Patients Rights & Responsibilities

Swedish wants you to be aware of your rights as a patient. We believe your patient rights are important, and therefore we state them here for you and your family or loved ones to review. We will do everything possible to make sure that your rights are respected.

As a patient at Swedish, you have the right:

  • To request, receive or refuse visitors at your (or your representative’s) discretion, unless there is a clinically necessary or reasonable restriction/limitation.
  • To be treated with courtesy, dignity and respect by all hospital staff.
  • To have your personal, cultural and spiritual values and beliefs supported when making a decision about treatment.
  • To have someone of your choice and your physician notified promptly of your inpatient admission to the hospital.
  • To talk about any complaints you have about your care without fear of getting poor treatment. To have your concerns reviewed in a timely manner with assistance or advocacy as required and, when possible, resolved
  • in a timely manner. You have the right to be informed in writing of the response to your concerns.
  • To know the name and title of your caregivers.
  • To know if your care involves the training of health care providers. You have the right to agree or refuse to participate.
  • To receive complete and current information about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in terms you can understand. All explanations should include:
    • a description of the procedure or treatment and why it would be done
    • the possible benefits
    • the known serious side effects, risks or drawbacks
    • problems during recovery
    • the chances of success
    • other procedures or treatments that could be done
  • To an interpreter or communication aid if you do not speak English, English is your second language, or you are deaf, hard of hearing, have vision issues, cognitive impairment, or have speech disabilities. Communication will be tailored to your age and your needs. Interpreter services and assistive devices are provided free of charge.
  • To help your physicians and other health care givers in planning your care.
  • To be informed of the results of treatment, positive and negative, expected or unexpected.
  • To be able to receive and read your medical records in a reasonable period of time and to a description of everything in your records.
  • To refuse any procedure, drug or treatment and to be informed of the possible results of your decision.
  • To be free from restraint or seclusion imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation. Restraint or seclusion will only be used to ensure the immediate physical safety of the patient, staff, or other people in the hospital, and will be discontinued as soon as the behavior no longer poses a safety threat.
  • To make advance treatment directives, such as Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Wills, or Physician’s Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST), and to have caregivers follow your wishes. Additional information is available upon request.
  • To personal privacy, to the extent consistent with your care needs. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment will be conducted to protect each patient’s privacy.
  • To know the physician who is mainly in charge of your care, as well as any physicians who might be consulting on your case.
  • To have all communications and records related to your care kept confidential.
  • Not to be discriminated against because of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or source of payment and other factors in admission, treatment or participation in programs or services. This statement is informed by a variety of federal and state regulations.
  • To supportive care, including appropriate assessment and management of pain, treatment of uncomfortable symptoms and support of your emotional and spiritual needs, regardless of your medical status or treatment decisions.
  • To receive care in a safe setting, and to be free from any forms of abuse or harassment. To access protective services.
  • To request help (including family or visitor requests) from the Swedish Ethics Committee regarding ethical issues surrounding your care.
  • To be moved to another facility at your request or when medically appropriate and legally permissible. You have a right to be given a complete explanation about why you need to be moved and if there are other options. The facility to which you will be moved must first accept you as a patient.
  • To know if your care involves research or experimental methods of treatment, and to be protected during research and clinical trials. You have the right to agree or refuse to participate. Refusing to participate will not prevent access to any care at Swedish.
  • To be informed during your hospital stay of patient-care options when hospital care is no longer needed. You have the right to participate in planning for when you leave the hospital.
  • To examine your bill and receive an explanation of the charges regardless of how you pay for your care.
  • To know about hospital policy, procedures, rules or regulations applicable to your care.
  • To have you or your representative make informed decisions regarding your care.
  • To include family members or significant others in your care decisions.
  • To have access to, request to make amendments to, and obtain information on disclosures of your health information, in accordance with applicable law.
  • To be informed about unanticipated outcomes of care, treatment and services.
  • To assign someone, legally, to exercise the rights listed above on your behalf, if you are unable to exercise them.

Patient Responsibilities

At Swedish, we want you to play an active role in your health care. As a patient, you have a responsibility to:

  • Provide complete and accurate information about your medical history and communication needs to those involved in your care.
  • Take part in decisions about your care and treatment.
  • Ask questions about unfamiliar practices and procedures.
  • Inform your physician or nurse of any changes in your health.
  • Follow your treatment plan of care.
  • Be considerate of other patients and ensure that your visitors are equally thoughtful.
  • Respect hospital policies and staff.
  • Arrange payment methods for your hospitalization.
  • Be respectful of your caregivers and obey hospital regulations; this will help us provide you with a safe environment where we can give you the best care possible. In rare instances where patients jeopardize our safe environment and can’t respect our employees, the physician is notified and discharge may occur.

Comments or Concerns

There is a complaint procedure in which patients may participate without fear of jeopardizing their care. If you have concerns or complaints about any part of your care at Swedish, please feel free to speak with any manager or staff member on the unit or in your clinic. You may also contact:

Swedish Medical Center (First Hill, Ballard, Cherry Hill, Issaquah, Edmonds, Ambulatory Care Centers – Mill Creek, Redmond)
Clinical Quality Investigations (clinical-care issues)
747 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122-4307
206-386-2111 or ext. 62111 (from an in-house phone)

Swedish Medical Group (clinics)
Direct concerns to the clinic manager 
Patient Relations: 206-215-2979 or

You also have the right to contact the Washington State Department of Health or Det Norske Veritas.

Washington State Department of Health
Health System Quality Assurance 
Complaint Intake
P.O. Box 47857
Olympia, WA 98504-7857

Det Norske Veritas (DNV) 
DNV-GL Healthcare
ATTN:  Hospital Complaints
400 Techne Center Dr  #100
Milford, OH  45150

If you are a Medicare beneficiary and have a complaint regarding quality of care, your Medicare coverage or want to appeal a premature discharge, you may contact Livanta:

Livanta LLC
Phone: 1-877-588-1123 5 a.m.-8 p.m. PST
Fax: 1-855-694-2929

RWS15-55532 6/15