As a patient, you have these Rights and Responsibilities. If you have any questions about these rights and responsibilities, please call Customer Service. For questions related to Main Campus call 614-293-8944 or 3-8944. For those related to University Hospital East, call 614-257-2310 or 7-2310. 

If you are unable to ask about your rights, your guardian or other legally responsible person may do so on your behalf.

Patient Rights

As a patient, you have the right to:

  • Receive medical care. You have the right to receive medical care no matter what your race, sex, beliefs, country of birth, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability or source of payment.
  • Be treated with dignity and respect. You have the right to be free of any abuse, neglect, shame, and/or feeling like you are being taken advantage of or revenge from those providing care to you.
  • Have your values and beliefs respected. Please let us know if you have cultural or religious practices that need to be part of your care. You have the right to get help for special needs. This could include special meals because of religious or cultural practices.
  • Have accessibility services. This may include reasonable access to an interpreter to communicate with your healthcare team in the language you prefer, have reasonable access to translated materials, large print, TTY phones, amplifier and other devices that can aide in improving communication.
  • Use clothing and other personal items. You may bring in your own clothing and other personal items as long as they are safe and not offensive to others. You will have use of a telephone and may receive mail. Phone contact, mail and visitors may be limited at times because of your medical condition. If there are questions about these, please talk to the nurse, social worker or your doctor.
  • Have visitors of your choice. You can ask staff to help limit your visitors to certain people or times. Hospital policy says visitors may be limited if required for your health or safety, or the safety of other patients or staff. Please ask for a copy of the policy if you want more information.
  • Receive age-appropriate care and education. Children who are patients have the right to care and education that meets their age and developmental needs.
  • Expect personal privacy. You can expect privacy in care discussions, exams and treatments.
  • Keep your medical records private. You have the right to have your medical records and plans for your care kept private. Your medical record will not be given to anyone without your consent, except when required by law or by your insurance plan.
  • Keep your identity private. You can expect that any images or recordings with information that could identify you will be kept private.
  • Know who is caring for you. You have the right to know who is caring for you and what their position is at the hospital. Ask members of your health care team to tell you their name, and what care they will give to you. All hospital staff should be wearing ID badges.
  • Receive clear communication. You have the right to receive information about your care given to you in a way that you can understand. If you are not sure what you have been told or have been given in writing, ask a member of your health care team to go over the information again with you. We need your approval to share any information about your health, your care or your treatment with family and friends.
  • A safe and clean environment. You have the right to a safe, clean and secure environment while you are in the hospital.
  • Report concerns regarding care and safety. You have the right to report concerns or complaints about your care and safety and receive help to resolve your concerns.
  • Request hospital policies. You have the right to know the rules and policies of the hospital that involve your care during your hospital stay. These include the policies for visitors, safety and no tobacco use.
  • Participate in decisions about your care. You have the right to make decisions about your care, treatment and services, including refusing treatment.
  • Give or refuse consent for treatment. You have the right to know the risks, benefits and other options for treatment before you give consent for treatment, except in an emergency situation.
  • Have your pain evaluated and managed. Your healthcare team will ask you about your pain and will help you with pain management.
  • Get a second opinion. If you are not sure about your care or treatment plan, you may ask for the advice of another doctor or care team member.
  • Complete advance directives. You have the right to complete advance directives that can include a living will, do not resuscitate (DNR) order and durable power of attorney for health care. The durable power of attorney for health care allows you to identify another person to make decisions about your care if you are not able to for any reason. You can ask for help to complete an advance directive. 
  • Receive written discharge instructions. You have the right to receive written discharge instructions from your doctor about your follow-up care before leaving the hospital.
  • Request a meeting with the Hospital Ethics Committee. You or your family can ask for this help to discuss issues about your care.
  • See your medical record. Your doctor can review your record with you in the hospital, if you ask. After you leave the hospital, you can call the office of Medical Information Management to get your records. You can also ask for changes or corrections to your record based on laws and rules.
  • Receive information about the cost for your treatment and payment options. If you have questions about your hospital bill, please ask to talk to a financial assistance counselor.
  • Choose whether or not you want to be part of clinical trials or educational programs. Research to improve health is part of the mission of Ohio State’s Medical Center. We may use patient information in research but we will not identify patients unless we have their permission.
  • Receive information about transfers. You have the right to receive information about a transfer to another doctor, unit or facility before it happens.

Special Situations:

  • If you are a patient in for rehabilitation in Dodd Hall and you are no longer able to progress toward your goals, the doctor and the rehab team will talk with you about a different treatment plan in another setting for you.
  • Psychiatric and correctional facility patient rights are specific to your situation and those rights will be available to you.

Patient Responsibilities

As a patient you are expected to:

  • Give your doctor and others treating you full information about your health and any changes you have to your condition.
  • Ask questions when you do not understand your treatment or what you are to do for your care.
  • Tell your nurse before you leave your room or the floor.
  • Be considerate of the rights and property of other patients and personnel.
  • Follow the rules of Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center. For example:
    • No smoking or use of tobacco products is allowed inside or outside the hospital buildings by patients, visitors or staff.
    • No recording or taking pictures of care being provided to you or other patients can be taken by you or your visitors.
  • Follow the treatment plan. Tell your doctor or nurse of any concerns you have about your care so adjustments can be made. If you choose not to follow instructions, you are responsible for the outcome.
  • Pay your medical bills in a timely manner. If you have questions or concerns, you may talk with a financial assistance counselor.

Complaints or Concerns

We would like to help you get any complaint or concern resolved quickly and to your satisfaction. First, share this with your nurse, social worker, doctor or unit manager. If you are not able to solve your concerns this way or if you would like some help, you may call Customer Service at 614-293-8944. A representative will talk with you about your concerns or complaints. They will also serve as an advocate to help with communication between you and the people involved.

Although most concerns can be resolved through this process, if you feel you need more help, you may contact:

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH)..........................800-342-0553
TDD: 614-752-6490

The Joint Commission..................................................800-994-6610

U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services Office for Civil Rights......................................312-886-2359
(Region V-Ohio)..........................................................TDD: 800-537-7697

Ohio Department of Mental Health................................614-466-2596
TDD: 614-752-9696

Ohio Legal Rights Service.............................................614-466-7264
TDD: 614-728-2553

KePRO Inc. (Medicare patients with
concerns regarding discharge)..................................... 216-447-9604

The Facility Complaint Hotline......................................800-669-3534