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Patient and family-centered care means you and your child have rights and responsibilities.

You have the right to:

  • Get the care your child needs, if we can provide it.
  • Transfer the care of your child to another hospital, if necessary.
  • Be heard and be spoken to in a respectful way.
  • Know and understand your rights at all times.
  • Receive a copy of the Notice of Privacy Practices.
  • Have an interpreter, and to have medical information translated in the language you prefer.
  • Receive care in a safe setting.
  • Take part in the development of your child’s plan of care and in carrying it out.
  • Make decisions about care after being fully informed.
  • Request or refuse treatment.
  • Participate in resolving ethical questions about care decisions.
  • Make medical treatment decisions for yourself, if you are a patient 18 years of age or older and/or a minor permitted by law to consent on your own.
  • Have medical records and other information kept confidential.
  • Review your child’s medical record with a staff member present, and add your comments.
  • Review and keep a copy of the record and know who has seen it.
  • Receive information about pain relief and have us effectively assess and manage pain.
  • Receive information and access to services if your child is unable to take care of himself or herself, or if your child has been a victim of violence, abuse, or neglect.
  • Be free of restraint or seclusion unless it is necessary to protect you, the patient, other patients, or hospital staff.
  • Have a family member or another person of your choice, and your doctor notified promptly if your child is admitted to the hospital.
  • Have the hospital respect your personal privacy, religion, and culture within the parameters of the laws of the District of Columbia and the policies and procedures of the hospital.
  • Talk to someone if you have any questions, concerns, or problems, and have us respond. Please talk to your doctor, nurse, social worker, or other care team member first.
  • Children’s National and its affiliates do not restrict or deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

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Your responsibilities as the parent of a patient or as an adult patient are to:

  • Accurately identify yourself and your child.
  • Give full information about your child’s or your condition, past illnesses, and medicines.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions and treatment plan.
  • Tell us if you have concerns or questions about the treatment plan.
  • Ask any questions you have.
  • Tell us if you do not understand something.
  • Let us know if you need an interpreter.
  • Tell us about any risks you think there may be in your child’s or your care.
  • Tell us if you think your child is in pain.
  • Tell us about any changes in your child’s or your condition.
  • Follow the hospital’s rules and show respect for other patients, families, the hospital staff and hospital property.
  • Keep your hands clean, as this is one of the most important ways to prevent infection.
  • Give complete information so the hospital can file insurance claims.
  • Tell us if you need advice about how to pay for hospital bills.

The full text of Patient and Family Rights and Responsibilities and the Notice of Privacy Practices can also be requested from the Welcome Desk.

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  • You may use cell phones and wireless devices throughout the hospital. Please keep conversations quiet to respect other patients and families.
  • You may not use camera phones or other cameras to take pictures within the hospital; this is to protect the privacy of others.
  • If friends or family wish to have gifts, cards, balloons, plants, or flowers delivered to an inpatient, please send them to Volunteer Services. For balloons, please send mylar balloons only.
  • Please keep valuables at home. We try to maintain a secure environment, but cannot guarantee the security of valuables left in waiting areas, playrooms, or patient rooms.

Consent forms
If a child is being evaluated or treated at Children’s National – including having a procedure such as surgery – it is important that the child’s parent or legal guardian be present each time. Parents or guardians need to consent to the care and can help the child understand the care they are receiving. It is important to have proper identification for both you and your child. You also need to bring with you all the paperwork that gives you the right to authorize the care your child will receive. This is especially true if your child is in foster care, if your child is a family member (but you are not the legal guardian), or if you are divorced and there is a custody court order. Please talk to a doctor, nurse, or social worker if you have questions about your rights, responsibilities, identification, or the documents you need to give consent to any treatment.

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Please Help Us Fight Infection
It’s important to help fight the spread of infection. All visitors should:
  • Clean your hands thoroughly before and after you visit a patient. Also clean your hands before touching or eating food, after you use the bathroom, and after you sneeze or cough, especially if you have covered your mouth with your hands. Remember, hand washing is the single best way to prevent the spread of infection. All visitors are welcome to use any sink or waterless gel dispenser to clean hands at any time.
  • If your hands are visibly dirty, it is best to use soap and hot water, and to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. If hands are not visibly dirty, you can either wash with soap and water or use waterless gel. Waterless gel is available for your use throughout the hospital. You can find wall units of gel throughout the units, at the nurse stations, and in patient rooms. It is best to rub your hands together with the gel for at least 20 seconds or until the gel is gone.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Use tissues, throw them away, and then clean your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or elbow. If you use your hands to cover your sneeze or cough, wash them right away with soap and water or use waterless gel if soap and water are not easily available.

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