Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

Kennedy Krieger Institute recognizes and respects the rights of patients and their families and treats them with courtesy and dignity. Our hospital provides care that preserves cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values, beliefs, and preferences. We encourage patients and families to become active partners in their care by asking questions, seeking resources, and advocating for the services and support they need.

You Have the Right to...

Receive care that is free from discrimination. This means that you should not be treated differently because of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

Get important information about your care.This includes information:

  • In your preferred language.
  • In a way that meets your individual needs related to vision, speech, hearing, or cognition.
  • About your diagnosis, treatment plan, possible benefits, risks and side effects, likelihood of reaching your goals, options, and expected/ unexpected outcomes.

Make decisions about your care. This is called informed consent.

  • At times, hospitals are required, by law and regulation, to disclose or report certain information without your consent.
  • Informed consent also applies to taking pictures, videos, or other images, and recordings of you for purposes other than your care.

Refuse care. If you refuse care, this hospital may:

  • Suggest other ways of treating you and still continue to see you.
  • Refer you to another provider to get care. Seek a court order to allow the treatment in emergency situations.

Choose and receive visitors, such as family members, friends, or others during your inpatient stay.

  • You will be asked to provide a list of visitors; this list can be changed at any time.
  • This hospital can restrict visitation rights if the visitor interferes with your and others’ rights, safety, or care.

Have your pain addressed.

Know the names and roles of your health care team.

  • You may refuse observations by others not directly involved in your care.

Personal privacy and privacy of your health information.

  • Personal privacy includes privacy and security for yourself and your belongings.
  • You will be asked to provide a list of names and addresses of those with whom you want to share your health information; this list can be changed at any time.

View and get a copy of your medical record.

  • Your hospital provider will review your record with you.
  • If you think that important information is missing or wrong, then you may ask to amend the record according to Maryland law.

Receive an explanation of the fees for which you are responsible.

Receive safe care. You will be:

  • Told when something goes wrong with your care.
  • Free from mental, physical, sexual, and verbal abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
    • Any claims are promptly investigated and necessary action is taken.
    • If you need to access protective services, contact the Social Work Department at 443-923-2800 for information and resources.
  • Free from restraint, except when it is temporarily necessary to prevent dangerous behaviors that could harm you or others.

Choose or refuse to take part in research. You will get information about the research purpose and procedures, possible benefits, risks and side effects, discomforts, alternative care, and any other important details to help you reach a decision.

  • If you join a research study, you can withdraw from it at any time.
  • If you refuse to take part, your clinical care will not be affected.

Make your own health care decisions through an Advance Directive according to Maryland law if you are 18 years or older.

  • You can appoint a healthcare agent to make the decisions for you.
  • A surrogate may be appointed to make decisions for you if you are unable to do so.

Contact the Social Work Department at 443-923-2800 for more information.

Consult with the Ethics Committee regarding challenging decisions about your care, treatment, and services. Examples of common ethical concerns include:

  • A treatment plan that may conflict with your cultural or spiritual beliefs.
  • A disagreement with the health care team about the best course of action for you.
  • The treatment team determines that your goals have been met, but you want to continue therapy. Contact the Ethics Committee at 443-923-2800 for more information.

Speak with a staff member or supervisor if you are concerned with any aspect of your care.

  • Contact Guest Relations at 443-923-2640 for additional help.
  • If you have exhausted all hospital resources and continue to have a concern that the hospital has not resolved to your satisfaction, you may:
    • File a complaint with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Health Care Quality, Hospital Complaints Unit, Bland Bryant Building, Spring Grove Center, Catonsville, MD 21228 or 877-402-8218.
    • Contact the Joint Commission at complaint@jointcommission.org or 800-994-6610 for quality of care or safety concerns.
  • If you voice your concern and recommend changes, your care will not be affected.

Your Responsibilities:

Hospitals expect patients and family members to act in an honest, reasonable, and responsible way and to follow hospital rules at all times, including the patient visitation and smoke-free policies.

They are in place to support quality care and a safe environment. It is important that you:

  • Share complete and accurate information about your health, health care coverage, and any other requested information.
  • Ask questions if you do not understand information provided to you about medicines and treatment.
  • Follow your treatment plan.
  • Show respect and consideration for hospital staff and other patients, including their families and their belongings.
  • Pay for any services for which you are responsible.
  • Provide a copy of your Advance Directive or ask for help to write one.
  • Be on time for appointments and call as soon as possible if you need to cancel.
  • Keep any information private if heard or seen about another patient or hospital business or staff. Do not take pictures, videos, or other images, and recordings of other children, family members, or staff without permission.
  • Leave valuables at home. 
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