Your Rights as a Patient


Sullivan County Community Hospital employees involved in the care of patients are obligated to recognize and respect each individual’s dignity and being.

It is our intent that the high standards of patient care that have been maintained at Sullivan County Community Hospital will be enhanced by recognition of and adherence to these patient rights policies. If you have any additional questions concerning patient rights or feel your rights have not been observed, please contact the appropriate Department Director, Coordinator or Administrator.

Upon your admission, we will contact your physician. If you wish, we will notify a family member or a representative of your choice.

Nondiscrimination Policy

It is the policy of Sullivan County Community Hospital not to discriminate against patients, employees, physicians, volunteers, visitors or any persons interacting with the hospital with regard to race, religion, sex, age, color, national origin, disability or handicap, economic or religious background or the source of payment for care. If you feel you have been discriminated against, please contact our Administrator.

Grievance Procedure

If you have a problem or concern you feel is not adequately resolved by the appropriate Department Director or Coordinator involved and would like to file a verbal or written grievance with Sullivan County Community Hospital Administration, please contact the Administrator at extension 2472 (voice mail) or send written grievance to the attention of the Administrator, Sullivan County Community Hospital, 2200 N. Section, Sullivan, IN 47882. The Administrator will assist you in addressing your concerns. You will be provided with a written notice of the grievance determination.

You may lodge a grievance with the Indiana State Department of Health directly, regardless of whether you have first used the hospital’s grievance process. The name and address to lodge a grievance is: Mary Azbill, Acute Care Services, ISDH, 2 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN, 46204. The phone number is 800-246-8909.

Patient Privacy

Any individual who enters Sullivan County Community Hospital for care has certain rights to privacy which are protected by the hospital. Individuals not affiliated with Sullivan County Community Hospital and not involved in your care will not be allowed to question or observe you if it would be harmful to your condition or impede your treatment plan. All medical records and communications about your care and your hospital stay are treated as confidential.

Your written permission must be obtained before your medical record can be made available to anyone not directly concerned with your care. You can, however, access the information contained in your medical record within a reasonable time frame (usually within 48 hours).

Patient Information

During your hospitalization, you may be asked to participate in student training programs or information gathering for research studies. You have the right to refuse this request. A consent form will need to be signed and witnessed prior to your participation in any research studies.

Patient Consent / Media Policy

Sullivan County Community Hospital is a major news source in the surrounding community. We recognize that the nature of our services are not only private, but often personal. We consider both legal and ethical responsibilities and liabilities in each newsworthy situation, especially when patients and their families are involved.

Sullivan County Community Hospital and the news media share an obligation in making sure that any news is reported accurately and promptly. However, we are guided legally and ethically to safeguard the privacy of individuals, so that no involvement with the news media or the hospital will result in unnecessary embarrassment, discomfort or exploitation of any person.

A signed consent must be obtained from you before any names can be released for publication. A signed consent is also required prior to any photographs or interviews for publication.

You have the right to request that no information be released. If you make this request, Sullivan County Community Hospital will not release any information unless required by law.

General employees of Sullivan County Community Hospital are not permitted to answer any questions or release any information to the news media about our patients. Questions from the media will be directed to the Public Relations Department or to the Administrative Supervisor in their absence.

Medicare Beneficiaries

Federal law requires that hospital care provided through Medicare be reviewed to insure that patients are receiving adequate and appropriate services. In order to meet these requirements, the Health Care Excel Medical Review Organization collects and maintains information on the types and extent of health care services received by Medicare patients. They have established policies and procedures to insure the confidentiality of patient and physician information received for the purpose of professional review. Any Medicare patient who has questions about the availability and confidentiality of health care information should contact the Medical Records Department.

Physician Identification

You will be informed of the identity of the physician who is primarily responsible for your care, as well as any physicians consulted for your case. In addition, you will be informed of the nature and purpose of any technical procedures, risks, benefits, alternatives and by whom they are to be performed. You have the right to receive from your physician all information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment.

Your physician will discuss any medically significant alternative treatments with you. If your condition or services warrant transfer to another facility, your physician will discuss available options with you.

Organizational Ethics

You have the right to obtain information as to any relationship of this hospital to other health care and educational institutions insofar as your care is concerned. You have the right to obtain information as to the existence of any professional relationships among individuals, by name, who are treating you.

Informed Decision Making

You should participate in the development of your plan of care. To assist in this, you should receive complete and current information from your physician concerning your diagnosis, treatment, including appropriate assessment and management of pain, and prognosis. You have the right to request and/or refuse treatment. You will be informed of the medical consequences of this decision.

Your plan of care should include consideration of your spiritual needs. You will be provided with pastoral counseling services upon your request. In fact, we will respond to any reasonable request you may have for service.

With your best interests of primary concern, you have the right to access protective services and to be free from seclusion or restraints that are not medically necessary. It is our goal to provide you with respectful, considerate care in a safe environment.

If you have any problems communicating due to language, hearing or speech difficulties, or any other reason, our staff will help to assure your communication needs are met.

Any restrictions to communication will be fully explained, determined with your participation, and will be evaluated for therapeutic effectiveness.

Patient / Family Education

Learning about the nature of your health problem, treatments involved, and maintaining your health status after discharge are important to our staff at Sullivan County Community Hospital. During your stay, members of our health care team will be discussing information you and your family need to understand in order to continue your progress after discharge. Please ask questions if there is any additional information that would be helpful to you, or if there is anything you do not understand.

Sullivan County Community Hospital cooperates with area schools in assisting students with maintaining their education during extended stays as permitted by the patient’s health. If this is a concern for you, please discuss with your nurse.

Billing Questions

It is your responsibility to assure that the financial obligations of your health care are fulfilled promptly. If you have any questions or concerns about your hospital bill or payment issues, please contact our Business Office at extension 2383. Regardless of the payment source, you have the right to review your bill and receive an explanation of the bill. We will provide you with information about the financial implications of care choices as well as notice of non-coverage for services provided.

Advance Directives

Federal law requires that you be asked upon admission to the hospital if you have an advance directive, such as a living will or a durable power of attorney. The law also specifies that the hospital provide you with written information about advance directives. It is important to advise our staff or your physician if you have specific wishes as to what action you want taken in the event of a life threatening emergency (if you quit breathing or your heart stops beating, for example). In the event of such an emergency, our staff and your physician are obligated to make every attempt to revive you if you have not indicated any specific wishes. Should you have any questions about this practice, your specific wishes, or want to designate a person to make health care decisions for you, please ask your nurse or your physician. If you or your family members have any questions about advance directives after reading the material provided, please ask your nurse for more information.