“You have the Right”

Patient Rights and
“You have the Right”
The Basic Rights all Patients are
entitled to while entrusting
their care to us.
This module will help you to:
• Consider the uniqueness of all your patients
• Understand what skills are necessary to
respect a patient while giving care
• Ensure appropriate communication and
confidentiality for all of your patients
• Identify resources you can use for developing
these skills
Imagine yourself
• Waking in a hospital bed, in a strange room with other patients near by
• Seeing unfamiliar faces and realizing they all speak a different language
than you
• Having people talk to you and about you with no idea what is being
• Seeing looks, smiles, frowns, gestures that you think might be related
to you, but you are uncertain
• Having people approach and touch you without a means to explain
• Being injected, or washed, or any other private or invasive procedure
without being able to ask questions or state your preferences or
• Hearing discharge instructions and teaching in a foreign language while
someone points to a paper for you to sign
If the shoe were on the other foot…
• Would you feel respected? Would you
consider that being treated in a dignified
• Would you trust your caretakers?
• How would you know what was wrong and
how to get better?
• Would you feel as though you had rights?
Use that perspective to help you
think about and protect your
patients’ Basic Rights!
“How I would like to be treated ?”
Basic Rights
• To be treated with respect and dignity
• To have individual beliefs and values
observed in the care environment
• To have all private and medical information
handled confidentially
• To receive appropriate communication and be
able to demonstrate understanding of that
Culture –
Do you know what this means?
• The values, beliefs, norms, and
practices of a particular group that are
learned and shared and that guide
thinking, decisions, and actions in a
patterned way comprise a Culture
• Find out what it means to YOU!
• Know yourself – your own attitudes, beliefs, and
even prejudices
• Keep an open mind
• Acknowledge and celebrate differences –all cultures
and groups have strengths and weaknesses
• Don’t judge anyone because they are different
No Two People are Created Alike
• What are some of the key cultural differences?
• Communication – language, patterns, gestures and
facial expressions, decision-making
• Personal Space – how close is too close?
• Social Organization – how a group mourns,
celebrates, learns, lives, etc.
• Time – past, present, or future orientation
• Environmental Control – nature versus nurture
How do I become “Culturally
• Resources exist at all hospitals! Know what is available and use
Cultural Care Guides and books – they provide information about
various groups and give practical and immediately usable advice
Interpretive Services – know how to access and use
Language Services – printed materials, visual aids
HIPAA Guidelines – each institution has specific guidelines that
ensure confidentiality for patients’ Protected Health Information.
All employees, students, and volunteers are responsible for
following these guidelines
A Few Words about HIPAA
(A National Act called the Health Insurance Portability
is a regulation Congress has
developed to protect all patients’ privacy.
This law puts very strict limits on who can
and cannot view a patient’s health
information. We are all required by law to
uphold these privacy standards!
and Accountability Act)
A Few More Words about HIPAA
• To be HIPAA compliant, think “Minimum
Necessary”. This means that you are only
entitled to the minimum information
necessary to perform fantastic patient care.
This varies according to situation, unit,
patient status, etc. Make sure you are only
using the Minimum. !
Communication Barriers
• Cultural and language differences create unique
communication barriers.
• Legally speaking, both Federal Law and Joint
Commission (JCAHO) require hospitals to provide
services to those with limited abilities to
communicate – this can include sight, hearing, or
inability to speak a common language (like English).
• Patients have the right to appropriate assistance
with these barriers.
What is “appropriate assistance?”
• Each hospital has their own procedure for dealing
with language barriers.
• This may include: live interpreters, telephone
interpretive services, printed material in various
languages, word cards for assistance with
conversation, and steps for documenting the
barriers and teaching despite the barriers.
• All language services are still subject to HIPAA
guidelines and a patient’s right to privacy!
Some Basic Tips for Overcoming Initial Cultural
or Communication Barriers
• Greet patients with their
name – avoid being too
casual or familiar
• Introduce yourself by
pointing to yourself and
saying your name
• Note and observe any
hesitations or special
requests (ie, no male
caregivers for a female
• Determine understanding
by hearing person repeat or
demonstrate instructions
• Do not talk to other staff in
patient’s area using a
language he/she will not
• Do not make assumptions
about eye contact, space,
gender issues or any other
cultural factor based on
your opinions. Seek
understanding and
Some Basic Tips for Overcoming Initial Cultural
or Communication Barriers
• Pay special attention to any
efforts made by the patient
or family to communicate
• Use an available resource to
get a “quick glimpse” into
the patient’s culture or
• Use available visual aids
• If language barrier exists
that prevents this
communication, seek
interpretive services –
continual attempts will only
fail and add to frustration
• Maintain confidentiality by
using “minimum necessary
information” even with
• Continue to provide nonjudgmental care!
Your Responsibility
Offer culturally competent care
Respect differences
Maintain confidentiality
Know and use your resources
Ensure patient appropriate communication