You and Your Healthcare Team

Your relationship with your healthcare team should be a partnership to make sure you get the best possible care.

What can you expect from your healthcare team?

Besides getting good quality medical care, you can expect to:

  • Be treated with respect, no matter your age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, or how you pay for services.
  • Have a say in choosing your healthcare providers and know who is taking care of you.
  • Be told about your illness, treatment, and likely outcomes before you decide about starting treatment or having a procedure.
  • Have things explained in your language, and in a way that meets your needs if you have problems hearing, reading, speaking, or understanding health information.
  • Have your privacy protected. Your medical records, information about your health, social, and financial status must be kept confidential. (State laws may require that suspected abuse and public health hazards be reported.)
  • Know the cost of treatment choices. This includes how much insurance will pay and how much you will have to pay.
  • Be able to agree or refuse to be a part of research studies.
  • Participate in plans for your care. You should be told of any changes in a plan before they are made.
  • Be able to refuse care. You should be told what may happen if you refuse care.
  • Bring up problems without fear. This includes things like care issues, trouble getting appointments or wanting to change your treatment.
  • Be able to have a friend or family member with you to help take notes. They can help you remember which questions to ask, and remember what was said. If you want someone to make decisions for you when you can’t, you can complete a Healthcare Power of Attorney.

What will your healthcare providers expect from you?

In order to provide quality care, your healthcare provider needs you to:

  • Give honest and complete information about your health. This includes:
    • Past illnesses and injuries
    • Medicines you take (including supplements, natural remedies, vitamins, and illegal drugs, if any)
    • Your health concerns, such as depression, trouble sleeping, or any symptoms that you have
  • Work with your provider to make a plan for your healthcare. For example:
    • Ask questions if you do not understand what your provider says. Ask for written instructions about tests, treatments, or changes you need to make.
    • Tell healthcare providers and other caregivers if you think you will have problems with your treatment. For example, if you cannot afford to take a medicine. Your provider may be able to help you find ways to pay for your medicine or other treatments you need.
    • Let your provider know when a treatment isn’t helping.
    • Get shots to prevent illnesses as recommended, such as a flu shot, pneumococcal shot, or tetanus shot.
    • Have tests to screen for cancer or other health problems as recommended.
    • Ask your provider if you should change your diet and what exercises you should or shouldn’t do.
    • If you smoke or use illegal drugs, talk to your provider about help to quit.
    • Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.
  • Understand and respect that healthcare providers must also take care of other patients.
  • Give up-to-date insurance information or work with healthcare providers to set up a plan to pay for health services. If you are worried about cost, say so.

Most healthcare organizations and facilities have their own version of your rights as a patient. Ask your provider or hospital for a copy of this document, or check their Web site.

There are federal laws that cover your rights. You can find more information at:

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-12-01
Last reviewed: 2014-12-01
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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