Privacy and Confidentiality Rights in Nursing Homes
In the same vein as the topic of a previous article, let’s continue discussing some of the rights that patients and residents of nursing homes have under the law. As a resident, you have the right to the following:
- Privacy and confidentiality of both personal and clinical records which show accommodations, medical treatments, both written and telephone communications, personal care, associations and communications with people of your voice, visits and meetings of family and resident groups;
- Private meeting spaces for you and your family;
- Approval or refusal to release your personal and clinical records to any individual outside the facility, with the exception being when you are transferred to another healthcare facility or when record release is required by law or health insurance company contract;
- Privacy in written communications, including the right to send and receive unopened mail quickly;
- Access to stationary, postage, and writing implements (at your own expense);
- Regular access to the use of a telephone where you can make calls without fearing being overheard and which is also wheelchair accessible and usable by those residents who are visually and hearing impaired.
As you can see, there are quite a few rights you can expect to have when living in a nursing home or other assisted living facility. We’ll take a look in the next article about the responsibilities that you can expect from the nursing home or facility. We’ll also see in a later article what you can do if the need arises to file a complaint against the facility if you wish to do so.
Hopefully, if you or your loved one have been having reservations when it comes to moving into a nursing home, because you are concerned about your loved one’s privacy being invaded, this article has put some of those concerns to rest. Nursing homes are there to help ease some of your burden, and you should be able to expect them to treat your loved one with the same care and respect that you would yourself.