Patients Rights & Responsibilities | Whittier, CA | PIH Health

California Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Patient

Photo of Doctor and patient talking

You have the right to:

  • Considerate and respectful care, and to be made comfortable. You have the right to respect for your cultural, psychosocial, spiritual and personal values, beliefs and preferences.
  • Have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Know the name of the licensed health care practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure, who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care, and the names and professional relationships of physician and non-physicians who will see you.
  • Receive information about your health status, diagnosis, prognosis, course of treatment, prospects for recovery and outcomes of care (including unanticipated outcomes) in terms you can understand. You have the right to effective communication and to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care. You have the right to participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of your care, including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services, and forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment.
  • Make decisions regarding medical care, and receive as much information about any proposed treatment or procedure as you may need in order to give informed consent or to refuse a course of treatment. Except in emergencies, this information shall include a description of the procedure or treatment, the medically significant risks involved, alternate courses of treatment or non-treatment and the risks involved in each, and the name of the person who will carry out the procedure or treatment.
  • Request or refuse treatment, to the extent permitted by law. However, you do not have the right to demand inappropriate or medically unnecessary treatment or services. You have the right to leave the hospital even against the advice of members of the medical staff, to the extent permitted by law.
  • Be advised if the hospital/licensed healthcare practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting your care or treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in such research projects.
  • Reasonable responses to any reasonable requests made for service.
  • Appropriate assessment and management of your pain, information about pain, pain relief measures and to participate in pain management decisions. You may request or reject the use of any or all modalities to relieve pain, including opiate medication, if you suffer from severe chronic intractable pain. The doctor may refuse to prescribe the opiate medication, but if so, must inform you that there are physicians who specialize in the treatment of pain with methods that include the use of opiates.
  • Formulate advance directives. This includes designating a decision maker if you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or become unable to communicate your wishes regarding care. Hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital shall comply with these directives. All patients’ rights apply to the person who has legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf.
  • Have personal privacy respected. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. You have the right to be told the reason for the presence of any individual. You have the right to have visitors leave prior to an examination and when treatment issues are being discussed. Privacy curtains will be used in semi-private rooms.
  • Confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to your care and stay in the hospital. You will receive a separate “Notice of Privacy Practices” that explains your privacy rights in detail and how we may use and disclose your protected health information.
  • Receive care in a safe setting, free from mental, physical, sexual or verbal abuse and neglect, exploitation or harassment. You have the right to access protective and advocacy services including notifying government agencies of neglect or abuse.
  • Be free from restraints and seclusion of any form used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • Reasonable continuity of care and to know in advance the time and location of appointments as well as the identity of the persons providing the care.
  • Be informed by the physician, or a delegate of the physician, of continuing health care requirements and options following discharge from the hospital. You have the right to be involved in the development and implementation of your discharge plan. Upon your request, a friend or family member may be provided this information also.
  • Know which hospital rules and policies apply to your conduct while a patient.
  • Designate a support person as well as visitors of your choosing, if you have decision-making capacity, whether or not the visitor is related by blood, marriage, or registered domestic partner status, unless:

No visitors are allowed.

The facility reasonably determines that the presence of a particular visitor would endanger the health or safety of a patient, member of the health facility staff or other visitor to the health facility, or would significantly disrupt the operations of the facility.

You have told the health facility staff that you no longer want a particular person to visit.

