Patient Rights & Responsibilities

We want to encourage you, as a patient at Abbeville Area Medical Center, to speak openly with your health care team, take part in your treatment choices, and promote your own safety by being well-informed and involved in your care. Because we want you to think of yourself as a partner in your care, we want you to know your rights as well as your responsibilities during your stay at Abbeville Area Medical Center. We invite you and your family to join us as active members of your health care team.

You have the right to:

  • Receive considerate, respectful and compassionate care in a safe setting, regardless of your age, gender, race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disabilities, ability to pay, or any other protected classifications identified under applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations or statutes.
  • Receive care in a safe environment free from all forms of abuse, neglect or mistreatment.
  • Be called by your proper name and be in an environment that maintains dignity and adds to a positive self-image.
  • Be told the names of your doctors, nurses and all health care team members directing and/or providing your care.
  • Have a family member or person of your choice and your own doctor be notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Have the right to have someone remain with you for emotional support during your hospital stay, unless your visitor’s presence compromises your or others’ rights, safety or health. You have the right to deny visitation at any time.
  • Be told by your doctor about your diagnosis and possible prognosis, the benefits and risks of treatment, and the expected outcomes, including the unexpected outcomes.
  • You have the right to give written informed consent before any nonemergency procedure begins.
  • Have your pain assessed and to be involved in decisions about treating your pain.
  • Be free of restraints and seclusion in any form that is not medically required.
  • Expect full consideration of your privacy and confidentiality in care discussions, exams and
    treatments. You may ask for an escort during any type of exam.
  • Access protective and advocacy services in cases of abuse and neglect. We can provide a list of these resources.

You have the right to:

  • To participate in decisions about your care, your treatment and services provided, including the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law. You may include family and friends, with your permission, in these decisions. If you leave the hospital against the advice of your doctor, the hospital and doctors will not be responsible for any medical consequences that may occur.
  • Agree or refuse to take part in medical research studies. You may withdraw from a study at any time without impacting your access to standard care.
  • Communication you can understand. The hospital will provide sign language and foreign language interpreters as needed at no cost.Information given will be appropriate to your age, understanding and language. If you have vision, speech, hearing and/or other impairments, you will receive additional aids to ensure that your care needs are met.
  • Make an advance directive and appoint someone to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so. If you do not have an advance directive, we can provide you with the information and help you complete one.
  • Be involved in your discharge plan. You can expect to be told in a timely manner of your discharge, transfer to another facility or transfer to another level of care. Before your discharge, you can expect to receive information about follow-up care that you may need.
  • Receive detailed information about your hospital and physician charges.
  • Expect that all communications and records about your care are confidential, unless disclosure is permitted by law. You have the right to see or get a copy of your medical record. You may add information to your medical record by contacting the Medical Records Department. You have the right to request a list of people to whom your personal health information was disclosed.
  • Give or refuse consent for recordings, photographs, films or other images to be produced or used for internal or external purposes other than identification, diagnosis or treatment. You have the right to withdraw consent up until a reasonable time before the item is used.
  • Discuss an ethical issue related to your care with a member of Ethics Services.
  • Have spiritual services. Chaplains are available to help you directly or to contact your own clergy.
  • Voice your concerns about your care and experience.

At Abbeville Area Medical Center, we are continuously working to improve our service to patients. An important part of this service is the way you feel you are treated by our staff members, volunteers and physicians. We routinely mail patient satisfaction surveys to a sampling of former patients. Your input is one of the most valuable tools we have to assess and improve upon our services’. While we appreciate input on these surveys, it is far more important that we hear about any concerns while you are in the hospital. Please do not feel uncomfortable raising these concerns. We are committed to making sure that you receive compassionate, quality care. If there is anything we can do to improve the services we are providing, please talk with our staff.

