At The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, we are committed to providing a culture of safety by providing a safe environment in which each patient entrusted to our care is treated with dignity, respect and compassion. Likewise, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center expects appropriate, respectful and responsible behavior from patients and their visitors. If you have any questions about these rights and responsibilities, please contact Patient Experience.

We support your right to:   

  • Access Care – You have the right to receive care when medically necessary, no matter your age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, income level, job, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
  • Access Medical Records – You have the right to see, request a review of and request changes to your medical records as allowed by law and regulation.
  • Advance Directives – You have the right to complete an advance directive, including a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, durable power of attorney for health care and living will. Your right to receive care, treatment and services does not require you to have these documents completed.
  • Access to Ethics Committee – You have the right to request a meeting with an ethics committee member to discuss any issues about your care.
  • Confidentiality – You have the right to confidentiality with your medical records, and any discussions and decisions about your care.
  • Continuity of Care and Discharge Information – You have the right to receive written discharge information from your healthcare team about your follow-up care.
  • Designate Others to Make Care Decisions – You have the right to name a guardian, next of kin or other legally authorized, responsible person to make care decisions, including refusing care, on your behalf if you are unable to do so, as allowed by law or regulation.
  • Disclosure – You and your guardian or other legally authorized responsible person have the right to receive open, honest, prompt and easy-to-understand communication from your healthcare team about your condition and treatment, including any unexpected outcomes related to serious medical events in accordance with HIPAA privacy laws, and the Patient Information and Disclosure and Apology policies.
  • Effective Communication – You, your family and visitors have the right to effective communication from your healthcare team, unless it is restricted due to your medical condition or at your request.
  • Information – You have the right to receive information about your outcomes of care, treatment and services, in a way appropriate for your age, language and ability to understand, from your healthcare team in order to take part in current and future healthcare decisions.
  • Information About Charges for Treatment – You have the right to take part in your treatment decisions and to receive information about the cost of treatment.
  • Information About Transfers – You have the right to receive information about a transfer to another doctor, unit or facility before it happens.
  • Informed Consent and Refusal – You have the right to request information about your care and to know the risks, benefits and choices for treatment, except in an emergency. You may refuse treatment to the extent allowed by law.
  • Interpretation and Translation Services – You have the right to receive and request medical information in your preferred language. This includes interpreter services, translation of information, vision and hearing accommodations.
  • Know the Identity of Your Caregivers – You have the right to know the name and role of those who care for you.
  • Pain Management – You have the right to have your pain assessed, evaluated, treated and reassessed by the healthcare team.
  • Participate in Decisions About Your Care – You and your family have the right to be involved in decisions about your care, treatment and services provided, including the informed consent process. You and your family have the right to have your own doctor promptly notified of your admission to the hospital.
  • Patient Visitation – The hospital and ambulatory care clinics allow a family member, friend or other individual to be present with you for emotional support during your stay or visit.
    General patient visitation will not be restricted, limited or otherwise denied on the basis of age, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, income level, education, job, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. If you would like a copy of any patient policy, please contact a member of your care team.
  • Positive Self-Image and Dignity – You have the right to a medical chaperone and to receive care in an environment that preserves your personal dignity and contributes to a positive self-image. You have the right to keep and use personal clothing and possessions, use mail services and use telephones in a private space, unless this impacts others’ rights or is not medically or therapeutically advised, based on the setting, patient population or service.
  • Privacy – You have the right to personal privacy during the course of your treatment.
  • Privacy of Pictures – You have the right to expect that pictures, recordings or other images taken by staff that contain any patient identifiers or facial information will be treated as protected health information and will not be released to anyone without your consent, except when required by law or a third-party payer contract. If you would like a copy of any patient policy, please contact a member of your care team.
  • Protective Services – You have the right to a safe and secure environment, including assistance in accessing protective and advocacy services as needed.
  • Release of Medical Records – You have the right to expect that your medical records will not be released to anyone without your consent, except when required by law or a third- party payer contract.
  • Report Concerns Regarding Care and Safety – You have the right to share concerns and receive assistance to settle a complaint without being pressured or subject to discrimination, reprisal or unreasonable interruption of care.
  • Research and Teaching – Research to improve health is part of our mission. While we may use patient information in research, we will not release information that identifies a patient unless the patient gives us permission. You have the right to choose whether to take part in any research study or educational program. If you decide that you no longer want to take part in a study, you can stop at any time and it will not change your access to any care, treatment or services unrelated to the research.
  • Respect for Cultural and Personal Values – You have the right to expect understanding of your cultural values, beliefs and preferences, including respect for special religious, spiritual and cultural practices/services, as allowed by law.
  • Respectful Care – You have the right to be free and protected from abuse, neglect, inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion, humiliation, financial or other exploitation, and retaliation.
  • Safe and Clean Environment – You have the right to expect to be cared for in a safe and clean environment. You have the right to report concerns regarding your care and safety.
  • Second Opinion – You have the right to ask for the advice of another doctor if you are uncertain about your care or treatment plan.

