Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Yale New Haven Hospital supports the rights of all patients and expects its staff and physicians to observe and protect these rights as a part of patient care. The prevention and treatment of disease, the education of healthcare professionals and patients, and clinical research must be conducted with an overriding concern for the patient and the recognition of the patient's dignity as a human being.

Patient rights

As a patient at Yale New Haven Hospital, you have the right to expect:

  • Care that is safe, high quality, respectful and considerate of your personal beliefs and values
  • Information that is understandable and complete, including health status, treatment and care options
  • Participation in the development and implementation of your plan of care
  • Respect for your wishes as outlined in an advance directive
  • Confidentiality and privacy in all matters
  • Commitment to your safety and security
  • Assessment and management of pain
  • Prompt Response to requests for assistance, concerns and complaints

If you have a complaint that has not been addressed to your satisfaction by patient relations (203-688-3430) through the hospital patient complaint process, you may contact the Connecticut State Department of Health (860-509-8000), or the accrediting agency for the hospital, the Joint Commission (630-792-5000).

Patient responsibilities

As a patient, you have a responsibility to:

  • Inform caregiver staff of your past and current medical history, including changes in your condition
  • Ask questions about your care and treatment, particularly if instructions are not clear
  • Participate in your plan of care by cooperating with care and participation in discharge planning
  • Respect others by adhering to hospital policies
  • Notify hospital staff if you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment
  • Provide Information regarding insurance coverage and payment plans
  • Tell Us how we can provide better care or service to you and your family

For a brochure or a detailed explanation about patient rights and responsibilities, please call patient relations at 203-688-3430.

Additional Information

Pain Management

Effective pain management has beneficial effects on young patients. Sometimes parents are concerned that pain medication might lead to an addiction, but this fear is unfounded. Insufficient pain medication could lead to problems.

We encourage you to discuss pain management with the physicians who are caring for your child. Educate your child about what will happen before surgery or other treatments to reduce anxiety and promote cooperation. Your presence in the room during a procedure may be comforting to your child. When present, stay in physical contact with your child and distract him or her with conversation.

Sedative medications may be needed in some cases and should be administered. If sedation is used, make sure your child does not have milk or food for the recommended time period. This will make sedation safer for your child.

Procedures are generally performed in a procedure room instead of your child's hospital room, which should remain a safe haven.

Pediatric Ethics Committee

Sometimes hospital care can involve difficult ethical decisions. In addition, disagreement with regard to how to proceed with treatment may sometimes occur. Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital has a Pediatric Ethics Committee that is available on short notice to discuss such cases.

This group, chaired by Mark Mercurio, MD, consists of physicians, nurses, clergy, medical ethicists, community members and others, with many years’ experience consulting in such situations. The committee does not have the authority to determine patient care, and serves in an advisory capacity only, but it is often helpful to families or staff facing difficult decisions. Anyone, such as the patient, family, friend, or staff, is welcome to contact the Pediatric Ethics Committee by calling 203.688.2320. Or, you can simply ask your nurse or physician to make the request.

Learn more about the Ethics Committee at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Privacy and Confidentiality

YNHH works hard to ensure the privacy of all patients and the confidentiality of all patient information. YNHH and all hospitals follow a federal law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which was designed to protect patient privacy and confidentiality and the security of patient information. Please let your healthcare team know if there is anyone with whom you wish your child's confidential health information shared. If you have any concerns regarding privacy and confidentiality, please contact the HIPAA privacy office at 203-688-8416.

Quiet Policy

YNHH is working to make the hospital a quieter place so that patients can experience a more peaceful, comforting, healing environment. If staff members, visitors or other patients are being too noisy, please ask a member of your patient care team to speak to them. We encourage staff members, patients and visitors to be aware of the noise level at the hospital, to speak in low conversational levels, set beepers and cell phones on vibrate mode and refrain from loud cell phone conversations. We recommend low television volume, encourage use of earphones and we are working to improve the noise levels of our utility carts.

We also have eye coverings, ear plugs and headphones for patients. In addition, there is a "Quiet Corner" in the Atrium Gift Shop, featuring relaxation therapy and healing arts items.