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Home / Patients & Visitors / Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

We want to encourage you as a patient at Holyoke Medical Center, to speak openly with your health care team, take part in your treatment choices, and promote your own safety by being well informed and involved in your care.

Because we want you to think of yourself as a partner in your care, we want you to know your rights as well as your responsibilities during your stay at our hospital. We invite you and your family to join us as active members of your care team.

Holyoke Medical Center does not discriminate against any individual regardless of race, color, culture, language, religious creed, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran or active military status, marital status or national origin/ethnicity, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, personal values or belief systems.

The patient* has the right to:

*or the patient’s representative/legally designated person, when appropriate

  • Receive the care necessary to help regain or maintain your maximum state of health and, if necessary, cope with death.
  • Expect personnel who care for you to be friendly, considerate, respectful and qualified through education and experience, as well as perform their responsibilities with the highest quality of service.
  • Expect full recognition of individuality, including privacy, in treatment and care. In addition, all communications and records will be kept confidential.
  • Complete information, to the extent known by the physician, regarding diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, as well as alternative treatments or procedures and the possible risks and side effects associated with treatment.
  • Be fully informed of the scope of services available at the hospital, provisions for after‐hours and emergency care, as well as related fees for services rendered.
  • Be a participant in decisions regarding the intensity and scope of treatment.
  • Make informed decisions regarding your care.
  • Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and be informed of the medical consequences of such a refusal. You accept responsibility for your actions should you refuse treatment or not follow the instructions of the physician or hospital.
  • Approve or refuse the release of medical records to any individual outside the hospital, except in the case of transfer to another health care facility, or as required by law or third‐party payment contract.
  • Be informed of any human experimentation or other research/educational projects affecting your care or treatment, as well as refuse participation in such experimentation or research without compromise to your usual care.
  • Assistance in changing primary or specialty physicians or dentists if other qualified physicians or dentists are available.
  • Have an advance care directive, such as a living will or healthcare proxy. A patient who has an advance care directive must provide a copy to the hospital and Your physician so that your wishes may be known.
  • Be fully informed before any transfer to another hospital or organization and ensure the receiving hospital has accepted the patient transfer.
  • Express those spiritual beliefs and cultural practices that do not harm others or interfere with the planned course of medical therapy for you.
  • Have an initial assessment and regular reassessment of pain.
  • Education of all relevant providers in pain assessment and management.
  • Education of patients and families when appropriate, regarding your roles in managing pain, as well as the potential limitations and side effects of pain treatments.
  • Have your personal, cultural, spiritual and/or ethnic beliefs considered when communicating to you and your family about pain management and your overall care.
  • Be informed of your rights, in advance of furnishing or discontinuing patient care whenever possible.
  • Expect the hospital to agree to comply with Federal Civil Rights laws that assure it will provide interpretation for individuals who are not proficient in English. The hospital presents information in manner and form, such as TDD, large print materials, Braille, audio tapes and interpreters, that can be understood by hearing and sight impaired individuals.
  • Access to treatment without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, creed/religion, sex, age, mental disability, or physical disability. Any treatment determinations based on a person’s physical status or diagnosis will be made on the basis of medical evidence and treatment capability and not on the basis of fear or prejudice. Services will be furnished based on the medical necessity and appropriateness of the admission or service as well as applicable requirements of federal and state law and regulations regarding the types of treatment that may appropriately be furnished at a particular hospital. The hospital must provide a Statement of Non‐Discrimination if requested by a patient in order for a patient to file an Office of Civil Rights discrimination‐based grievance.
  • Have reasonable expectations of care and services and the hospital should address those expectations in a timely, reasonable and consistent manner.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care.
  • Have a family member, representative, or own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Receive care in a safe setting.
  • Be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  • To be offered emergency contraception, get emergency contraception when asked, and get written information about emergency contraception if you are a female rape victim.
  • Be allowed visitation privileges and support, consistent with patient preferences.
  • Expect confidentiality of your clinical records.
  • Access information contained in your clinical records within a reasonable time frame. Hospitals are required to maintain medical records for at least 20 years after the patient’s discharge or after the final treatment. A copy of the hospital’s medical record retention policy is available upon request.
  • Be free from restraints of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • Expect the hospital to establish a process for prompt resolution of patient grievances and must inform each patient whom to contact to file a grievance. The hospital must also inform you that you may lodge a grievance with the state agency directly, and provide the patient a phone number and address for lodging a grievance with the state agency.

The patient is responsible:

  • To work together with health care providers on the plan of care.
  • For being considerate of other patients and personnel and for assisting in the control of noise, smoking and other distractions.
  • To let health care providers know if you want family or others involved in care and decision making.
  • For respecting the property of others and the hospital.
  • To share information about current and past medication, including over the counter medications, vitamins, herbs and/or alternative medicines or treatment.
  • For reporting whether you clearly understand the planned course of treatment and what is expected of you.
  • To help prevent loss by keeping anything valuable at home.
  • For keeping appointments and, when unable to do so for any reason, notifying the hospital and physician.
  • To talk about reactions to anesthesia, if surgery is needed.
  • For providing caregivers with the most accurate and complete information regarding present complaints, past illnesses and hospitalizations, medications, unexpected changes in your condition or any other patient health matters.
  • To behave in a respectful manner. Yelling, verbal threats or physical harm to staff or property is not allowed.
  • For promptly fulfilling your financial obligations to the hospital.
  • To ask questions before leaving the hospital about medications, activities and the follow‐up care.
  • For payment to the hospital for copies of the medical record you may request.
  • To ask family and friends to schedule visits to promote rest, healing and privacy.
  • For identifying any patient safety concerns.
  • To keep the hospital smoke free by following the No Smoking Policy on the hospital grounds.

Patient Comments of Praise

At Holyoke Medical Center we strive to ACE it by providing Awesome Care Every time. If you have experienced Awesome Care during your stay, we would love to hear your feedback and be able to share your comments with our team members. Ways you may accomplish this are:

Talk to us
Speak directly with a manager or supervisor, he or she will be sure to share your praise directly to personnel and upper administration.

Write to us
A letter to the hospital president will be shared with hospital staff
Holyoke Medical Center
Attn: Spiros Hatiras, President & CEO
Holyoke Medical Center
575 Beech Street
Holyoke, MA 01040

Nominate someone
Every month employees are highlighted through the ACE of Hearts Employee of the Month program.

Patient Concerns or Complaints

If you are dissatisfied with services received at Holyoke Medical Center, please:

Talk to us
Speak directly with a manager or supervisor, he or she will be able to address your concerns as quickly as possible.

Call us
You may file a complaint with the Concern Line at
(413) 534-2727.

Write to us
Holyoke Medical Center
Administrative Offices
575 Beech Street
Holyoke, MA 01040

Additionally, problems or concerns about your rights and/or quality of care may be directed to:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Board of Registration in Medicine
178 Albion Street, Suite 330
Wakefield, MA 01880
(781) 876‐8200

Mass. Division of Healthcare Quality
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
67 Forest Street
Marlborough, MA 01752
(617) 753-8000

DNV Healthcare USA, Inc.
Attn: Healthcare Complaints
4435 Aicholtz Rd, Ste 900
Cincinnati, OH 45245
(866) 496‐9647

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Patient Rights & Responsibilities