Patients & Visitors

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

At Grand Strand Medical Center, we believe every patient has rights and responsibilities as we work to achieve the best possible care.  Following are ways you and your family, as appropriate, can best be involved in your hospital care. If you have any questions about patient rights or responsibilities, please ask your health care provider.

As a patient at Grand Strand Medical Center, you have the right to:

Individual Patient Rights

  • Have family member and personal physician notified promptly when you are admitted.
  • Exclude any family member from participating in your health care decisions.
  • Have reasonable access to care that is considerate and respectful  of personal values and beliefs:
    • receive impartial access to treatment or accommodations available or ordered by your healthcare provider, without concerns about your financial status, race, creed, sex, national origin, religion or sources of payment for care.
  • Receive information about your rights.
  • Be involved in decisions about your care, treatment, and services provided:
    • ask questions when you do not understand the explanations and procedures discussed with you by Grand Strand Medical Center’s healthcare team.
  • Be informed before your consent is obtained for care, treatment, and procedures:
    • a description of the nature and purpose of the procedure  or treatment
    • the possible benefits
    • the known serious side effects, risks, drawbacks, or unanticipated outcomes
    • problems related to recovery
    • the likelihood of success
    • alternative procedures or treatment
    • costs, particularly expenses that will be your responsibility
  • Have consent obtained for recordings or filming made for purposes other than your identification, diagnosis, or treatment.
  • Know the identity and professional status of all individuals responsible for the delivery of your care, treatment, and services.
  • Refuse care, treatment, and services in accordance with law and regulation.
  • Have your wishes addressed relating to the end of life decisions:
    • the right to have or formulate advance directives (such as a living-will) and /or appointment of agents to make healthcare decisions on your behalf
    • the right to make your own decisions concerning organ donations
  • You, and when appropriate, your family being informed about the outcomes of care, including unanticipated outcomes.
  • Effective communication.
  • Resolution of complaints from you or your family addressed:
    • request consultation regarding ethical issues surrounding your care from the Hospital Ethics Committee and other appropriate sources.  Dial “0” for the operator who will contact the Nursing Supervisor on your behalf.
    • (Ethics issues may include conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services, foregoing or withdrawal of life sustaining treatment or participation in research, investigations, or clinic trial treatment).
    • Complaints may also be made to:
      South Carolina Department of
      Health and Environmental Control
      Department of Licensing
      2600 Bull Street, Columbia, SC  29201
      Phone:  803-545-4370

      Joint Commission on Accreditation of
      Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
      Phone: 1-630-792-5636
  • Confidentiality, privacy, and security respected:
    • have your privacy respected and your confidentiality honored in all interviews, examinations, treatments, and medical records, except in cases such as suspected abuse and public health hazards as required by law.
      An environment that preserves dignity and contributes to a positive self-image:
    • free from restraints (or seclusion) of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • Be free from mental, physical, sexual, and verbal abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
  • Pain management:
    • pain relief measure
    • a concerned staff committed to pain prevention and pain management
    • health professionals who respond quickly to reports of pain
    • your reports of pain will be believed
    • state-of-the-art pain management
  • Access protective and advocacy services.
  • Your rights protected and respected if you participate in a research, investigative or clinical trial involving human subjects:
    • you shall be made aware of expected benefits, risks, and potential discomforts, alternative services, full explanation of procedures to be followed
    • refusal to participate will not compromise access to care.
  • Receive a copy of your hospital charges and explanations about those charges. You have the right to inquire and apply for financial assistance regarding your hospital bill by contacting Grand Strand Medical Center’s Business Office at 843-692-1734 or 1735.
  • Receive discharge and /or transfer instructions with full explanations of why the discharge or transfer is appropriate.  If you are transferred, you have the right to be provided with options, benefits and risks associated with your transfer.
  • Obtain a copy of your medical record, within a reasonable time frame, provided you follow the hospital’s release policies (a processing fee may apply).
  • Communication assistance upon request, at no cost:
    • Amplified telephone hand sets
    • Closed captioned
    • Text Telephone (TT)
    • Dual receiver telephone
    • Language Line Interpreter (ATT)
    • Qualified sign language interpreter
  • Have access to people outside the hospital through visitors and verbal and written communication.
  • If disabled, have the right to have service animals assist them in performing functions they can not in all inpatient and outpatient facilities.
  • Select physicians and choose a facility other than Grand Strand Medical Center if you desire.
  • Ask and be informed of the existence of business relationships.
  • In accordance with the Blackman Act and upon request from the patient:
    • the staff will provide the name of the patient’s attending physician or designee, including an appropriate contact number when the patient wants to discuss concerns about his/her care.
    • the staff will provide the appropriate contact number for hospital leadership when the patient wants to discuss concerns about his/her care (regular business hours: 692-1100; after hours, weekends, holiday, 692-1000, ask for Administrative Supervisor).
    • the staff will assist the patient in making the phone call if the patient is unable to contact the attending physician/designee or hospital leadership independently. 

Individual Patient Responsibilities

  • Properly identify yourself to all hospital staff.
  • You and your family, as appropriate, must provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalization, medications, and other matters relating to your health.  You and your family must report perceived risks in your care and unexpected changes in your condition.  You can help us understand your environment by providing feedback about service needs and expectations:
    • ask your care provider what to expect regarding pain and pain management and discuss pain relief options with your care provider.
    • patients and family members must present copies of advanced directives, guardianship, durable power of attorney and disclose organ donor status in order for hospital staff to recognize these legal documents or organ donor preferences and respect their wishes.
  • You and your family, as appropriate, must ask questions when you do not understand your care, treatment, and services or what you are expected to do.
  • You and your family, as appropriate, must follow the care, treatment, and service plan developed for you.  You should express any concerns about your ability to follow the proposed care plan or course of care, treatment, and services. We, the hospital, make every effort to adapt the plan to the specific needs and limitations of each individual patient.  When such adaptations to the care, treatment, and services plan is not recommended, you and your family, as appropriate, will be informed of the consequences of the care, treatment, and services alternatives and not following the proposed course:
    • be responsible for your actions should you choose to refuse treatment or not follow physicians' instructions.
  • You and your family, as appropriate, must follow our rules and regulations.
  • You and your family, as appropriate, must be considerate of our staff and property, as well as other patients and their property:
    • respect quiet requirements by limiting personal visitation
  • Accept financial responsibility for services rendered, providing necessary information for insurance and assuming payment responsibility for all hospital bills.