Your responsibilities:

  • Be considerate to all members of the healthcare team, fellow patients and visitors. Be thoughtful about your language, behavior and conduct. Abusive or disrespectful behavior that threatens the culture of safety could result in removal from the facility, dismissal from providers, a referral to security and/or a referral to law enforcement.
  • Be respectful of facility property and the property of others.
  • Be mindful of noise levels, privacy and the number of visitors allowed.
  • Understand that we are an equal opportunity employer and that we reserve the right to assign a competent caregiver with skills that match your clinical needs. It is our policy that staff and their work environment be free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.
  • During your hospital stay, you have a right to privacy. Out of respect for others, patients and visitors are not permitted to video/audio record or take photos of other patients or hospital staff without their permission.
  • Give full information about your health and any changes in your condition to your doctor and other members of your healthcare team.
  • Follow your treatment plan and tell your doctor or nurse if you have any concerns, so changes can be made, if needed. If you choose not to follow your care instructions, you will be responsible for the outcome.
  • For your safety, use of your own medication supply from home while in the hospital is not allowed unless approved by your physician and verified by a pharmacist or nurse.
    Unapproved and unverified home medication bottles and packages will either be given to a responsible family member to be taken home or will be catalogued and maintained in a secure place by staff and returned when you are discharged from the hospital. Taking your own over-the-counter medications while hospitalized is not allowed.
  • You and your family are encouraged to ask questions if you do not understand the information about your treatment or what to do for your care. You and your family are also encouraged to ask questions about patient safety procedures (e.g., have you washed your hands?).
  • It is in your best interest to stay in the area where your care is given to enhance patient safety and to move forward with your treatment as planned without unexpected delays or interruptions. You may leave the unit if approved by your healthcare team. (For example, patients having certain clinical conditions or treatments, patients with guardians or minors, patients with psychiatric illnesses being treated in Ohio State Harding Hospital or the Emergency Department, and/or prisoners). If you choose not to follow these rules, you will be asked to sign a Patient Safety Agreement. If you would like a copy of any patient policy, please contact a member of your care team.
  • Follow the Tobacco Free Environment policy. Smoking or the use of other tobacco products is prohibited anywhere on hospital or ambulatory properties.
  • The hospital and ambulatory clinics support and maintain a drug-free environment for the health and safety of the healthcare team, patients and visitors. Use of illegal or street drugs, including marijuana (even if obtained/used for medical purposes), is prohibited anywhere on hospital or ambulatory properties. Any illegal substances brought onto hospital and/or ambulatory property will be turned over to security and referred to law enforcement.
  • Pay your bills in a timely manner. Financial counseling can be made available upon request.

Your concern is our concern

If you have any concerns about your care, treatment or safety, we encourage you to talk with a member of your healthcare team or call the Patient Experience Department at one of the numbers listed below. A staff member will talk with you and connect you with the best person to help with your issue or concern. Most concerns can be resolved through this process.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: 614-293-8944
Ohio State East Hospital: 614-257-2310
Ohio State Harding Hospital: 614-688-8941
Ohio State Primary and Specialty Care Networks: 614-293-8944

If at any time you feel you need more help you may choose to call:

The Ohio Department of Health, Health Care Facility Complaint Hotline: 800-669-3534
The Ohio Department of Health, Complaints for Nursing Homes/Health Care, Long-term Facilities: 800-342-0553
................................................................................................................................................... TTD: 614-752-6490

The Joint Commission
To report a Patient Safety Event, visit jointcommission.org and click on the applicable link in the Action Center.

The Office of Quality Patient Safety (OQPS) The Joint Commission
1 Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181.................................................................................................. 800-444-6610
Fax:.................................................................................................................................................... 630-792-5636

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights: 312-886-2359
Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services: 614-466-2596
...................................................................................................................................................TDD: 614-752-9696
Disability Rights Ohio: 614-466-7264
................................................................................................................................................... TTD: 614-728-2553
KEPRO Inc.
(Medicare patients with concerns regarding discharge) 216-447-9604