Patient Rights

Patient Rights

Florida law requires that your healthcare provider or healthcare facility recognize your rights while you are receiving medical care and that you respect the healthcare provider’s or healthcare facility’s right to expect certain behavior on the part of patients. You may request a copy of the full text of this law from your healthcare provider or healthcare facility. A summary of your rights and responsibilities follows:
  1. A patient has the right to be treated with courtesy and respect, with appreciation of his/her individual dignity and with protection of his or her need for privacy.
  2. A patient has the right to a safe environment.
  3. A patient has the right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  4. A patient has the right to a prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests.
  5. A patient has the right to know who is providing medical services and who is responsible for his or her care.
  6. A patient has the right to know what patient support services are available, including whether an interpreter is available if he or she does not speak English.
  7. The patient has the right to participate in the development and implementation of his/her care and to make informed decisions regarding his/her care.
  8. A patient has the right to know what rules and regulations apply to his/her conduct.
  9. A patient has the right to be given by the healthcare provider information concerning diagnosis, planned course of treatment, alternatives, risks and prognosis.
  10. A patient has the right to refuse any treatment, except as otherwise provided by law.
  11. A patient has the right to be given, upon request, full information and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for his or her care.
  12. A patient who is eligible for Medicare has the right to know, upon request, and in advance of treatment, whether the healthcare provided or healthcare facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate.
  13. A patient has the right to receive, upon request, prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care.
  14. A patient has the right to receive a copy of a reasonably clear and understandable, itemized bill and, upon request, to have the charges explained.
  15. A patient has the right to impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability or source of payment.
  16. A patient has the right to security and personal privacy and confidentiality of records and treatment as described in our “Notice of Privacy Practices.”
  17. A patient has the right to treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment.
  18. A patient has the right to know if medical treatment is for purposes of experimental research and to give his or her consent or refusal to participate in such experimental research.
  19. A patient has the right to be informed by the attending physician when a significant unanticipated outcome has been identified.
  20. A patient has the right to self-determination and to formulate advance directives and designate a surrogate to make healthcare decisions on his/her behalf, to the extent permitted by law.
  21. A patient has the right to include or exclude any family member from participating in his/her healthcare decisions, if so chosen and the right to choose their own visitors during their stay with “full and equal” visitation privileges consistent with the wishes of the patient and reasonable clinical restrictions and limitations applied consistently to all patients. (Support Person)
  22. A patient has the right to consideration of the psychosocial, spiritual and cultural variables that influence the perception of illness and death.
  23. A patient has the right to individualized assessment and management of pain.
  24. A patient has the right to education about pain relief measures.
  25. A patient has the right to access information relating to external protective service agencies, such as guardianship and advocacy services and child or adult protective services. Contact Case Management / Social Services by dialing ext. 4320 from a patient’s telephone or 561.955.4320 from outside the Hospital for information.

Patient Responsibilities

  1. A patient is responsible for providing to the healthcare provider, to the best of his/her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to his or her health.
  2. A patient is responsible to know what to expect regarding pain and how to relieve that pain.
  3. A patient is responsible for reporting unexpected changes in his/her condition to the healthcare provider.
  4. A patient is responsible for reporting to the healthcare provider whether he/she comprehends a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him/her.
  5. A patient is responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by the healthcare provider.
  6. A patient is responsible for keeping appointments and, when he/she is unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the healthcare provider or healthcare facility.
  7. A patient is responsible for his/her actions if he/she refuses treatment or does not follow the healthcare provider’s instructions.
  8. A patient is responsible for assuring that the financial obligations of his/her healthcare are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
  9. A patient is responsible for following healthcare facility rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.

Registering a Complaint

A patient has the right to express grievances regarding any violation of his/her rights, as stated in Florida law, through our grievance procedure by contacting personnel responsible for their immediate care and/or the Patient & Guest Relations Department. A patient advocate may be reached by dialing ext. 4358 from a patient’s telephone or 561.955.4358 from outside the Hospital. A patient also has the right to contact the appropriate state licensing agency.

To register a complaint against the Hospital, write or call:
Agency for Healthcare Administration
Consumer Assistance Unit
2727 Mahan Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32308

To register a complaint against a physician, write or call:
Division of Medical Quality Assurance
Bureau of Consumer & Investigative Services
Consumer Services Unit
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin C-75
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3275

The Office of Patient Experience

Whether you are here for an emergency visit, a one-night stay or an extended course of treatment, you will encounter a patient advocate. An advocate is skilled in dealing with the concerns that affect care and treatment. This department offers patients, family, staff and the community a centralized location to voice concerns or obtain vital information necessary in making important healthcare decisions. The patient advocate provides patients and the community with the following services:
  • Advance directives
  • Patient rights and responsibilities
  • Emotional and spiritual support while hospitalized
  • Interpretation of Hospital policy
  • Assistance with translation services
  • Emergency amenities
Patient advocates also serve as liaisons between the patient, family, staff and physicians. A patient advocate may be reached by calling 561.955.4358 between the hours of 8:30am and 5:00pm, 7 days a week.

Services for Vision & Hearing Impaired

For patients with vision, speech and hearing impairments, we provide assistive devices such as magnifying glasses, note pads and communication boards. These items are available through Patient & Guest Relations. There is closed captioning available on all televisions and Boca Regional contracts with a national company to provide sign language services for the deaf. TDD telephones for the hearing impaired are available through the Telecommunications Department.

Interpreter Services for Non-English Speaking

Interpreters and document translation services are available for patients with limited English proficiency at no charge. Please contact Patient & Guest Relations or ask your nurse for assistance.

For simple activities of daily living provided during patient care such as bathing, turning and toileting, any member of the Boca Regional staff or your family member or friend may assist in communication. However, for important conversations including consent for treatment, discussion of diagnosis, patient teaching and discharge instructions, Boca Regional uses a professional medical translation service.

Community Clergy

Community Clergy members from a variety of local denominations are available to address your spiritual needs upon request. For those patients and guests of the Jewish faith, there is a secure Shabbat Room located on the third floor and can be accessed using the main elevators. Please contact Patient & Guest Relations for more information.

Advance Directives - Honoring Your Wishes

An advance directive is a set of instructions from the patient regarding their healthcare decisions. There are two types of advance directives:

A living will is a written document that states what medical treatment a patient would or would not want if terminally unable to make decisions or unable to communicate. A healthcare surrogate is generally appointed by the person completing a living will to uphold his/her wishes.

A durable power of attorney for healthcare/healthcare proxy is a legal document that allows patients to choose another person to make their healthcare decisions if unable to communicate. Instructions about what types of treatment a patient wants or does not want can be included in this document.

Any decision that the patient has included in the advance directive has no effect on the care he/she accepts or refuses while able to communicate. If you have an advance directive, you will be asked to provide a copy for your medical record in order to carry out your wishes.

If you would like further information, would like to initiate a living will or designate a healthcare surrogate while here in the Hospital, please let us know. A Patient & Guest Relations advocate can help you with this process.

Privacy & Your Health Information

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law created to help protect your privacy. It guides hospitals on how to protect your personal health information. It must be followed by doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers.

Because of this law, your healthcare team will be careful in what information is shared with family and/or friends. Most family and friends will receive limited information on your status. This will be a brief description of your condition like fair, good or critical. If you would like a family member to receive more information, you can give permission when asked on admission. You can also do so by speaking with your nurse.