However, a health facility may establish reasonable restrictions upon visitation, including restrictions upon the hours of visitation and number of visitors. The health facility must inform you (or your support person, where appropriate) of your visitation rights, including any clinical restrictions or limitations. The health facility is not permitted to restrict, limit, or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

  • Have your wishes considered, if you lack decision-making capacity, for the purposes of determining who may visit. The method of that consideration will comply with federal law and be disclosed in the hospital policy on visitation. At a minimum, the hospital shall include any persons living in your household and any support person pursuant to federal law.
  • Examine and receive an explanation of the hospital’s bill regardless of the source of payment.
  • Exercise these rights without regard to sex, economic status, educational background, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, medical condition, marital status, age, registered domestic partner status, genetic information, citizenship, primary language, immigration status (except as required by federal law) or the source of payment for care.
  • File a grievance. If you want to file a grievance with PIH Health Whittier Hospital you may do so by writing or by calling:

PIH Health Whittier Hospital

Risk Management Department

12401 Washington Blvd

Whittier, CA 90602-1006

562.698.0811 Ext. 13592

If you want to file a grievance with PIH Health Downey Hospital you may do so by writing or by calling:

PIH Health Downey Hospital

Risk Management Department

11500 Brookshire Ave

Downey, CA 90241

562.904.5000 Ext. 25170

If you want to file a grievance with PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital you may do so by writing or by calling:

PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital

Risk Management Department

1225 Wilshire Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90017

213.977.2121 Ext. 2299

The grievance committee will review each grievance and provide you with a written response within seven days. The written response will contain the name of a person to contact at the hospital, the steps taken to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance process, and the date of completion of the grievance process. Concerns regarding quality of care or premature discharge will also be referred to the appropriate Utilization and Quality Control Peer Review Organization (PRO).

  • File a complaint with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) regardless of whether you use the hospital’s grievance process. CDPH’s phone number and address is:

California Department of Public Health

Los Angeles East District Office

3400 Aerojet Ave #323

El Monte, CA 91731

800.228.1019 (toll free)

626.569.3724 (phone)

626.927.9842 (fax)


File a complaint regarding PIH Health with CIHQ regardless of whether you use the hospital’s grievance process at:

Center for Improvement in Healthcare

Quality (CIHQ)

P.O. Box 3620

McKinney, TX 75070

ATTN: Chief Executive Officer

512.661.2813 (phone)

805.934.8588 (fax)


In-Person by appointment, contact CIHQ at 866.324.5080 for instructions.

This Patient Rights document incorporates the requirements of the Title 22, California Code of Regulations, Section 70707; Health and Safety Code Sections 1262.6, 1288.4 and 124960; and 42 C.F.R. Section 482.13 (Medicare Conditions of Participation).

You/your family is responsible for:

  • Providing, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about the patient’s health, and medical history, including presenting complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, vitamins, herbal products and other matters relating to the patient’s health including perceived safety risks. You are responsible for reporting care problems and/or unexpected changes in the patient’s condition to the responsible practitioner;
  • Asking questions when you do not understand what has been told to you about your care or what you are expected to do;
  • Following the treatment plan developed with the practitioner. You should express any concerns you have about your ability to follow the treatment plan;
  • Actively participate in your pain management plan and to keep your doctors and nurses informed of the effectiveness of your treatment. This includes reporting your degree of pain and the effects or limitations of pain treatment;
  • Accepting the consequences of failing to follow the recommended course of treatment or using other treatments, including the outcomes of refusing treatment or failing to follow practitioner instructions;
  • Following the hospital’s rules and regulations concerning patient care and conduct;
  • Treating all hospital staff, medical staff other patients and visitors with courtesy and respect;
  • Being considerate and respectful of other patients and staff by maintaining civil language and conduct, by not making unnecessary noise, smoking or causing distractions and respecting the privacy of others;
  • Ensuring that the hospital has a copy of your Advance Directive for Health Care or Physician’s Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST). You may express your wishes verbally to hospital staff;
  • Recognizing the effect of personal lifestyle upon your personal health;
  • Keeping appointments and being on time for appointments or to call your healthcare provider if you cannot keep your appointment;
  • Leaving valuables at home and only bringing necessary personal items for your hospital stay and informing nursing staff of belongings sent home or additional items brought at a later time;
  • Respecting the property of other persons and that of the hospital;
  • Providing 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. You are expected to provide complete and accurate information about your health insurance coverage;
  • Promptly paying your bills and meeting the financial commitments agreed to with the organization.