MelroseWakefield Healthcare adopts and augments the Patients’ Bill of Rights (under Section 70E of Chapter 111 of the Massachusetts General Laws), supports the standards of the American Hospital Association (approved 2/6/1973), and executes the Health Care Proxy Law (M.G.L. Chapter 201D).

Summarized below are your rights and responsibilities under federal law and the Massachusetts Patients’ Bill of Rights.

Patient Rights

  1. To care regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, veteran’s status, disability, status with regard to public assistance, membership or activity in a local commission, political affiliation, or place of residence.
  2. To obtain the name and specialty of the doctor or other person responsible for your care or the coordination of your care.
  3. Upon request, to receive an explanation as to the relationship, if any, of this hospital and your doctor to any other healthcare facility or educational institution, insofar as any such relationship relates to your care.
  4. To prompt lifesaving treatment in an emergency without discrimination on account of economic status or source of payment.
  5. To participate in the development and implementation of your inpatient care plan and your discharge planning.
  6. To have a family member or representative of your choice and your own physician notified of your admission to the hospital.
  7. To choose who may visit you during your hospital stay subject to certain clinical restrictions and limitations. You may also deny or withdraw such consent at any time.
  8. To personal dignity and, to the extent reasonably possible, to privacy during medical treatment and other care.
  9. To a prompt response to all reasonable requests.
  10. To pain management.
  11. To expect that your values, beliefs, and cultural and religious background will be respected and you may exercise those beliefs as long as they do not interfere with the well-being of others.
  12. To receive all information necessary for you to give consent or refuse treatment prior to any procedures or treatment (informed consent).
  13. To participate in consideration of ethical issues that arise and to be included in any ethical discussion in the provision of your care.
  14. To request pastoral and other spiritual services.
  15. To refuse to participate as a research subject.
  16. To request and receive information about financial assistance and free health care.
  17. To prompt and safe transfer to a facility that agrees to provide treatment, if refused treatment for economic status or lack of a source of payment.
  18. To leave against medical advice, unless you have a contagious infection that may endanger others or are unable to maintain your own safety, as defined by law; but if you leave, you will be asked to sign a form stating that your departure is against medical advice and that your doctor and the hospital will not be responsible for any harm that your discharge may cause.
  19. To obtain a copy of any rules or regulations of this hospital that may apply to your conduct as a patient.
  20. All records and communication concerning your care and treatment are confidential and no other person or agency other than those directly concerned or authorized by law may have access to those records without your permission.
  21. Upon request, to inspect your medical records, request an amendment to, or receive an accounting of disclosures regarding personal health information, and for a reasonable fee, receive a copy of your record.
  22. To receive a copy of your medical record free if you show that your request is to support a claim or appeal under any provisions of the Social Security Act in any federal or state financial needs-based benefit program.
  23. If you are a female rape victim of childbearing age, to receive medically and factually accurate written information prepared by the Commissioner of Public Health about emergency contraception; to be promptly offered emergency contraception; and to be provided with emergency contraception upon request.
  24. Upon request, to receive an itemized explanation of your medical bill.

Patient Responsibilities

  1. To keep appointments made for you at the facility and to telephone when you cannot keep them.
  2. To provide MelroseWakefield Healthcare with all personal information necessary to the delivery and administration of care. When you come to the hospital, bring with you information about past illnesses and medical history, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to your health.
  3. To communicate to the doctors, nurses and staff significant matters that concern you or that may affect your condition or the care rendered.
  4. To cooperate with those involved with your care and to respect and follow reasonably prescribed instructions.
  5. To take an active role in the medication process. Help the staff to prevent medication errors by providing current information, asking questions and being an informed consumer.
  6. To be considerate of other patients and to see that your visitors are as well. Particular attention should be paid to rules governing visiting hours, noise, smoking, and the use of personal electrical appliances/devices.
  7. To respect MelroseWakefield Healthcare property.
  8. To provide whatever financial and health insurance information is necessary for the processing of your bill and to be prompt about payment of outstanding charges.
  9. To ask your doctor or nurse what to expect regarding pain and pain management, discuss pain relief options with your doctor and nurse, work with your doctor and nurse to develop a pain management plan, ask for pain relief when pain first begins, help your doctor and nurse assess your pain, tell your doctor or nurse if your pain is not relieved, and tell your doctor or nurse about any worries you have about taking pain medication.
  10. To support mutual consideration and respect by maintaining civil language and conduct in interactions with staff and licensed independent practitioners.

Contact Information

Any person who feels that his or her rights have been violated may contact:

Director, Quality & Patient Safety
MelroseWakefield Healthcare
585 Lebanon Street
Melrose, MA 02176

Chief Privacy Officer
MelroseWakefield Healthcare
585 Lebanon Street
Melrose, MA 02176

Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Quality
99 Chauncy Street
Boston, MA 02111

The Joint Commission
Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 06181
1-800-944-6610 T
630-792-5636 F

Massachusetts Board of Registration of Medicine
200 Harvard Mill Square, Suite 330
Wakefield, MA 01880
781-876-8395 (TTY)

To obtain a copy of the complete law, please contact our Quality Department at 781-979-3021.

You have the right to be provided with interpretation services if you do not speak English, to alternative communication techniques if you are hearing impaired, and to have any other resources taken on your behalf to ensure effective communication. These services are provided free of charge.

(last revised 10/2018)