MelroseWakefield Healthcare adopts and augments the Patient Bill of Rights  (Under Section 70E of Chapter 111 of the Massachusetts General Laws), supports the standards of the American Hospital Association (Approved 2/6/73), and executes the Health Care Proxy Law (M.G.L. Chapter 201D).

Patient Rights

  1. As a patient, you have the right to expect that the Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities have been presented to all MelroseWakefield Healthcare employees upon their orientation to this hospital.
  2. You have the right to expect high quality healthcare, including prompt lifesaving treatment, pain management, responsive care to the dying patient, and that this care will be rendered without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, educational background or the source of payment for your bill.
  3. You have the right to expect that, within its capabilities, and stated mission, MelroseWakefield Healthcare will make a reasonable response to your requests for services, providing those requests are also within the limits of ethical practice and the law.
  4. You have the right to transfer to another facility, when medically permissible, if MelroseWakefield Healthcare, through its mission, philosophy or capacity is unable to meet your needs or requests.
  5. You have the right to participate in consideration of ethical issues that arise and to be included in any ethical discussion in the provision of your care.
  6. You have the right to be treated considerately and with respect and to have questions or requests for information answered courteously and helpfully.
  7. You have the right to expect that your values, beliefs, and cultural and religious background will be respected, and may exercise those beliefs as long as they do not interfere with the well-being of others.
  8. You have the right to MelroseWakefield Healthcare and community resources to meet your psychosocial and spiritual needs and to assist with coping abilities.
  9. You have the right to request the name and specialty of the physician responsible for coordinating your care. You also have the right to obtain from the doctor a reasonable explanation of diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Should it not be medically advisable to give this information to you, it will be available to an appropriate person on your behalf.
  10. You have the right to receive all information necessary for you to give consent prior to the beginning of any procedure or treatment, and to information concerning medically significant alternatives. You also have the right to know the name of the person responsible for the administration of any such procedure or treatment.
  11. You have the right to have a full explanation of any research study or training program before you agree to participate in it, as well as the right to refuse to participate.
  12. You have the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the possible medical consequences of your decision. Doing so will not jeopardize your access for other medical care and attention.
  13. During all aspects of your medical care program, including case discussion, consultation, examination, treatment, bathing and other patient care procedures, you have the right to reasonable privacy. Persons not strictly involved in direct care must leave at your request.
  14. When medically advisable, you may be transferred to another facility only after you have received complete information and an explanation concerning the need for such a transfer. Further, you have the right to expect that all necessary medical information will be forwarded to other facilities to which you may be transferred.
  15. You have the right, to the extent permitted by law, to have a representative decision-maker in the event that you are incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or procedure or are unable to communicate your wishes regarding care.
  16. You have the right to leave MelroseWakefield Healthcare 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 your doctor and the hospital will not be responsible for any harm that your discharge may cause.
  17. All records and communications 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.
  18. You have the right to request to inspect your medical record. If you request copies of your record, you may be charged a copying fee for this service.
  19. You have the right to request and examine a copy of your bill and to have that bill explained to you regardless of the source of payment. You also have the right to request information concerning possible sources of financial assistance.
  20. You have the right to request information concerning the relationship of MelroseWakefield Healthcare to any other healthcare facility or educational institution.
  21. You have the right to know what hospital rules and regulations apply to your conduct as a patient. The mechanism for resolution of patient complaints concerning the quality of care is outlined in Patient Rights section of the Admission Packet.
  22. You have the right to participate in healthcare decisions, withhold resuscitation services, and/or to forego or withdraw life-sustaining treatment.
  23. You have the right to exclude any family members from participating in your care decisions.
  24. You have the right to access protective services as needed.
  25. You have the right to expect information about pain relief measures, a concerned staff committed to pain prevention and management, health professionals who respond quickly to reports of pain and provide effective pain management. Reports of pain will be believed and state-of-the-art pain management techniques and equipment will be provided.
  26. If you are a female rape victim of childbearing age, you have the right 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.

Patient Responsibilities

  1. You have the responsibility to keep appointments made for you at the facility and to telephone when you cannot keep them.
  2. You have the responsibility 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. You have the responsibility to communicate to the doctors, nurses, and staff significant matters that concern you or which may affect your condition or the care rendered.
  4. You have the responsibility to cooperate with those involved with your care and to respect and follow reasonably prescribed instructions.
  5. You have the responsibility 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. You have the responsibility 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.
  7. You have the responsibility to respect MelroseWakefield Healthcare property.
  8. You have the responsibility 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. You have the responsibility 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.

Contact Information

Any person who feels that their rights have been violated may contact:

Vice President, Quality Improvement & 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

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

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 other resources taken on your behalf to ensure effective communication. These services are provided free of charge.