care.
  5. To notify the organization at least 24 hours in advance of an appointment that must be canceled.
  6. To assure that his/her financial obligations resulting from services provided by the organization are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
  7. To ask the doctor, nurse or pharmacist what to expect regarding pain and pain management; discuss pain relief options with these clinicians; work with them to develop a pain management plan, ask for pain relief when pain first begins; and help the doctor, nurse and pharmacist assess his/her pain.

To refrain from acts of violence or threatened violence, possession of a weapon while at the health center, and acts of physical or verbal abuse to employees and other patients, including harassment and/or any act of aggression. Violation of any of these responsibilities will be constitute cause for termination.



All Health Center Personnel: Respect the rights of patients; recognize the patient as an individual with unique health needs; provide considerate and respectful care; address ethical issues.


Clinical Staff: In addition to above, obtains consent, gives information concerning condition,

treatment, benefits, drawbacks of treatment, alternative treatment, responsible provider, others

involved in care; works with patient to prevent and/or alleviate pain.