The Patients’ Bill of Rights is a set of rules that spells out patients’ rights and demands when obtaining medical care, and it was created by the American Hospital Association. These rights include the ability to expect continuity of care, the ability to expect compassionate and respectful treatment, the ability to participate in care decisions, the ability to expect the secrecy of medical information, and the ability to voice complaints without fear of retaliation. In order to guarantee that patients receive the greatest care and are treated with respect and dignity, these rights are crucial. Healthcare professionals can ensure that patient’s rights are upheld and protected by implementing a number of strategies (Vergallo et al., 2021). Firstly, transparent and effective communication is key. Healthcare professionals should communicate clearly and respectfully with patients and involve them in decision-making about their care. This entails giving patients accurate and thorough information regarding their diagnosis, available treatments, and any associated risks and benefits. It also entails being receptive to queries and worries and responding to them in a timely and respectful manner.
Secondly, privacy and confidentiality are critical. Healthcare professionals must respect patients’ privacy and keep their medical information confidential. This means taking appropriate measures to protect patients’ personal information and only sharing it with authorized parties. Furthermore, healthcare professionals should encourage patients to express their concerns and address any complaints or grievances in a timely manner. Thirdly, continuity of care is essential. Healthcare professionals should coordinate with other healthcare providers to ensure that patients receive seamless care. They should also work to ensure that patients receive the appropriate follow-up care and support to ensure that they continue to improve.
Another way in which healthcare professionals can ensure that patient’s rights are upheld and protected is by providing patient education and empowerment. This means providing patients with the knowledge and tools they need to take an active role in their own health and healthcare. Patient education can include providing information on healthy lifestyle choices, medication management, and understanding the healthcare system. Empowerment can include providing patients with access to their medical records and giving them the opportunity to provide input on their care plans (Spencer & Patel, 2019).
Finally, healthcare professionals should be proactive in ensuring that the facility’s policies and procedures align with the Patients’ Bill of Rights. This means regularly reviewing and updating policies and procedures to ensure that they align with the Patients’ Bill of Rights. Additionally, healthcare facilities should have a clear complaint process and be responsive to patients’ concerns. In addition to these specific actions, healthcare professionals should also strive to maintain a culture of patient-centered care within their organization. This includes treating patients with dignity and respect and placing the needs of patients at the forefront of all decision-making. It also includes promoting a continuous improvement culture and actively seeking and implementing feedback from patients and other stakeholders.
In conclusion, the American Hospital Association’s Patients’ Bill of Rights is a crucial set of guidelines that outlines the rights and expectations of patients when receiving medical care. Healthcare professionals can ensure that patient’s rights are upheld and protected by implementing strategies such as clear and effective communication, respect for privacy and confidentiality, continuity of care, and regular review and updating of policies and procedures. By following these guidelines, healthcare professionals can provide patients with the best possible care and treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Spencer, A., & Patel, S. (2019). Applying the data protection act 2018 and general data protection regulation principles in healthcare settings. Nursing Management, 26(1).
Vergallo, G. M., Zaami, S., & Marinelli, E. (2021). The COVID-19 pandemic and contact tracing technologies, between upholding the right to health and personal data protection. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 25(5), 2449-2456.
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