Patients' Bill of Rights

 Patients and Families have the right to:

  • Be informed of these rights as soon as possible after being in the hospital.
  • Receive care, treatment and services regardless of race, color, age, sex, national origin, religion, handicap, disability, sexual orientation, who pays for care or your ability to pay.
  • Respectful care, treatment and services given by qualified staff.
  • Know the names of doctors or staff and the person’s title or function.
  • High-quality care and high professional standards.
  • Have your cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values, beliefs, and preferences respected and to receive related services if needed.
  • Expect emergency procedures to be carried out without unnecessary delay.
  • Expect staff to assess pain regularly, to address pain issues within a reasonable time and to educate you about pain management.
  • Receive care in a safe and secure setting, free from mental, verbal, physical or sexual abuse or harassment, neglect or being preyed upon.
  • Be free from restraints or seclusion (including medicines) as a way to make you obey, to force you to do something or to get even. Restraints may only be used to protect your child and when ordered by a doctor for a limited time.
  • Effective communication with our staff including use of interpreters and translation of written materials and to receive information in words you can understand, including the diagnosis, treatment, other possible treatment choices, complications and the expected prognosis. If you or the patient is unable to understand, the information will be given to next of kin or guardian and will be written in the chart.
  • Privacy regarding your child’s medical care, including discussions, exams, consultations and treatments. Be aware that information in the medical record shall not be released to anyone outside of the Hospital without your approval, except:
    • When the information is required by another healthcare facility to which you (or your child) are transferred.
    • When the release of information is required or permitted by law.
    • When the information is needed by a regulatory agency.
    • When the Hospital releases data about you (or your child) without patient names or other information that would reveal who the patient is.
  • Telephone and mail services.
  • Look at information contained in the medical chart unless it is restricted by your doctor.
  • Request to look at, change, or receive a form that shows the accounting disclosures (the form shows you with whom your healthcare information has been shared).
  • Have someone from the Hospital ask for your permission before recording, filming or taking pictures of you or your child.
  • Be involved in and make decisions regarding care, treatment and services. This includes providing information about your child’s health problem and helping to develop and implement the treatment plan.
  • Give consent to a procedure or treatment for which informed consent is required.
  • Develop an advance directive.
  • Refuse any care, treatment, drugs or procedures and have the doctor tell you what might happen if you refuse care.
  • Be informed of the outcomes of care, treatment and services.
  • Have another decision-maker, as allowed by law, when you cannot make decisions about care.
  • Have staff be considerate of your time to avoid personal discomfort.
  • Be informed when anyone is considering you or your child as part of a research program or donor program, and give informed, written consent before you take part and to refuse to take part in research to which you have previously given consent.
  • Have another person, such as a family member or your primary physician, promptly notified of your admission to the Hospital.
  • Have someone help to get the opinion of another physician, at your request and your expense.
  • Be transferred to another hospital or facility only after the parent or guardian has received full information about the needs and other choices to being transferred. The other facility must first accept the transfer.
  • Be informed if the Hospital has given permission for other hospitals, clinics, schools, or colleges to take part in your child’s care.
  • Information about charges for which you will need to pay and full information and counseling on financial resources to pay for care.
  • Information about how to take care of your child after he or she goes home and how to meet these needs.
  • Be informed of rules and regulations that apply to your conduct as a patient and to be informed of the Patient and Family Bill of Rights, and the services you can expect to receive.
  • Not deny you the right to have access to a person or organization that would act for you to protect your rights.
  • Exercise civil and religious freedom, including the right to make one’s own personal decisions.
  • Access protective and advocacy services.
  • An environment that preserves personal pride.
  • Not be required to perform work for the hospital or clinic unless the work is part of the patient’s treatment and is done by choice of the patient.
  • Patients, families and visitors have the right to be informed of their visitation rights, including any clinical restriction or limitation of their visitation rights.
  • Patients may designate visitors, including but not limited to a spouse, a domestic partner (including same sex), family members, and friends. You may withdraw the consent for visitation at any time. These designated visitors will not be restricted or otherwise denied visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. All visitors will enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with any clinically necessary or other reasonable restriction or limitation that the Hospital may need to place on such rights.
  • File a suggestion, complaint, or grievance by discussing with the clinic, unit, or department manager or other supervisory person, or by contacting The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Family Relations Office by phone at 267-426-6983 (within the Hospital dial ext. 6-6983), online using the Your Voice Matters form, by fax at 267-426-7412, or by mail addressed to the Family Relations Office, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • Get in touch with one of the following:

Pennsylvania Department of Health
Acute and Ambulatory Care Services
P.O. Box 90, Harrisburg, PA 17108-0090
Phone: 1-800-254-5164
Division of Health Facilities Evaluation and Licensing

Quality Insights of Pennsylvania
2601 Market Place Street, Suite 230
Harrisburg, PA 17110

New Jersey Department of Health 24-hr Complaint Hot Line

Healthcare Quality Strategies Inc.
557 Cranbury Road, Suite 21
East Brunswick, NJ 08816

New Jersey Department of Health and Social Services
Acute Care Survey Program
P.O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Phone: 1-609-292-9900
Fax: Office of Quality Monitoring 1-630-792- 5636

Office of Quality Monitoring
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Phone: 1-800-994-6610


Patients, families and (when marked by an asterisk), visitors have the responsibility to:

  • Provide, as best you can, accurate and complete information about your or your child’s health.
  • Report unexpected changes in your (or your child’s) condition.
  • Ask questions so that you clearly understand the treatment plan and what is expected of you.
  • Follow the treatment plan that you (or your child) develop with the doctor or other persons responsible for care.
  • Keep appointments or notify the Hospital or clinic as soon as possible if you are unable to keep an appointment.
  • Follow directions given by doctors, nurses, and others, or be responsible for the consequences if you refuse treatment or do not follow directions.
  • Pay the bill as soon as possible or work with your insurance company to do so.
  • Follow rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.*
  • Be considerate of the rights of other patients and personnel.*
  • Control noise and the number of visitors in your room.*
  • Abide by the “no smoking” rule in the Hospital.*
  • Be respectful of the property of other persons and of the facility.*
  • Honor the confidentiality and privacy of other patients.*