Patient Rights & Responsibilities  

Know your rights and understand your responsibilities as a patient

Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Patient  

At Winchester Hospital, we support your right to know about your health and condition. We champion your right to participate in decisions that affect your well-being.   

We stand by your side as you plan for your care by assigning a heath care proxy and outlining your wishes for lifesaving care.

We also: 

If you have questions about patient rights and responsibilities, call the Patient Advocate office at 781-756-7159 or Case Management at 781-729-9000, ext. 2633.

Your Patient Rights  

You have many rights as a patient. Our list of patients’ rights incorporates state and federal law. These rights are posted in the hospital and at all off-site locations. You receive a copy of your patient rights when admitted to the hospital. Feel free to discuss any questions with your doctor and/or hospital staff.

As a patient at Winchester Hospital, you have the right to: 

  1. Expect that all communications and clinical records about your care will be maintained confidentially and with proper safeguards and security.
  2. Have your personal dignity respected; be treated kindly by all hospital personnel.
  3. Refuse care, treatment and services.
  4. Receive compassionate care that respects your cultural, psychosocial, spiritual and personal values, beliefs and preferences.
  5. Have access to and obtain copies of your medical records in accordance with Massachusetts General Law Chapter 111, Section 70. Hospitals may charge a fee for providing patients with a copy of their medical records. Please call Winchester Hospital’s Health Information Department at 781-756-2170 for information.
  6. Expect the hospital to maintain records of patients under its care for 20 years after discharge or the final treatment.
  7. Always be treated in an emergency.
  8. Freedom of choice in your selection of a facility, physician or treatment, except in the case of emergency medical treatment.
  9. Obtain, upon request, the name and specialty, if any, of the physician or other person responsible for your care or the coordination of your care.
  10. Have all reasonable requests responded to promptly and adequately within the capacity of the hospital.
  11. Obtain, upon request, an explanation, if any, of Winchester Hospital’s relationship to any other health care facility or educational institution as the relationship may relate to your care or treatment.
  12. Obtain a copy of any policies of the hospital that apply to your stay as a patient.
  13. Receive, upon request, any information that Winchester Hospital has available relative to financial assistance and free health care.
  14. Refuse to be examined, observed, or treated by medical students without jeopardizing your access to medical care and attention.
  15. Refuse to serve as a research subject and to refuse any care or examination when the primary purpose is educational or informational rather than therapeutic.
  16. Refuse to remove your clothing, unless there is compelling clinical information indicating imminent risk to you or to others.
  17. Privacy during medical treatment or other rendering of care within the capacity of the hospital facilities.
  18. Informed consent to the extent provided by law.
  19. Receive an itemized bill, to examine your bill and to receive an explanation of the charges regardless of the source of payment of your care.
  20. Reasonable and equal access to care.
  21. Interpretation or special translation equipment when there is a language, communication or hearing barrier.
  22. Appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  23. Be free from restraints or seclusion of any form that are not medically necessary, or that are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  24. Be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  25. Receive care in a safe setting.
  26. Receive any visitors who you designate. Visitors can include, but are not limited to, a spouse, domestic partner (including same-sex domestic partner), family member or friend. You (or your designated support person) also have the right to deny visitation from any person(s) during your hospital stay.
  27. Have a family member or individual of your choice and your physician notified of your hospital admission.
  28. Be notified of outcomes of care, including unanticipated outcomes.

Your Patient Responsibilities  

As a patient of Winchester Hospital, you are expected to and have the responsibility to: 

  1. Provide accurate and complete information regarding health matters, including your present condition, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to your health. All changes in your condition should be reported to the appropriate practitioner.
  2. Ask questions if you do not understand what you have been told about your treatment plan, any consent forms you are asked to sign, and what you are expected to do.
  3. Follow the treatment plan recommended by your physician and to express any concerns regarding the ability to comply with the proposed course of treatment.
  4. Accept the outcomes associated with refusal of treatment or not following the practitioner’s instructions.
  5. Assure that all financial obligations of your health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
  6. Keep scheduled appointments. Let us know if you must cancel or reschedule.
  7. Be considerate of the rights of other patients and health care facility personnel. All visitors and patients are expected to follow our visiting and no smoking policies.
  8. Participate in the safe delivery of your care.

Your Right to Share Concerns or File a Complaint 

Patient Advocacy 

If you have questions or concerns about your stay, talk with the Patient Advocacy. Call 781-756-7159.

Your case manager communicates between you and the hospital staff. Call Case Management at 781-729-9000, ext. 2633.

Please read our grievance procedure and anti-discrimination notice.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

You have the right to directly contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights at: 

US Department of Health and Human Services
Centralized Case Management Operations
200 Independence Ave. S.W.
Room 509F HHH Building
Washington, DC 20201

Phone: 800-368-1019
TDD: 800-537-7697

External Agencies

You have the right to contact other agencies for any concerns related to the safety or quality of care provided:

The Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring
1 Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Phone: 630-792-5800
Fax: 630-792-5005

Medicare Recipients
5700 Lombardo Center Drive, Suite 100
Seven Hills, OH 44131

Toll-free: 888-319-8452
Local: 216-447-9604
Fax: 844-878-7921

Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Quality
Complaint Unit
99 Chauncy St., 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02111

Toll-free: 800-462-5540


Visit this site and search for consumer/resident/patient consumer form

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine
178 Albion St.
Wakefield, MA 01880