Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Know your rights and understand your responsibilities as a patient

Your Rights & Responsibilities as a Patient

At Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Milton, we support your right to know about your health and illness. We champion your right to participate in decisions that affect your well-being.

We stand by your side as you plan for your care by assigning a heath care proxy and outlining any advance directives.

We also:

Your Patient Rights

Our list of patients’ rights incorporates state and federal law. We provide an overview below. For a complete copy of the law (General Law, Chapter 111, Section 70E) please call the hospital's patient advocate or Director of Patient Experience at 617-313-1360.

As a patient at BID Milton, you have the right to:

  1. Be treated with respect, compassion and dignity while protected from all forms of abuse and harassment.
  2. The highest standard of care as BID Milton does not discriminate based on your race, color, national origin, citizenship, alienage, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, immigration status or any other status protected by applicable laws.
  3. Receive considerate and respectful treatment that supports your cultural values and beliefs. Pastoral counseling is available upon request.
  4. Request and receive interpreter services when you need help understanding, speaking or reading English, free of charge.
  5. Request and receive information concerning advance directives, appoint a health care proxy as a substitute decision maker for your health care should you become unable to make or communicate your own decisions.
  6. Name a “health care partner” to support you during your hospitalization, such as a friend or family member.
  7. Upon request, to schedule flexible visiting hours for a support person consistent with your treatment plan.
  8. Request and receive information regarding care and treatment, to participate in decisions relating to care and make informed decisions regarding care.
  9. Receive appropriate assessment, treatment and management of your pain.
  10. Receive prompt lifesaving treatment in an emergency without discrimination based on economic status or source of payment, and to treatment that is not delayed by discussion regarding the source of payment.
  11. Know the identities and roles of individuals involved in your care.
  12. Privacy within the capacity of the hospital including limiting the release and disclosure of patient information.
  13. To have all reasonable requests responded to promptly and adequately within the capacity of the hospital.
  14. To obtain a copy of any rules or regulations of the hospital which apply to your conduct as a patient.
  15. To inquire and receive information about the possibility of financial assistance and an explanation of your bill, regardless of payor.
  16. Access to your medical record. Records will be maintained in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, accreditation standards, and other requirements governing record retention. Records will not be destroyed before the appropriate retention period has expired. 
  17. Refuse to be examined, observed, or treated by students or any other hospital staff without jeopardizing access to medical care.
  18. Consent or decline to participate in proposed research studies, and to have a full explanation prior to consent.
  19. Leave the hospital against medical advice, unless there is the presence of certain infectious diseases which may influence the health of others or if you are incapable of maintaining your own safety or the safety of others as defined by law. 
  20. A prompt and safe transfer to another facility which agrees to treat you and the right to receive an explanation of the need to transfer to another facility.
  21. To not be exposed to the smoking of others. BID Milton is a smoke-free hospital.
  22. Receive medically and factually accurate written information prepared by the Commissioner of Public Health about emergency contraception; if you are a female rape victim of childbearing age, and to be promptly offered emergency contraception upon request.
  23. Communicate a complaint/grievance and be provided with a timely response in accordance with hospital policy.
  24. Know of the hospital’s financial or business relationship with other organizations to the extent such relationships relate to the patient’s care.

Medicare Rights

If you are a Medicare recipient, you will receive a letter stating your rights as a Medicare patient. If you have questions, please call the Admitting department at 617-696-4600, ext. 1211.

Your Patient Responsibilities  

As a patient of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Milton, you are expected to and have the responsibility to:

  1. To provide accurate and complete information about your identity, medical history, current health status/condition, including pain and other matters relating to your health and any previous hospitalizations.
  2. Report any changes in your condition to your health care team.
  3. Let your health care team know that you understand/do not understand any treatment prescribed for you.
  4. Comply with the prescribed treatment plan and instructions recommended by your doctor and inform the health care team if you choose to refuse treatment.
  5. Understand that failure or refusal to follow the recommended treatment plan and instructions may have a negative impact on your treatment.
  6. Be part of the pain management team. If you are receiving pain medications, ask your health care team about pain management options. Use pain medications as prescribed and provide feedback if certain methods are not working well for you.
  7. Follow the hospital’s rules and regulations, including those that prohibit offensive, threatening, and /or abusive language or behavior, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs or substances. Help ensure that your visitors are aware and follow these rules.
  8. Take only the medications prescribed by your doctor for use during your hospitalization. A nurse will provide the medications to you. The hospital will properly dispose of other medications or chemical substances that are not appropriately labeled or prescribed. It is important to maintain an accurate list of your medications and any supplements that you take on a regular basis. To maintain an accurate list of medications, bring that list to all your doctor’s appointments, visits to the hospital, and when filling prescriptions at the pharmacy.
  9. Provide the hospital with a copy of advance directives or health care proxy designation you have prepared.
  10. Meet your financial obligations regarding hospitalization.
  11. Respect the rights of other patients. Please do not visit other patients in their rooms or leave the assigned unit without checking with a member of the health care team.

Your Right To Share Concerns or File a Complaint

If you have concerns, complaints or problems about your care at BID Milton, or if you feel you were discriminated against, we encourage you to speak directly to your care team.

The next step is to contact a patient advocate in our Patient Relations department. If you still have a concern, you may contact our Quality Management department or Ethics Committee. To file a formal grievance, contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or other external agencies.

Patient Advocacy

If you have questions or concerns about your hospital stay, speak with the hospital's patient advocate by calling 617-313-1360. While you are hospitalized, the patient advocate is your personal representative, acting as a liaison between you and the hospital staff.

You can discuss your concern or file a formal grievance with us by contacting:

Patient Relations
Beth Israel Deaconess HospitalMilton 
199 Reedsdale Road 
Milton, MA 02186

Phone: 617-313-1360
TDD: 617-696-7929

Quality Management

BID Milton participates in a hospital-wide quality management program. The goal of Quality Management is to ensure that every patient at BID Milton receives the best care, a philosophy consistent with the hospital's mission.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the quality of care you receive, contact the director of Quality Management at 617-696-4600, ext. 1053 or ext. 1830.

Ethics Committee

The BID Milton Ethics Committee is an interdisciplinary group that develops and promotes educational programs for patients, staff and the community. The Ethics Committee also performs case review and policy development for the hospital.

To request a case review, call 617-696-4600, ext. 1360.

In addition, we can provide you with a copy of “Making Healthcare Decisions: A Matter of Choice,” a patient and family education brochure about making health care choices.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

You have the right to directly contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights at:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Centralized Case Management Operations
200 Independence Ave. S.W.
Room 509F HHH Bldg.
Washington, DC 20201

Phone: 800-368-1019
TDD: 800-537-7697

External Agencies

You have the right to contact these external agencies for any concerns you may have relating to patient safety or quality of care provided by the hospital:

The Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring
1 Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Fax: 630-792-5005

Medicare Recipients
5700 Lombardo Center Drive, Suite 100
Seven Hills, OH 44131
Toll Free: 888-319-8452 
Local: 216-447-9604
Fax: 844-878-7921

Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Quality
Complaint Unit
99 Chauncy St., 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02111

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine
178 Albion St.
Wakefield, MA 01880

Contact Patient Advocate

Contact Quality Management

ext. 1053 or 1830