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MANAGING PATIENTS

Model Policy: Patients’ rights and responsibilities

Why you need this policy:

One of the things that makes service delivery so tricky is that medical patients aren’t just customers or consumers of services; they’re a partner in a collaboration designed to ensure their health. At least they should be. Although it might be self-evident to you and your physicians, not all patients appreciate that treatment is a collaboration. So it’s incumbent on you to make this clear at the very outset.

How this policy helps you:

In addition to explaining patients’ rights and responsibilities, and thereby establishing the basis of a successful collaboration, this Patient Rights and Responsibilities Policy, helps your practice comply with U.S. law called the 1998 Patients’ Bill of Rights Act.

How to use this policy:

You should post a copy of this Policy in a conspicuous place in your workplace where patients can see it. Give each patient a copy of this Model Policy as part of their orientation to your practice. Some practices ask patients to sign their name to acknowledge that they’ve received, read, understood, and agreed to abide by the terms of the Policy. We’ve dispensed with the acknowledgement because we believe it creates extra paperwork to no good effect.

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