For many concerns, it’s usually best to first speak with the people caring for you. This would probably be your nurse, hospital case manager, or office staff. If you don’t feel that they are helping you, please ask to speak to the supervisor, manager or director. If you still are unsatisfied with the resolve to your concern, you may file a grievance with the hospital. The hospital will review, investigate and resolve the grievance in a reasonable amount of time-generally 10 days from the time it is received. The hospital will respond to you in writing, in an easy to understand manner. The letter should tell you the steps that have been taken on your behalf to investigate the grievance, the results, and a contact person. You, or the hospital personnel, may also want to meet in person to talk about what happened.

AAMC contact person for grievances:
Mary Margaret Jackson, 864-366-3279
PO Box 887
Abbeville, SC 29620

A grievance is considered closed when you are satisfied with the actions taken by the hospital. There may be times, however, when the hospital feels it has taken reasonable steps to address your concern, but you are still unsatisfied. That’s when you may consider filing your concern with a hospital oversight organization-the next step below.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) licenses and certifies South Carolina hospitals. This means that the hospitals must meet certain rules and regulations in order to care for patients and receive payment. One function of DHEC is to investigate complaints about any facility they license.

Submitting a Complaint

SCDHEC Bureau of
Certification/Health Regulation

2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
1-800-922-6735 (voicemail available)
Fax: 803-545-4292
E-mail: rushrf@dhec.sc.gov

DNV
400 Techne Center Drive, Suite 100
Milford, OH 45150
website: www.dnvglhealthcare.com
E-mail: hospitalcomplaint@dnvgl.com

You may file a complaint online using this online form. You may print and mail the form to:

Centralized Case Management Operations
US Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue SW, Room 509F, HHH Bldg.
Washington DC 20201

or email the completed complaint and consent forms to:

OCRComplaint@hhs.gov
Phone: 410-786-5510
Fax: 410-786-9549

Medicare

If Medicare (federal health insurance program for people over age 65 or people under 65 who are disabled) pays for you or your loved one’s care, you may have an additional place to go with a quality of care concern. Medicare pays a Quality Improvement Organization(QIO) in each state to oversee the
quality of care provided to Medicare patients.

In South Carolina, that organization is called the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME). You can call CCME at the following number: 1-844-455-8708. Explain to the person who answers the phone what your concerns are. Depending on the type of problem you are having, they may be able to help right away. For example, with your permission, they may be able to call the hospital to see if they can help solve your problem. In other cases, they may ask you to send your complaint in writing using a complaint form.

SC Hospital Infections Disclosure Act

Abbeville Area Medical Center participates in the SC Hospital Infections Disclosure Act. Our infection rates are made available to the public on the DHEC website at www.scdhec.gov or contact our Infection Control Nurse at 366-3374 for information.

Hearing & Visually Impaired

Translation and interpretation services are available as well as assistance for hearing and visually impaired individuals. To request these services, please speak with your nurse.

Patient Responsibilities

You have the responsibility to:

  • Provide complete and accurate information, including your full name, address, telephone number, date of birth, Social Security number, insurance carrier and employer, when it is required.
  • Provide the hospital or your doctor with a copy of your advance directive if you have one.
  • Provide complete and accurate information about your health and medical history, including present condition, past illness, hospital stays, medicines, vitamins, herbal products and any other matters pertaining to your health, including perceived safety risks.
  • Ask questions when you do not understand information or instructions. If you believe you cannot follow through with your treatment plan, you are responsible for telling your doctor. You are responsible for outcomes if you do not follow your care, treatment and service plans.

You have the responsibility to:

  • Actively participate in your pain management plan, keeping your doctors and nurses informed of the effectiveness of your treatment.
  • Leave valuables at home and bring only necessary items for your hospital stay.
  • Treat all hospital staff members, other patients and visitors with courtesy and respect; abide by all hospital rules and safety regulations; and be mindful of noise levels, privacy and number of visitors.
  • Provide complete and accurate information about your health insurance coverage and pay your bills in a timely manner.
  • Be responsible for keeping appointments, being on time and calling your health provider if you cannot keep your appointment.