Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Patient Rights and Responsibilities at Rush University System for Health

Patient Rights and Responsibilities at Rush University System for Health

At Rush, we encourage our patients to partner with their health care providers to be actively involved in their care.

Patients’ responsibilities


Patients are responsible to provide information about past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters related to health status. To participate effectively in decision making, patients are encouraged to take responsibility for requesting additional information or clarification about their health status or treatment when they do not fully understand information and instructions. Rush expects our patients to:

  • Communicate openly and honestly with your care providers. Provide information about past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other health-related matters.
  • Notify your health care provider of any pain you are experiencing, and work with the staff to achieve effective pain management.
  • If you do not fully understand instructions or information about your condition or treatment, ask your health care provider questions to make sure you know the facts and details about your plan of care.

If you have advance directives, bring a written copy with you when you come to Rush. (Advance directives are legal forms that describe to your doctors and your family what kinds of treatments you want in case you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself.)

Advance directives include the following:

  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care – a document that appoints someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to express your wishes.
  • A Living Will – a document that allows you to describe your wishes about the discontinuance of death-delaying procedures if you become terminally ill and are unable to express your wishes.

For more information, contact your physician, or the Department of Religion, Health and Human Values at (312) 942-5571. Patients are responsible for informing their physicians and other caregivers if they anticipate problems in following prescribed treatment. 


Patients should also be aware of the hospital’s obligation to be reasonably efficient and equitable in providing care to other patients and the community. The hospital’s rules and regulations are designed to help the hospital meet this obligation. Patients and their families are responsible for making reasonable accommodations to the needs of the hospital, other patients, medical staff and hospital employees. Patients are responsible for providing necessary information for insurance claims and for working with the hospital to make payment arrangements.

A person’s health depends on much more than health care service. Patients are responsible for recognizing the impact of their lifestyle on their personal health.


At Rush, we take a collaborative approach to your care by partnering with you and your family. As an active participant in your care, you have certain responsibilities that will help in the effectiveness of your care and your satisfaction with your care.

  • Provide necessary information for insurance claims and work with the hospital to make payment arrangements when necessary.
  • Refrain from aggressive behavior — verbal or physical. Rush is a safe and healing place, and this behavior is not tolerated. Physical assault will be reported to law enforcement. For security assistance, please see the information on this page or call (312) 942-5678.
  • Respect the rights and property of other patients, visitors and staff. Rush and its staff stand against any form of discrimination, whether based on age, race, ethnicity, ancestry, marital or parental status, veteran’s status, religion, culture, language, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, socioeconomic status or any other category protected by federal or state law or country or city ordinance. Rush expects our patients and visitors to adhere to our values in their interaction with our staff and each other.
  • Abide by the facility rules, regulations and hospital guidelines, including keeping our campus smoke-free.

Patients’ rights

A patient has the right to the following:

  • Participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care.
  • Receive important information about your care and visitation rights in a preferred language.
  • Care free from discrimination (based on age, race, ethnicity, ancestry, marital or parental status, veteran’s status, religion, culture, language, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, socioeconomic status or any other category protected by federal or state law or county or city ordinance.). This also applies to any person who may have the legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on the patient’s behalf.
  • Receive care and treatment that respects your cultural and personal values, beliefs and preferences to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy.
  • Review or obtain copies of your medical record within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Access or request information regarding your protected health information (PHI) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), including but not limited to a change of your medical record, or disclosure of your health information in accordance with law and regulation.
  • Request and receive an itemized copy of your bill.
  • Have a family member or representative of your choice and your personal physician notified upon your admission to Rush University System for Health.
  • Make informed decisions regarding your care. This includes being informed of your health status, being involved in care planning and treatment, and being able to request or refuse treatment. If you are unable, for whatever reason, to act on your behalf, a representative may act for the patient.
  • Formulate advance directives concerning your health care with which Rush will comply to the extent permitted by law.
  • Receive care in a safe setting.
  • Personal privacy.
  • Know the potential risks and benefits of procedures and treatments.
  • Receive discharge instructions and be informed of any recommendations for continued health care needs following discharge.
  • Ask for information regarding staffing levels, staff training and education, and staffing assignments. You have the right to receive this information from a supervisor within two hours during business hours and within four hours outside of business hours.
  • Have your family and/or your own physician promptly notified of your admission to the hospital.
  • Ensure your communication needs are met, taking into account any vision, speech, hearing or cognitive impairments. Qualified interpreter and translation services and auxiliary aids can be made available at no charge while you are in the hospital by contacting:
  • Be free from all forms of abuse and harassment, including neglect, retaliation and humiliation.
  • Be free from any form of restraints that are not medically necessary, and be free from seclusion and restraints that are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation. Seclusion or a restraint can only be used when needed to ensure a patient’s physical safety or improve a patient’s well-being and when less restrictive alternatives have been determined to be ineffective.
  • Have a family member, friend or another individual be present with you for emotional support during the course of the hospital stay, as long as the individual’s presence does not infringe on others’ rights, safety, or does not endanger the health or safety of the patient. The patient also has the right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time.
    • Rush University System for Health will not restrict, limit or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
    • Rush University System for Health shall ensure that all visitors designated by the patient enjoy visitation privileges that are not more restrictive than those that immediate family members enjoy.
  • Be informed of the name of your physician, clinical psychologist or other practitioner who has the primary responsibility of your care, treatment or services.
  • Privacy rights established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These rights are outlined in the Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP), which is provided to each new patient at Rush.
  • File a complaint or grievance with Rush University System for Health. This may be done orally or in writing. The goal of Rush is to provide health care that is supportive and patients are assured that the presentation of a complaint or concern will not compromise treatment.

Rush University System for Health has the burden of proof to demonstrate that a visitation restriction is necessary to provide safe care. When visitation would interfere with the care of the patient and/or the care of other patients, it would be considered clinically appropriate to place a visitation restriction — for example, if the patient is undergoing care interventions, or there are infection control issues. Other situations where restrictions are appropriate include disruptive, threatening or violent behavior by a visitor; the patient's need for rest or privacy; existing court orders restricting contact of which Rush is aware; limitations on the number of visitors during a specific period of time; and minimum age requirements for child visitors.

If patients, for whatever reason, are unable to understand their patient rights, health care providers will provide whatever assistance is reasonably necessary to assist the patients in understanding their rights. This may include (but is not limited to) the use of assistive devices for the hearing and seeing impaired or the use of interpreters for those who are not proficient in English.

Patient complaints

If you feel you have been denied any of the rights listed above, you may make a complaint. Learn more here.