8600 Old Georgetown Road | Bethesda, MD 20814
301-896-3100

Patient Rights and Responsibilities


While you are a patient at Suburban Hospital, it is important for you to know what to expect of us and what we expect of you.

Patient Rights

You have many rights as a patient:

  1. You can expect reasonable access to appropriate medical care within the hospital's capability without regard to such considerations as race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, religion, national origin, or the ability to pay.

  2. You have the right to care that is considerate and respectful of your personal dignity and privacy and your cultural, psychological, and spiritual values and beliefs.

  3. You have the right to receive care in a safe setting and to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.

  4. You have the right to confidentiality of your medical records and the right to access information contained in your medical records within a reasonable time frame.

  5. You have the right to receive a copy of the hospital's Notice of Privacy Practices related to HIPAA.

  6. You have the right to formulate Advance Directives and to have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with those directives.

  7. You have the right to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care.

  8. You have the right to have your pain assessed and treated appropriately.

  9. If you have limited English proficiency, you have the right to an interpreter or other communication assistance provided by the hospital.

  10. You or your representative have the right to make informed decisions regarding your care. Your rights include being informed of your health status, being involved in care planning and treatment, and being able to request or refuse treatment. You or your representative, however, do not have the right to demand the provision of treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate.

  11. You have the right to have a family member or representative of your choice, as well as a physician of your choice, notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.

  12. You have the right to be free from restraints or seclusion of any form for acute medical or surgical care or behavior management that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff. Restraints will only be used if needed to improve your well-being and less restrictive interventions have been determined to be ineffective.

  13. You have a right to know the name of the physician or other practitioner who has primary responsibility for your care.

  14. Participation by any patient in clinical training programs or any research project affecting his care or treatment is strictly voluntary. Any research will be conducted in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the hospital's Institutional Review Board (IRB). Specific information concerning potential benefits, risks and alternatives will be provided to anyone who agrees to participate in a research project. A decision not to participate in a research project in no way compromises or adversely affects access to care or the quality of care.

  15. When the hospital cannot provide the care you request and/or need, you have the right to an explanation of the alternatives. Before you are transferred to another facility, you have the right to be informed of the necessity and medical advisability of the transfer; the alternatives to such a transfer; and the assurance that the other facility has agreed to accept the transfer.

  16. You have the right to request and receive an itemized bill with explanation for all hospital service.

  17. You have the right to prompt resolution of grievances and shall be informed about the hospital’s grievance procedure, including whom to contact to file a grievance. If you feel we have not adequately addressed your concerns, you have the right to contact the Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene, Office of Health Care Quality, 55 Wade Ave., Catonsville, MD 21228-4663. or the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring at 800.994.6610.

  18. You generally have the right to unrestricted access to communication with any person or persons of your choice including, but not limited to, physicians, attorneys and clergymen, at any reasonable hour. Any restriction will be fully explained to you and your family in a language you understand.

  19. You have the right to access protective services, including guardianship and advocacy services, conservatorship, child or adult protective services, the protection and advocacy network, the State survey and licensure agency.

  20. You/your family have the right to access the hospital's Ethics Committee for assistance in reaching a decision concerning healthcare issues, conflict resolution, and ethical issues including the withholding of resuscitative services, forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment, and treatment at the end of life.

  21. You, or when appropriate your representative, shall be informed in writing of your rights when you are admitted. When written communication is not effective, you will be informed of your rights in a manner that you can understand.

  22. Mental health patients, in accordance with Maryland Law, will be informed of specific rights on admission in language and terms that are appropriate to the individual's condition and ability to understand.

  23. Certain patients have additional rights as identified and provided for by law (e.g. "Patient Transfers to Other Hospitals," "Handicapped Patients").

  24. To insure that these principles are implemented and your rights are protected, procedures are in effect to provide for the direct communication of questions or complaints to appropriate hospital personnel with provision for prompt response and, if necessary, remedial action.

Patient Responsibilities

  1. You are expected to provide complete and accurate information about past, present, and developing health conditions.

  2. You are responsible for telling whether you understand the course of treatment and what is expected of you.

  3. You are responsible for helping us assess and manage your pain.

  4. You are responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by your physician.

  5. You are responsible for following hospital rules and regulations.

  6. You are responsible for being considerate of the property and rights of other patients and hospital personnel.

  7. You must inform the hospital as soon as possible if you believe your rights have been violated. This may be done at any time by calling Customer Relations at x2000 while at the hospital.

  8. You are responsible for advising appropriate hospital personnel if you have a living will, durable power of attorney for health care, or other form of Advance Directive.

  9. You are responsible for complying with hospital procedures when requesting access or amendments to medical information.