Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patient Rights Resources

  1. Concerns or complaints about your care in the Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic should be discussed with your therapist to seek a resolution.
  2. If you and your therapist do not reach resolution you may call Deborah Cross, M.D., Director of Adult Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic or Elizabeth Ortiz-Schwartz, M.D., Director of Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic. Phone numbers are (914) 493-7088.
  3. You may reach a Patient Representative for Westchester Medical Center at (914) 493-8877.
  4. You have the right to discuss your grievances with the N.Y.S. Commission on Quality of Care - Toll Free Number - 1-800-624-4143.
  5. A resource for advocacy and a sponsor for family self-help support groups is The Alliance for Mentally Ill of Westchester - (914) 592-5458.
  6. The Office of Mental Health, Hudson River Division can be reached at (845) 454-8229 and will assist with patient complaints.
  7. Regional Office, Protection and Advocacy for Mentally Ill Individuals Program at (518) 473-7378.

Patient Rights

While you are in this program, you have rights, which may be limited only for clinical reasons. These rights include:

  1. Receive treatment without discrimination as to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or source of payment.
  2. Receive considerate and respectful care in a clean and safe environment free of unnecessary restraints.
  3. Receive emergency care if you need it.
  4. Be informed of the name and position of the doctor who will be in charge of your care in the hospital.
  5. Know the names, positions and functions of any hospital staff involved in your care and refuse their treatment, examination or observation.
  6. Receive complete information about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  7. Receive all the information that you need to give informed consent for any proposed procedure or treatment. This information shall include the possible risks and benefits of the procedure or treatment.
  8. Refuse treatment and be told what effect this may have on your health.
  9. Refuse to take part in research. In deciding whether or not to participate, you have the right to a full explanation.
  10. Privacy while in the hospital and confidentiality of all information and records regarding your care.
  11. An individualized treatment plan and participation in the development of that plan including the opportunity to request the participation of a relative, close friend or other person concerned with your welfare if you are sixteen years of age or older, and
  12. Participate in all decisions about your treatment and discharge from the hospital. The hospital must provide you with a written discharge plan and written description of how you can appeal your discharge.
  13. Review your medical record without charge. Obtain a copy of your medical record for which the hospital can charge a reasonable fee. You cannot be denied a copy solely because you cannot afford to pay.
  14. Complain without fear of reprisals about the care and services you are receiving and to have the hospital respond to you, and if you request it, a written response. If you are not satisfied with the hospital's response, you can complain to the New York State Health Department. The hospital must provide you with the Health Department telephone number.