Your Rights and Privacy
The privacy of patients and their families is very important to us at Valley Children's Hospital. Valley Children's is compliant with all federal HIPAA requirements.
Below you will find links to the Hospital’s privacy policies in English, Spanish and Hmong. The "General" policy applies to all hospital patients. The "Employee Services" policy applies to employees who receive treatment in our on-site clinic. If you have any questions, please call our Privacy Officer at (559) 353-5660.
Patient Privacy - English
Patient Privacy - Spanish
(Privacidad del Paciente)
Patient Privacy - Hmong
(Kev Muab Koj Cov Xwm Kho Mob Ceev Cia Yog Ib Qho Tseem Ceeb rau Peb)
Employee Services Patient Privacy
Patient Bill of Rights
A Child’s Bill of Rights
As a Patient of Valley Children's Hospital, I have the right:
- To be called by my name and not a number or illness.
- To be greeted with a smile and treated with loving care.
- To have my nurse make sure that I am getting the right medicine, and to get it done right away.
- To know, by name, which doctors, nurses, and other helpers will take care of me.
- To have my regular needs taken care of--like getting a bath--so I can be comfortable.
- To know where I'm supposed to be before I have to be there, and to have my daily routine stay as normal as possible To sleep without people bugging me, to have quiet times during the day, to go to the bathroom whenever I am able, to have a teacher help me with my schoolwork, and to have my family members and other concerned people with me whenever I need their comfort.
- When I am going to have tests, to know when I have to stop eating, so I can eat and drink before that time.
- To make choices whenever possible as long as they don't get in the way of my medical care.
- To cry, make noise or refuse anything that hurts me, or is something my family doesn't want done to me, including leaving the hospital against my doctor's wishes, unless it's done for my own good and something is done to take away the pain.
- To have my family members with me, whenever they can stay, as long as it doesn't get in the way of my care.
- To have someone who speaks the same language as my family and I to help us understand what is happening, and if someone isn't available, to help my family find someone.
- To be told what's happening to me and why and to have all my questions answered in words my family or I can understand in our own language.
- To know my illness is between me, my family, and the people caring for me and that it's no one else's business unless I say so.
- To not have my hands or other parts of my body tied unless it is to protect me.
- To not have people whispering about me over my bed or out in the halls unless I know what's happening, and not to have people talking about me as if I weren't in the room.
- To leave the hospital as soon as possible with instructions from my caretakers on how to keep me healthy at home.
- To have someone at the hospital answer me when I ask for something.
- To have the papers that relate to my health be kept private, so that no one will know about me being here or why, unless they have a right to know or my family or I say it's okay.
- To be treated with the same amount of loving care no matter if I'm a boy or a girl, rich or poor, what color my skin is, whether I go to church, where I come from or who will pay for my visit.
- To have someone answer questions for my family or I about who will pay for my visit.
- To be cared for with courtesy and respect for the things I believe, like my faith, my heritage, my personal feelings, and what I think is important.
- To be safe while I'm here and to be able to call the government if I want someone to protect me or represent me. I don't want to be picked on, abused, or harassed by anybody while I'm getting better.
- To have someone ask for my permission or my family's permission before I am treated in an experiment.
- To know the rules that I have to follow while I'm here.
- To have the adult who's responsible for me to know what's going on with me while I'm here.
A patient's rights shall include but not be limited to:
- Considerate and respectful care, and to be made comfortable. You have the right to respect for cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values, beliefs, and preferences.
- Have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
- Know the name of the physician who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care and the names and professional relationships of other physicians and non-physicians who will see you.
- Receive information about your health status, diagnosis, prognosis, course of treatment, and prospects for recovery and outcomes of care (including unanticipated outcomes) in terms and language you can understand. You have the right to effective communication and to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care. You have the right to participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of your care, including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services, and forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment.
- Make decisions regarding medical care, and receive as much information about any proposed treatment or procedure as you may need in order to give informed consent or to refuse a course of treatment. Except in emergencies, this information shall include a description of the procedure or treatment, the medically significant risks involved, alternate courses of treatment or non-treatment and the risks involved in each, and the name of the person who will carry out the procedure or treatment.
- Request or refuse treatment, to the extent permitted by law. However, you do not have the right to demand inappropriate or medically unnecessary treatment or services. You have the right to leave the hospital even against the advice of physicians, to the extent permitted by law.
- Be advised if the hospital/personal physician proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting your care or treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in such research projects.
- Reasonable responses to any reasonable requests made for service.
