Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Flinders Private Hospital is committed to providing you with the very best care. The following is an outline of your rights and responsibilities as a patient in our hospital ensuring that you receive the very best care possible from appropriately qualified and experienced staff.
Flinders Private Hospital commits to the rights listed in the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights. These are: access, safety, respect, communication, participation, privacy and comment.
All staff will respect the rights of patients as outlined below.

Patient Rights

Patients have the right to:
•    Considerate and respectful care, regardless of their beliefs and ethnic, cultural and religious practices.
•    Know the name of the doctor who has primary responsibility for coordinating their care, and the identity and functions of others who are involved in providing care.
•    Seek a second opinion and to refuse the presence of any health care workers who are not directly involved in the provision of their care.
•    Receive information from their doctor in non-technical language, regarding their illness, its likely course, the expected treatment, the plans for discharge from the hospital and for follow-up care.
•    Receive from their doctor a description of the proposed treatment, the risks, the various acceptable alternative methods of treatment, including the risks and advantages of each, and the consequences of receiving no treatment, before giving consent to treatment.  Also, unless the law prohibits, they may refuse a recommended treatment, test or procedure, and they may leave the hospital against the advice of their doctor at their own risk after completion of hospital discharge forms.
•    Participate in decisions affecting their health care.
•    Be informed of the estimated costs charged by the hospital.
•    Refuse participation in any medical study or treatment considered experimental in nature. They will not be involved in such a study without their understanding and permission.
•    Confidentiality and privacy. Details concerning their medical care, including examinations, consultations and treatment are confidential. No information or records pertaining to their care will be released without their permission, or the permission of their representative, unless such a release is required or authorised by law or necessary to enable another health care worker to assist with their care.
•    Know, before their discharge from the hospital, about the continuing health care they may require, including the time and location for appointments and the name of the doctor who will be providing the follow-up care. They also have the right to assistance with discharge planning by qualified hospital staff to ensure appropriate post-hospital placement.
•    Not be restrained, except as authorised by their doctor or in an emergency when necessary to protect them or others from injury.
•    Retain and use their personal clothing and possessions as space permits, unless to do so would infringe on the rights of other patients or unless medically contra-indicated.
•    Expect safety where practices and environment are concerned.
•    Privacy for visits during established patient visiting hours.
•    Make a comment or complaint about the treatment or the quality of the health services or care without fear that they will be discriminated against.
•    Have their dietary and other special needs considered.

Patient Responsibilities

Patients have the responsibility to:
•    Provide accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalisations, medications and other matter relating to their health.
•    Report unexpected changes in their condition to the responsible practitioner.
•    Report if they do not comprehend a contemplated course of action or what is expected of them.
•    Follow the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily responsible for their care. This may include following instructions of nurses and allied health personnel as they carry out the coordinated plan of care and implement the responsible practitioner’s orders.
•    Keep appointments and, when unable to do so for any reason, to notify the responsible practitioner or the health care facility.
•    Provide information concerning their ability to pay for services.
•    Accept the consequences of their actions if they refuse treatment or do not follow the practitioner’s instructions.
•    Be considerate of the rights of other patients and health care facility personnel and for assistance in the control of noise, smoking and numbers of visitors.
•    Be respectful of the property of other persons and of the health care facility.
•    Behave in a lawful manner and contribute to a safe and comfortable environment.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Patients must respect the privacy and confidentiality of other patients. Any disclosure, whether accidental, de-identified, deliberate, or otherwise, of another patient’s presence and / or treatment in hospital, without the express permission of that patient, is prohibited. Disclosure, for the purposes of this section, includes, but is not limited to verbal, digital, visual (photographic or video recorded), audio and written communications.
Furthermore, information shall not be broadcast by means of traditional media such as print, radio and television as well as social media platforms such as email, text messaging, SMS (short messaging service), MMS (multimedia messaging service), Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, Skype, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Sound Cloud, public and private forums, chat rooms, instant messaging, blogs, photo sharing, video sharing and podcasting sites.
Violation of this policy may result in the removal of the non-compliant patient from the hospital premises and/or their exclusion from admission to all ACHA hospitals in the future.
Furthermore, patients who breach this policy may face legal action arising from complaints to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and other governing bodies, and, in some cases, criminal and/or civil proceedings.

Comments and Complaints

Patients may make a complaint either verbally or in writing if they have an issue about their care or the service provided. Flinders Private Hospital encourages patients to raise their concerns immediately with a staff member.  If after discussions with this staff member a patient is still dissatisfied, the patient should be encouraged to contact the Director of Nursing of the facility. 
The Director of Nursing will ensure that the issue is dealt with as discreetly as possible and will take reasonable steps to ensure that the patient is not adversely affected.  All correspondence will be acknowledged within 2 working days. If a patient wishes to raise an issue anonymously, a report on the outcome may not be possible.
If a patient is still dissatisfied they may be directed to contact either:
•    The Consumer Consultant (if the facility has one)
•    The ACHA Head Office
•    The Office of the Health Services Commissioner (for complaints about service or treatment) or the
•    Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (for complaints about private health insurance)