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Patients Rights & Responsibilities

Union General Health System assumes the responsibility to assure the basic rights and responsibilities of patients while providing health care. Union General Health System will inform each patient (or their representative) of the patient’s rights in advance of furnishing or discontinuing care.

Patient Rights

As a Patient, You Have These Rights

  • The right to refuse treatment.
  • The right to pain management.
  • The right to safety, privacy and confidentiality.
  • The right to be in communication with your caregivers.
  • The right to make informed decisions.
  • The right to participate in all aspects of your health care.
  • The right to an Advance Directive.
  • The right to impartial access to care.
  • Knowledge of your rights and responsibilities in receiving care.
  • The right to file a grievance through the Hospital’s grievance process.
  • The right to be free of physical and/or chemical restraints. Restraints will be used only when necessary and not used as a coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation.
  • The right to choose who may visit when you are a patient of this hospital.
  • The rights to not restrict, limit, or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Exercise of Rights

Patients have the right to participate in the development and implementation of their plan of care.

As a patient, you have the right to:

  • Be informed of your health status.
  • Be involved in care planning and treatment.
  • Request or refuse treatment.
  • Formulate an Advance Directive.
  • Have practitioners and staff provide care that is consistent with these directives.
  • Have a family member (or appointed representative) and your family physician promptly notified upon admission to the Hospital.

Privacy and Safety

As a patient, you have the right to:

  • Personal privacy.
  • Receive care in a safe setting.
  • Be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  • Not suffer any adverse consequences for filing a compliant.

Confidentiality of Patient Records

As a patient, you have the right to:

  • Confidentiality of your medical records.
  • Access the information contained in your medical records.
  • Access medical record information within a reasonable time frame.


As a patient, you have the right of access to people outside the Hospital by means of visitors and by verbal and written communication. You have the right to specify visitation and telephone contact within hospital departmental guidelines. If you do not speak or understand English, you may have access to an interpreter language line or a special computer which can be used to communicate in your language. This computer also has the capability of communicating with hearing impaired or deaf patients via sign language. The computer resides in the IT department and is available for anyone in need. After hours, it may be obtained from IT by the security department. If you are sight impaired, our communication will be verbal and written to your designated legal representative. The hospital also uses Braille on patient room doors and elevators.

Transfer and Continuity of Care

As a patient, you may not be transferred to another facility or organization unless: a complete explanation of the need for the transfer is given to you; alternatives to the transfer are explained and; the transfer is acceptable to the other facility. You have the right, following discharge from the Hospital, to be informed of any continuing health care requirements from the practitioner or chosen delegate responsible for your health care.

Hospital Charges/Billing

As a patient, regardless of the payment source for the health care performed, you have the right to request and receive an itemized and detailed explanation of the total bill for services rendered in the Hospital. You also have the right to request clarification of your Hospital charges and/or billing procedures.

Hospital Rules and Regulations

As a patient, you should be informed of Hospital rules and regulations applicable to your conduct. These should be followed for your own safety.

A Special Note to Children

Children do have rights in the Hospital. With the help of you and your parents, the Hospital staff will see that these rights are respected. If you have any questions on these rights, ask your Mom or Dad.

Let them know:

  • If anyone is mean to you.
  • If you are not given privacy.
  • If the care given to you is not explained to you.
  • If you are not helping to make decisions regarding your care.
  • You or a family member may discuss these Rights and Responsibilities with any of our clinical staff. If you do not get the answers you need or need additional follow-up, please call the Risk Department at (706) 439-6469 (or extension 6469) from your Hospital room phone.

Patient Responsibilities

As a patient, You Have These Responsibilities:

Provision of Information

You have the responsibility to provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about past and present complaints concerning your health. You have the responsibility to report unexpected changes in your condition to your practitioner or delegate. You are responsible for reporting whether you clearly comprehend your planned course of action and what is expected of you.

Compliance with Instruction

You are responsible for following the treatment plan recommended by your practitioner or delegate primarily responsible for your care. Seek clarification, when necessary, to understand your health problems and plan of care. Follow through on your agreed plan of care in and out of the Hospital.

Refusal of Treatment

As a patient, you are responsible for your own actions if you refuse treatment or do not follow your practitioner’s or delegate’s instructions. You or your designated legal representative will be responsible for signing a refusal form which will become part of your medical record.

Rights of Others

As a patient you have the responsibility to observe the rights of others.

Financial Obligations

  • Complete and accurate billing information is submitted to the hospital.
  • Assist with insurance processing and claim-filing information in a timely manner.

If You Have a Grievance

The Hospital views concerns, issues and complaints expressed by patients, visitors and other customers as valuable data in identifying opportunities and priorities for improvement and planning.

  • Please rest assured that any complaint you make will not adversely affect your current or future health care.
  • If you have a complaint, speak to your Nurse or the Department Manager. If your complaint cannot be remedied immediately, a written complaint can be submitted if you wish. The written complaint will be sent to the Chief Quality Officer for review. The issue will then be addressed by the appropriate person who will attempt to explain or resolve the problem to your satisfaction.
  • If this procedure does not suffice or the seriousness of the grievance demands immediate attention, the issue will be handled by the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, or the Chief Quality Officer. These are the people who comprise the Grievance Committee. You or your representative will be notified 7 business days in writing of the outcomes and resolutions to date.

You may also seek help with concerns about your care or treatment by contacting the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) 770-570-3300; the Georgia Medical Care Foundation in Atlanta at 404-982-0411, DVV-GL Healthcare 1-866-496-9647 or Website:

Georgia Department of Human Resources

Office of Regulatory Services

2 Peachtree Street NW, 32nd Floor

Atlanta, Georgia 30303