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  Hospitalized Patients’ Rights was established in 1972 and was a collaborative effort often attributed to the American Hospital Association and various

 

Hospitalized Patients’ Rights was established in 1972 and was a collaborative effort often attributed to the American Hospital Association and various advocacy patient groups. Bedolla (1990)

It adheres to traditional ethical principles such as beneficence, justice, autonomy, respect, dignity, and confidentiality, among others. American Hospital Association (2018)

Ensuring patients’ rights are upheld and Protection is paramount in healthcare. Healthcare professionals play a vital role in safeguarding these rights through various means:

1. Informed Consent: Healthcare professionals must ensure that patients understand the risks, benefits, and alternatives of medical treatments before consenting to them. This includes explaining procedures in layman’s terms, discussing potential side effects, and answering any questions the patient may have.

2. Confidentiality: Protecting patient confidentiality is crucial. Healthcare professionals must uphold HIPAA regulations and maintain strict confidentiality regarding patient information. This includes securing medical records and only sharing information on a need-to-know basis and obtaining patient consent before disclosing any personal health information.

3. Respect and Dignity: Healthcare professionals should treat patients with respect, dignity, and empathy. This involves addressing patients by their preferred name, actively listening to their concerns, and involving them in decision-making regarding their care.

4. Autonomy: Patients have the right to decide about their healthcare. Healthcare professionals should respect patients’ autonomy and involve them in decision-making. This may include: discussing treatment options, risks, and benefits, and supporting patients in making informed decisions that align with their values and preferences.

5. Non-Discrimination: Healthcare professionals must provide care to all patients without discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics. Every patient deserves access to high-quality healthcare, regardless of their background.

6. Patient Education: Educating patients about their rights is essential. Healthcare professionals should inform patients about their rights regarding informed consent, confidentiality, and access to medical records, and the right to refuse treatment. Empowering patients with knowledge allows them to advocate for themselves and participate actively in their care.

7. Conflict Resolution: In cases where there is a disagreement between healthcare providers and patients regarding treatment plans or other issues, healthcare professionals should engage in open communication and seek to resolve conflicts respectfully. This may involve mediation ethics committees or seeking guidance from legal experts when necessary.

8. Advance Directives: Healthcare professionals should discuss advance directives with patients, allowing them to document their preferences regarding end-of-life care in advance. This ensures that the patient’s wishes are respected even if they become unable to communicate or make decisions for themselves.

9. Continuous Advocacy: Healthcare professionals should advocate for patients’ rights within the healthcare system. This may involve addressing systemic issues, such as disparities in access to care, advocating for policy changes to protect patient’s rights, and speaking up against injustices that affect patient care.

By upholding these principles, healthcare professionals can ensure that patients’ rights are respected. protected and upheld throughout the healthcare journey, promoting trust, collaboration and positive outcomes for all involved.

References

Bedolla, M. (1990). The Patient’s Bill of Rights of the American Hospital Association: A Reflection. The Linacre Quarterly, 57(3), 33–37. 

American Hospital Association. (2018). Patient’s Bill of Rights. Retrieved from

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