The Ohio State University College of Optometry presents these patients’ rights with the expectation that observance of these rights will contribute to more effective patient care and greater satisfaction for the patient, the doctor, and the clinical organization. Further, the College presents these rights with the expectation that they will be supported by the clinic on behalf of its patients, as an integral part of the healing process. It is recognized that a personal relationship between the doctor and the patient is essential for the provision of proper health care. The traditional doctor-patient relationship takes on a new dimension when care is rendered with an organization structure. Legal precedent has established that the institution itself also has a responsibility to the patient. It is in recognition of these factors that these rights are affirmed.
- The patient has the right to considerate and respectful care. A patient has a right to receive the institution’s highest efforts at providing quality care regardless of race, creed, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.
- The patient has the right to obtain from the doctor complete information concerning the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in terms the patient can be reasonably expected to understand. In the rare case that it is not professionally advisable to give such information to the patient, the information should be made available to an appropriate and legally authorized person on behalf of the patient. A patient has the right to know, by name, the doctor responsible for coordinating the care.
- The patient has the right to receive from the doctor information necessary to give consent prior to referral for additional care prior to the implementation of a program of therapy. Except in emergencies, such information for consent should include, but not necessarily be limited to, the specific procedure and/or treatment, the health risks involved and the probable duration of treatment, and the significant alternatives for care and/or treatment. The patient also has the right to know the name and qualifications of the person responsible for the procedures and/or treatment.
- The patient has the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed of the consequences of such action.
- The patient has the right to every consideration of privacy concerning his/her own health care program. Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discretely. Those not directly involved with the eye care must have the permission of the patient to be present.
- The patient has the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to his/her care should be treated as confidential, except when those rights are formally waived or a subpoena supercedes that right.
- The patient has the right to expect that, within its capacity, the clinic must make reasonable response to the request of a patient for services. The clinic must provide evaluation, service, and/or referral as indicated by the urgency of the care. When necessary, a patient may be referred to another facility or provider of health services only after receiving complete information and explanation concerning the need for and alternatives to such a referral. The providers or institution to which the patient is to be referred should receive full information regarding the need for additional consultation and treatment upon the consent of the patient.
- The patient has the right to obtain information as to any relationship of the clinic to other health care and educational institutions insofar as his/her care is concerned. The patient has the right to obtain information as to the existence of any professional relationships among individuals, by name, who are providing treatment.
- The patient has the right to be advised if the clinic proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting his/her care or treatment. The patient has the right to refuse to participate in such research projects and to receive more traditional care, or be referred for such, if it is available.
- The patient has the right to expect reasonable continuity of care. The patient has the right to know, in advance, what appointment times and services are available and where. The patient has the right to expect that the clinic will provide a mechanism whereby the doctor or a delegate of the doctor will provide information concerning the patient’s continuing health care requirements following treatment.
- The patient has the right to seek other opinions regarding his/her condition, prognosis, and course of therapy. The patient may choose to seek this opinion from within the resources of the clinic or may wish to have an opinion of a practitioner outside the clinic. If an opinion from outside the clinic is sought, the patient has the right to expect our full cooperation in providing any information we have obtained to the practitioner of choice, after a signed release form has been given to the clinic.
- The patient has the right to be informed of all professional fees prior to the provision of services. The patient has the right to examine and receive an explanation of the bill regardless of the source of payment.
- The patient has the right to know what institutional rules and regulations apply to his/her conduct as a patient.
- The patient has the right to know that review procedures exist and has the right to be advised of how they may be initiated.
No catalogue of rights can guarantee for the patient the kind of treatment he/she has a right to expect. The clinic has many functions to perform, including the prevention and treatment of disease, the education of both health professionals and patients, and the conduct of clinical research. All of these activities must be conducted with an overriding concern for the patients, and above all, the recognition of their dignity as human beings. Success in achieving this recognition assures success in the defense of the right of the patient.