Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patient Bill of Rights

As a patient at Charles A. Cannon Jr. Memorial Hospital and/or Watauga Medical Center, you are a partner in your hospital care. When you are well informed, help make decisions, and talk openly with hospital staff, you help make your care better. This list tells you in everyday terms all the ways this facility respects each person. Please ask your nurse or social worker if you would like a copy of the official patient rights.

  1. You have the right to respectful care, no matter these factors:
    • Age
    • Race
    • Color
    • Religion
    • Culture
    • Language
    • Physical or mental challenges
    • Income level
    • Education level
    • Whether you are male or female
    • Whether you are gay or straight
    • Whether you are transgender or not
    • National origin
    • Source of payment
  2. You have the right to receive a written list of your rights and duties.
  3. You have the right to respectful care that honors your values and beliefs. You have the right to care in a safe setting, by people who know and care about what they are doing.
  4. You have the right to have your religious and spiritual beliefs and values respected.
  5. You have the right to know the name and role of all your caregivers.
  6. You have the right to privacy in your medical care. Care discussions, exams, and treatments will be done in ways that protect your dignity.
  7. You have the right to keep and use your own items as space permits, and when they do not hinder your care or the rights of others.
  8. You have the right to share a room with your husband or wife if you are both in the same facility, if you both agree, and if the arrangement does not risk your care and safety.
  9. You have the right to be free from all forms of abuse. Restraints will only be used to keep you and others safe, and must be removed as soon as possible.
  10. If English is not your first language, you have the right to an interpreter who speaks your language.
  11. You have the right to receive information you can understand if you have trouble with speech, vision, hearing, or understanding.
  12. You have the right for emergency procedures to be done without unnecessary delay.
  13. You have the right not to be woken up by hospital staff unless it is necessary.
  14. You have the right not to get unnecessary procedures.
  15. You have the right to treatment that avoids unnecessary discomfort.
  16. You have the right to be told, in terms that make sense, all information about your condition and treatment, including other options and possible problems. When it is not possible to give the information to you, it will be explained to your next of kin.
  17. You have the right to agree to, refuse, or stop any treatment that is offered. Your doctor will talk with you about what might happen if you take or do not take those treatments. Except for emergencies, a doctor must get your permission before beginning any treatment.
  18. You have the right to help make decisions in your care and to be told before any changes are made.
  19. You have the right to choose which visitors you want, at any time during your stay, except when a doctor says your care requires limiting visitors.
  20. You have the right to fill out advance orders including a Living Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney, and organ and tissue donation requests, and for staff to follow those written wishes.
  21. You have the right to have a family member and your own doctor told that you are in the hospital. You have the right to choose someone to be with you to provide emotional support during your stay. These privileges may be put on hold if the visitor hinders your care and safety, or the rights of others.
  22. You have the right to have your medical records read only by people with a need to know. Information about you will be released only with your permission, or if it is required or allowed by law.
  23. You have the right to request and see your medical record promptly, unless the doctor limits access for medical reasons.
  24. You have the right to ask for changes to your medical record and to know who outside the facility has seen your record.
  25. You have the right to agree or not agree to take part in research. Doctors must get your permission before the research starts. You may refuse to take part or stop taking part in research at any time without losing your access to other appropriate care.
  26. If you ask, you have the right to get help finding a second opinion with another doctor. This may be at your own expense.
  27. You have the right to be moved to another facility when needed. The need will be explained, as well as other choices you have. The other facility must accept you before you are moved.
  28. You have the right to receive a clear explanation of your bill.
  29. You have the right to know about financial help for your health care costs.
  30. You have the right to understand your health care needs after discharge.
  31. You have the right to contact any individual or agency whose job is to protect your rights.
  32. You have the right to have your concerns and complaints reviewed by the facility. You may share your concerns by calling the Compliance/ Risk Management Department at 828-262-4239.