- Appropriate assessment and management of your pain, information about pain, pain relief measures and to participate in pain management decisions. You may request or reject the use of any or all modalities to relieve the pain, including opiate medication, if you suffer from severe chronic intractable pain. The doctor may refuse to prescribe opiate medication, but if so, must inform you that there are physicians who specialize in the treatment of severe chronic pain with methods that include the use of opiates.
- Formulate advance directives. This includes designating a decision maker if you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or become unable to communicate your wishes regarding care. Hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital shall comply with these directives. All patient rights apply to the person who has legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf.
- Have personal privacy respected. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. You have the right to be told the reason for the presence of any individual. You have the right to have visitors leave prior to an examination and when treatment issues are being discussed. Privacy curtains will be used in semi-private rooms.
- Confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to your care and stay in the hospital. You will receive a separate “Notice of Privacy Practices” that explains your privacy rights in detail and how we may use and disclose your protected health information.
- Receive care in a safe setting, free from mental, physical, sexual or verbal abuse and neglect, exploitation and harassment. You have the right to access protective and advocacy services including notifying government agencies of neglect or abuse.
- Receive care in an environment that preserves dignity and contributes to a positive self image.
- Keep and use personal clothing and possessions, unless this infringes on other’s rights or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated (as appropriate to the setting or service). You have a right to sufficient storage space to meet personal needs.
- Be free from restraints and seclusion of any form used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
- Reasonable continuity of care and to know in advance the time and location of appointments as well as the identity of the persons providing the care.
- Be informed by the physician, or a delegate of the physician, of continuing health care requirements and options following discharge from the hospital. You have a right to be involved in the development and implementation of your discharge plan. Upon your request, a friend or family member may be provided with this information also.
- Know which hospital rules and policies apply to your conduct while a patient.
- Have access to telephone and mail services and other forms of communication.
- Opt out of the facility directory due to privacy needs or restrictions.
- Designate visitors of your choosing, if you have decision-making capacity, whether or not the visitor is related by blood or marriage, unless:
- No visitors are allowed.
- The facility reasonably determines that the presence of a particular visitor would endanger the health or safety of a patient, a member of the health facility staff or other visitor to the health facility, or would significantly disrupt the operations of the facility.
- You have told the health facility staff that you no longer want a particular person to visit.
However, a health facility may establish reasonable restrictions upon visitation, including restrictions upon the hours of visitation and number of visitors.
- Have your wishes considered, if you lack decision-making capacity, for the purposes of determining who may visit. The method of that consideration will be disclosed in the hospital policy on visitation. At a minimum, the hospital shall include any persons living in your household.
- Examine and receive an explanation of the hospital’s bill regardless of the source of payment.
- Exercise these rights without regard to sex, economic status, educational background, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or marital status, or the source of payment for care.
- File a grievance and/or file a complaint with Valley Children’s Hospital, The State Department of Health Services and/or The Office for Civil Rights, and be informed of the action taken. Concerns regarding quality of care or premature discharge will also be referred to the appropriate Utilization and Quality Control Peer Review Organization (PRO).
About Medical Questions - If this is a matter of an urgent nature, please contact your primary physician, call 911 or go to your local emergency room. Please understand that we cannot diagnose or treat by e-mail. Valley Children’s Hospital and ChildNet subspecialists and primary care pediatricians are happy to make themselves available for a wide variety of pediatric problems. Questions originating from the Internet are received on a regular basis but you should not communicate specific information about your child. Providing personal health information through an e-mail is not secure over the Internet. If you wish to receive advice or care from any of our team of physicians and services, please call the hospital at (559) 353-3000.
Valley Children’s Hospital and our physician group wishes to maintain privacy and uphold the highest quality standards. We believe that unsolicited consultations cannot be part of our standard practice.
Patient Care Concerns
In the event that any of our customers have concerns about patient care and/or safety in the organization, Valley Children’s Hospital encourages them to contact the Patient Representative at (559) 353-5425 to request assistance. If the concerns in question can not be resolved at this level, the individual is encouraged to contact the Joint Commission.
Joint Commission Public Notice
The Joint Commission may conduct an unannounced accreditation survey at Valley Children’s Hospital. The purpose of the survey will be to evaluate the organization’s compliance with nationally established Joint Commission standards. The survey results will be used to determine whether, and the conditions under which, accreditation should be awarded the organization. Joint Commission standards deal with organization quality, safety-of-care issues, and the safety of the environment in which care is provided.
To report a quality of care or safety concern to hospital management or to request a Public Information Interview with the Joint Commission, please contact:
Customer Service Office
Valley Children’s Hospital
9300 Valley Children’s Pl (SC11)
Madera, CA 93636-8762