Patient Rights and Responsibilities

The policy of Texas Children's is to provide the best possible treatment to all patients at all times, under all circumstances, and in an equitable and humane manner. No person shall be denied access to available and medically indicated treatment or accommodations on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or source of payment for care.

Each patient (or medical decision-maker where applicable) have the following rights:

Rights to information

Each patient or medical decision maker has the right to receive information in a manner and/or language he/she can understand regarding:

  • Patient Rights at time of admission.
  • “An Important Message from Medicare” provided to Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Name and specialty of all physicians participating in the care of the patient.
  • Nature and extent of the medical problem, the planned course of treatment and outcomes.
  • Details necessary to give informed consent before a procedure or treatment, including options for effective management of pain.
  • How to follow hospital rules and regulations as they apply to patients, families and visitors.
  • How to resolve complaints concerning the quality of care or service.
  • Right to access information contained in his/her clinical medical records within a reasonable timeframe.

Rights related to care

While in the hospital, each patient or medical decision-maker has the right to:

  • Have a designated family member and primary-care provider notified upon admission, if desired by the medical decision maker.
  • Receive appropriate assessment and effective management of pain related to his/her medical condition.
  • Participate in care in an informed manner and make decisions about health care through discussion with his/her physician.
  • Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and be informed of the medical consequences of this action.
  • Regard participation in data-gathering for research as voluntary and feel free to refuse to participate without compromising access to current or future care.
  • Safeguard his/her right to personal privacy.
  • Maintain confidentiality of personal health information.
  • Receive physical and emotional care in a safe setting, which includes environmental safety, infection control and access to protective/security services; to the extent the hospital can control that environment.
  • Right to formulate advance directives including the right to formulate a mental health declaration (psychiatric) advance directive.
  • Be free of all forms of abuse, neglect, and harassment.
  • Expect that the hospital will respond to a request for services in a reasonable manner.
  • Receive considerate care that respects the patient’s cultural and personal values, beliefs and preferences, including the right to religious and other spiritual support services.
  • Be kept free of restraints or seclusion, unless medically necessary.
  • Right to participate in the development of his/her plan of care for inpatient, outpatient, discharge and pain management.
  • Right to request a transfer to another healthcare facility.
  • Receive visitors of their choice, including a spouse, a domestic partner (including same-sex domestic partners), another family member, or a friend and also of their right to withdraw or deny consent at any time.
  • Not restrict visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
  • Be informed that visitation may be limited due to clinically necessary or reasonable restriction due to clinical status.
  • Examine and receive an explanation of the hospital bill, regardless of payment source. Financial Counseling is available to discuss payment resources and eligibility for financial assistance at 832-824-5505.
  • Expect reasonable continuity of care and be informed of continuing health care requirements following discharge.

Patient and Family responsibilities

Proper patient care depends on the acceptance of certain responsibilities. The patient or the medical decision maker has the responsibility to:

  • Provide accurate and complete information about his/her health and to inform their health care provider of changes in his/her condition.
  • Ask questions when he/she does not understand what he/she has been told about care or what he/she is expected to do.
  • Follow the prescribed treatment plan and report to the physician any side effects. If the patient or medical decision-maker refuses treatment or fails to follow the directions of his/her physician or proper hospital personnel, he/she will be responsible for his/her actions.
  • Assure that the financial obligations of his/her health care are fulfilled.
  • Follow the hospital rules and regulations and be considerate of the rights of others at the hospital, such as assisting in the control of noise and number of visitors.
  • Refrain from the use of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, alcohol, unauthorized use of prescription medication, drugs, possessing or carrying weapons on any Texas Children’s property.
  • To help ensure the privacy of our patients and staff members, please follow the hospital guidelines when taking photographs or making recordings in patient areas. Please do not take any photos or make any recordings that disrupt patient care or puts the privacy of other patients and families at risk. Physicians, nurses, other health care providers and staff members must give consent before being photographed or recorded by anyone.

Rights of recourse

Each patient or medical decision-maker has the right to:

  • Participate in discussion of ethical issues relating to care. Concerns may be reported to the Clinical Ethics Committee by notifying Medical Staff Services.
  • Voice a complaint about quality of care or service through the following process:
    • Speak with your nurse or your child’s nurse, who will attempt to immediately resolve the issue to your satisfaction.
    • You may contact Family Advocacy at 832-824-1919 or email at famadvocacy@texaschildrens.org.
    • A Family Advocacy representative will make contact to explore further if satisfaction can be achieved.Know that complaints and grievances are taken seriously and will not compromise current care or future
    • access to care.
    • If your concern is not resolved, you may file a grievance by submitting it verbally or in writing. The hospital will explain the grievance process and the timeframe for processing. The hospital will send a written response of its decision, which will include:
      • Name of the Hospital contact person
      • Steps taken on behalf of the patient to investigate the grievance
      • Results of the grievance process
      • Date of completion

Options for directing concerns outside of Texas Children’s:

If a complaint cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right to file a formal, written grievance with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Texas Department of State Health Services
1100 W. 49th St.
Austin TX, 78756-3199
888-973-0022

800-735-2989 (TDD)

You also may contact the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring to report any concerns about a Joint Commission-accredited health care organization by either calling 1-800-994-6610 or e-mailing complaint@jointcommission.org

Medicare patients have the right to contact the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) in the state of Texas:

KEPRO BFCC QIO
5700 Lombardo Center, Suite 100
Seven Hills, OH, 44131

Toll Free Number (844) 430-9504
TTY Number (855) 843-4776