 

Patient Responsibilities

  1. You should be honest and complete when you tell doctors and nurses about your health. Include these items:
    • Past illnesses
    • Other hospital stays
    • Current complaints
    • Use of medicine
    • Risks in your care
    • Unexpected changes in your condition
    • What you need from hospital staff
    • You should report pain and help your doctors and nurses assess your pain.
  2. You should ask questions when you do not understand information or instructions.
  3. You should follow instructions and accept the costs of your personal choices.
  4. You should tell your doctor if you don’t think you can follow your treatment plan.
  5. You and your visitors should be considerate and respectful of hospital staff and property. You should also respect the needs of other patients and visitors and their property. You should follow the rules of the facility, including not smoking.
  6. You and your family should provide information for insurance and pay your hospital bills. You can ask for payment options when needed.
  7. You should recognize the effect of your life choices on your health.
  8. You should keep appointments and tell the appropriate health care office when you are unable to do so.
  9. You and your family should assist staff to keep you safe:
    • Follow staff safety instructions
    • Keep your name band on at all times
    • Help staff know who you are so they know they have the right person
    • Wash your hands and follow instructions to keep infections from spreading
    • Tell staff when alarms are making noise in your room

Inclement Weather Plan & Closings

Inclement Weather Plan & Closings

ARHS Closings and Cancellations

(828) 262-4346 or
(855) 812-8369 toll free

When an Inclement Weather Warning has been issued, please call the ARHS Inclement Weather phone line and/or visit the ARHS website to see if the Inclement Weather Plan has been activated before leaving home for your appointment.

What does it mean for patients?

Inclement Weather Plan Activated

For the safety of our patients and staff, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) outpatient facilities may be closed. A list of the outpatient facilities that may be affected in the event of inclement weather are listed below

Medical Offices and Outpatient Facilities: Contact the outpatient facility to reschedule your appointment.

Inpatient Units at Cannon Memorial Hospital and Watauga Medical Center do not close during inclement weather.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 7 days week. If you have an emergency, please proceed to your nearest emergency room or call 911.

AppUrgent Care Walk-In Care for patients with non-life threatening illness or injury: Open these hours, even during inclement weather. Monday-Friday 8 am – 7 pm, Saturday-Sunday 9 am – 5 pm.

 

Which facilities are affected?

During inclement weather events, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) outpatient facilities may close early, delay opening or be closed an entire day. The following is a list of locations and services that may be affected.

 

Follow Appalachian Regional Healthcare System on Facebook and Twitter at @apprhs for the latest updates.

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Facilities are operating on a normal schedule unless otherwise noted.

Emergency & Urgent Care

AppUrgent – OPEN

Baker Center Walk-in Clinic – 2-hour delay

Cannon Memorial Hospital – OPEN

Watauga Medical Center – OPEN

 

Appalachian Regional Medical Associates

AppGastro – 2-hour delay

Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists – 2-hour delay

AppOrtho – 2-hour delay

Baker Center for Primary Care – 2-hour delay

Boone Urology Center – 2-hour delay

Davant Medical Clinic — 2-hour delay

Elk River Medical Associates — 2-hour delay

Grandfather Specialty Clinic — 2-hour delay

Harmony Center for Women — 2-hour delay

Jefferson Specialty Clinic — 2-hour delay

Tate Clinic — 2-hour delay

Watauga Surgical Group — 2-hour delay

 

Outpatient Services

Appalachian Regional Behavioral Health — 2-hour delay

Appalachian Regional Outpatient Imaging and Lab Center — 2-hour delay

Appalachian Regional Pain Management Center — 2-hour delay

Cardiac Diagnostic Testing (CDT) — 2-hour delay

The Cardiology Center — 2-hour delay

Outpatient Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation — 2-hour delay

Outpatient Behavioral Health — 2-hour delay

Outpatient Cardiopulmonary — 2-hour delay

The Rehabilitation Center — 2-hour delay

Seby B. Jones Cancer Center — 2-hour delay

Surgical and Anesthesia Services — OPEN

The Sleep Center at Watauga Medical Center — 2-hour delay

THRIVE: Transition to Wellness — 2-hour delay

The Wound Care Center — 2-hour delay

When an Inclement Weather Warning has been issued, please call the ARHS Inclement Weather phone line and/or visit the ARHS website to see if the Inclement Weather Plan has been activated before leaving home for your appointment.

