Patients Rights Directory
As a patient, you have rights such as discussing treatment options and costs with your doctors; making your own health decisions; having your privacy respected as covered by HIPAA law; and getting emergency care, even if you cannot pay. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about patients' rights, how to make informed decisions, and much more.
Reducing Your Risk for Hospital Medication Errors
WebMD helps you become an active part of your health care. Learn how to avoid medication errors during your hospital stay.
Electronic Medical and Health Records-Topic Overview
For decades, doctors, hospitals, and other health care workers have kept patient records on pieces of paper filed in folders and stored on shelves. But that's changing.More and more providers are moving to computers to store this information. And the result is a sort of alphabet soup that can be confusing: PHRs, EMRs, and EHRs. PHR, or personal health recordTechnically, any medical record you keep for yourself is a personal health record. You can keep records: On paper.On a device (a computer or smartphone, for example).On the Internet.But you're most likely to hear the term PHR for records that you keep on the Internet. Your health plan's website or a local hospital's website may have programs you can use for free to do this. And your information is protected so that only people with permission can see it. The advantage of using a website provided by your health plan is that you can type in information. For example, you can type in results of blood pressure tests you do at home. And
Hospital Patient Advocates-Topic Overview
Most hospitals have one or more patient advocates on staff. They are people you and your family can turn to for help in dealing with various problems you may have during your hospital stay.Advocates may have other titles, such as ombudsmen or patient services consultants. How can a patient advocate help?An advocate may:Make sure that you and your family know all the facts about your condition and your care.Give you and your family emotional support.Help you get copies of your medical records.Help with delays in getting tests, treatment, or information.Work with the hospital when you have complaints.Work with your employer if you're facing possible job discrimination because of medical issues.Help you understand and deal with hospital bills and your insurance.Where else can you get professional help?Not all hospitals have patient advocates. But you may be able to find help elsewhere:Your employer may offer patient advocacy services as part of your benefit package.Your insurance company
Patient Rights and HIPAA-Topic Overview
What are patient rights?As a person receiving health care, you have certain rights. Federal laws protect some of those rights, like the right to see your medical records and keep them private. Many states also have laws protecting your rights. Hospitals and other health care facilities often have a bill of rights for patients.The American Hospital Association has outlined some of the basic rights you should expect when you are in the hospital.1 For example, you should expect quality care from your providers and know who is caring for you. And you have the right to keep your health care private. You also can expect help when you leave the hospital. This includes help knowing what self-care or follow-up care you may need, as well as help understanding your bill or insurance.One important right for patients is called informed consent. This means that your doctor gives you enough information to help you make decisions about your treatment. You are told the risks and benefits of certain
15 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Hospital Risks
Know your hospital risks before you check in. Start by asking your doctor these questions.
Taking Life Away
In March 1998, an Oregon woman dying of breast cancer asked her physician to prescribe a drug that would allow her to end her life. The doctor agreed. Later in the month she took the medication. With that action, she became the first person in the United States to commit suicide with the help of a doctor -- legally.
Caregivers: The Invisible Patient
Caregiving is a relentless job that so isolates the one providing care that she becomes 'invisible' to family, friends, and the healthcare team. This isolation and invisibility puts the caregiver at risk for serious illness of her own -- and even death.
Lupus on the Job: Your Rights and Responsibilities
If you have lupus, this article will help you understand your rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act, and offer tips on how to talk with your employer about getting the accommodations you need.
When To Pay for Cosmetic Surgery Consultation
Is paying for a consultation on a cosmetic procedure a good investment? Ask Dr. Robert Kotler, MD.
The Importance of Care After Cosmetic Surgery
Why is post-surgical care so important in cosmetic surgery? Ask Dr. Robert Kotler.
How to Save Money on Cosmetic Surgery
Tips from a top Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Robert Kotler, on how to save money on your cosmetic procedure.
Computer Imaging for Cosmetic Procedures
Want to see the possible results of your cosmetic surgery before you have it? Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Robert Kotler explains how.