What does it mean for patients?

Inclement Weather Plan Activated

For the safety of our patients and staff, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) outpatient facilities may be closed. A list of the outpatient facilities that may be affected in the event of inclement weather are listed below

Medical Offices and Outpatient Facilities: Contact the outpatient facility to reschedule your appointment.

Inpatient Units at Cannon Memorial Hospital and Watauga Medical Center do not close during inclement weather.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 7 days week. If you have an emergency, please proceed to your nearest emergency room or call 911.

AppUrgent Care Walk-In Care for patients with non-life threatening illness or injury: Open these hours, even during inclement weather. Monday-Friday 8 am – 7 pm, Saturday-Sunday 9 am – 5 pm.

 

Which facilities are affected?

During inclement weather events, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) outpatient facilities may close early, delay opening or be closed an entire day. The following is a list of locations and services that may be affected.

 

Follow Appalachian Regional Healthcare System on Facebook and Twitter at @apprhs for the latest updates.

Plan My Stay

Welcome patients

A hospital stay can be an overwhelming time for everyone involved. Our goal is to provide you with information before, during, and after your stay so that your experience will be a smooth one. You can concentrate on recovery and taking care of yourself, not struggling with a confusing healthcare landscape.

If you need help after you’re admitted, you can ask to speak with your care manager. Your care manager is your advocate and is available to help you with any questions you may have about your treatment, insurance plans, and community resources. You can speak freely with your care manager about any questions or concerns you may have.

General Visitor Guidelines

We encourage visitors for emotional support and recovery. To provide a restful and safe environment, we ask that all visitors comply with the following guidelines:

  • Be considerate of other patients by keeping noise to a minimum.
  • Refrain from visiting if you have a cold, sore throat or any contagious disease.
  • Observe “No Visiting” and precaution signs before entering the room.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Leave the room during tests or treatments if asked.

Visiting Hours

General visiting hours are from 8:30 am – 8:30 pm. Each area of the hospital has its own visiting times, which are posted in the waiting areas of those units and made available to families. Nighttime visits can be arranged by contacting the nursing staff.

For the safety and security of our patients and staff, we limit access to and within our facilities from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am. At night and on weekends, the facilities are only accessible through the Emergency Department entrance. Any visitor wishing to go pass the Emergency Department waiting area must sign in at the Emergency Department Front Desk and wear a visitor pass that will be issued to them when they sign in.

Waiting Areas

Waiting areas are available throughout each facility. Ask a staff member for the area closest to your location.

Watauga Medical Center Birthing Center Visitation Guidelines

The birth of a baby is an important event for all members of a family. The visitation guidelines are developed to provide time for new parents to interact and bond with their newborn with as much privacy as they wish, to allow sufficient time for necessary nursing care, and to provide necessary access to the patient and newborn in an emergency. Please share these guidelines with family and friends who may wish to visit.

  • During labor, until the pushing stage, family and friends may visit at any time, with the approval of the patient. If a patient desires privacy and limited visitation, her requests will be respected and enforced.
  • During the pushing and delivery stages, up to three support people of the patient’s choice may remain in the room. Support people must be age 13 or older. Siblings may remain in the room with adult supervision. (The adult should be someone other than the patient’s primary support person.)
  • During the first hour after birth, only the father or significant other may visit. This is to allow time for new parents to take in and bond with their new baby. For the remainder of the recovery period, up to three support people may visit, as during labor and delivery.
  • Only one support person may be present in the operating room during a Cesarean Section. This is necessary to protect the sterile field and ensure that all necessary care providers will have room to work in an emergency.

Emergencies may arise at any time. For this reason, hallways must be kept clear to allow needed staff quick access to mothers and babies. Visitors may not wait in the hallway outside the patient’s room or the C-section room. They may wait in the waiting area near the elevators, or by the nursery windows. Staff members will be happy to convey information to visitors in the waiting area at the request of the patient.

  • During the period after recovery until discharge, family and friends may visit with the parent’s approval. Visitors must wash their hands thoroughly before touching the mother or baby.
  • Quiet Time: After delivery, the hours of 2-4pm are designated as a rest time for new parents. No visitors are permitted unless specifically requested by the new mother.
  • Newborn babies do not have a fully developed immune system, and may become quite sick from routine infections. For this reason, visits from children under 13 who are not siblings are discouraged. Anyone who has a cold or other possibly contagious illness or who has recently been exposed to a contagious illness should not visit.

Visitors may be asked to step out of the room at any time if doctors and nurses need to provide care to the patient, or if a medical emergency arises.

More information

Going Home & Follow-up Care

As a patient of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, we want to set you up for ongoing health success! We want to do everything we can to prevent you from being readmitted once you’re discharged. While you’re in the hospital, your Care Management Team will advocate for you and help plan for discharge. Read More: Going Home & Follow-up Care

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Get Help and Support

Get Help and Support

We know that navigating the complicated and changing world of healthcare can be a challenge. That’s why we offer services to assist you medically, financially, spiritually, and physically.

Our goal is to provide the best patient care. If at any time you have questions or concerns about the quality of care that you or a family member are receiving or have received at one of our facilities, do not hesitate to speak with your nurse or nursing supervisor. If you feel that your issue wasn’t resolved, please call the quality department at (828) 262-4239. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System seeks to provide prompt review and timely resolution of concerns from its inpatients and outpatients.

Scroll down to learn more about the following support services:

Quality of Care

Our goal is to provide the best patient care. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System seeks to provide prompt review and timely resolution of concerns from its inpatients and outpatients. Learn about our quality assurance measures. Read More: Quality of Care

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Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care offers a professional chaplain presence throughout the clinical areas of Watauga Medical Center. Professional chaplains also are available by request at The Foley Center for Chestnut Ridge. Read More: Pastoral Care

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Care Management

The care management team consists of medical social workers and licensed registered nurses. Your care manager is your advocate and is available to help you with any questions you may have about your treatment, insurance plans, and community resources. Read More: Care Management

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Safety and Security

Your ID Bracelet

As a patient, you will receive a special identification (ID) bracelet that states your name and hospital number, your physician’s name and other important information. Your ID bracelet will be checked often during your stay. Please wear it at all times to prevent delays with important lab tests, X-rays and various other tests and treatments.

If your ID bracelet is damaged or lost, please let your nurse know immediately.

 

Patient Safety Team

Fall Prevention

Click to enlarge

We encourage you and your family to become part of our patient safety team. For our patient safety program to be successful, we need you to be fully informed and actively involved in your care.

We are asking your assistance in the following areas:

  • We need you to provide accurate and complete information about your condition.
  • We want you to clearly understand your diagnosis and treatment plan so that you know what to expect.
  • We need you to keep us informed of any changes in your condition.
  • We need you to ask questions if you have any concerns about your care.

While you are a patient you can expect that we will:

  • Check your ID bracelet before giving you medications or doing a procedure.
  • Wash our hands frequently to help prevent infections.
  • Explain things clearly and completely.
  • Ask if you are having pain and help manage your pain if present.

If at any time you have concerns about your care, please let your nurse or your doctor know.

If you have suggestions for improvements or concerns that you do not feel have been addressed, please call the risk management department at (828) 262-4239.

4 Steps to Fall Prevention

You may be surprised to know that falls are the leading cause of accidents for people over the age of 65. We ask you and your family to help us prevent you from falling while you are in the hospital. These are things you can do to make your stay in the hospital safer: If you are wearing a…

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Hospital Police

The Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Police Department is committed to the safety and security of the patients, visitors, staff, and the public that utilize all the facilities that make up Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. Read More: Hospital Police

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Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval    Commission on Cancer Accredited Program   Certified_Urgent_Care Patient Centered Medical Home    American-Hospital-Association-logo