Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Holy Cross Health cares for patients in a manner that respects their dignity. We can best care for patients when they understand their medical situation and participate in making decisions about their care. This requires openness, trust and respect among our patients, physicians and health care professionals. The following patient rights describe what patients can expect while they receive care at Holy Cross Health. The patient responsibilities describe how patients should participate in their care at Holy Cross Health. Our collaborative approach contributes to sound decision-making for the benefit and well-being of each patient. Holy Cross Health extends these rights and responsibilities to a patient’s health care agent or surrogate decision maker as allowed by law and the patient’s situation.

 Download Patient Rights and Responsibilities Flyer (View in Spanish)

Patient Rights

You have the right to:

  1. Safe care and a secure environment that promotes your emotional and physical health.
  2. Personal privacy and respectful care. We will listen to you and respect your personal beliefs and values. You will be able to carry out your beliefs as long as they do not interfere with the well-being of others or with the course of treatment you and your physicians have planned.
  3. Have visitors of your choice subject to your consent, to receive the visitors whom you designate, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend, and you have the right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time. Visitors will not be restricted unless the individual’s presence infringes on others’ rights, safety or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. The individual may or may not be the patient’s surrogate decision-maker or legally authorized representative.
  4. Participate in the development of your care plan. We will provide you with information to help you make informed decisions about your care. This information may include your health status, prognosis, treatment options and related risks, and explanations of procedures you may undergo. We will also let you know when your care results in an outcome that was not planned.
  5. The name, position and professional status of any individual who is treating you.
  6. Interpretation services or communication assistance. You will have access to interpretation services and may learn about your medical care and treatment plans in a language other than English. You will also have access to assistive devices that facilitate communication if you have problems with hearing, speech or vision.
  7. Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law. You can leave the hospital against your physician’s advice to the extent permitted by law. If you leave the hospital against your physician’s advice, or do not follow the recommended plan of care, the hospital and your physician will not be held responsible for any harm or financial consequences that your action might cause you.
  8. Prepare an advance directive that sets forth your wishes should you become unable to make health care decisions. (Holy Cross Health can provide you with sample forms.) You have the right to appoint an individual to make decisions on your behalf. Holy Cross Health will comply with your directives as long as they comply with the law and the mission and philosophy of the hospital.
  9. The assessment, reassessment and management of pain.
  10. Freedom from physical and chemical restraints that are not medically necessary.
  11. Freedom from all forms of abuse, neglect and harassment. We will not discriminate with regard to sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, age, gender orientation, disability, national origin or source of payment for your care.
  12. Access your medical record within a reasonable time. You can expect confidentiality regarding communications and records about your care. The hospital provides patient information only to those involved in your care or others with a legal right to the information. You or your legal representative may obtain copies of your medical record for a fee. You may make a written request for copies to the Medical Records department of Holy Cross Health.
  13. Transfer your care to another physician and/or facility upon your request, after you have identified an accepting physician and hospital. You also may transfer your care whenever you require a service that Holy Cross Health is unable to provide. The hospital may not be able to provide a service due to lack of capacity or conflict with its mission or philosophy. In these circumstances, prompt efforts will be made to arrange for transfer to another facility that can provide the requested or required service. The hospital will explain to you the reasons for the transfer and other options. The transfer will occur only with your consent and when medically appropriate.
  14. Information about the relationship of the hospital with other health care and educational institutions.
  15. Contact the nursing director/nursing leadership on your unit if you have any questions or concerns, need clarification about hospital policies or have any special needs. If you prefer, you may contact the Customer Relations department, 301-754-7495 at Holy Cross Hospital or 301-557-6495 at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital.
  16. Be involved in your discharge plan and appropriate options specific to your care.
  17. Receive an explanation of your hospital bill. Upon request, you will be given information about the bill, how to seek assistance in paying the bill or how to seek assistance in filing insurance forms through the Patient Accounting department at Holy Cross Health.
  18. Submit a verbal or written complaint/grievance to the hospital’s Customer Relations department if you disagree with or have concerns about your care. Our grievance process provides you the right to a timely response. This includes the results of any investigation, the date of its completion and the name of a contact person at the hospital. To contact the Customer Relations department, call 301-754-7495 at Holy Cross Hospital or 301-557-6495 at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital.
  19. Contact the following entities if you have any concerns about patient care and/or safety in the hospital that have not been addressed:

The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181
Phone: 1-800-994-6610


Maryland Department of Health and Hygiene
Office of Health Care Quality, Bland Bryant Building
Spring Grove Hospital Center
55 Wade Avenue
Catonsville, MD 21228
Phone: 1-877-4MD-DHMH (toll free)


Maryland Board of Pharmacy, Maryland
Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
4201 Patterson Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21215
Phone: 410-764-4755


The CMS Quality Improvement Organization for Maryland
5201 West Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 900
Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 844-455-8708 | TTY: 855-843-4776
Fax: 844-834-7129


U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights Region III – DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WA
Office for Civil Rights, DHHS
150 S. Independence Mall West - Suite 372
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-861-4441; TDD: 215-861-4440
Fax: 215-861-4431


Holy Cross Health Ethics Advisory Committee
Phone: 301-754-7024

Patient Responsibilities

You have the responsibility to:

  1. Provide your medical history, to the best of your ability. You may be asked for information about past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to your health.
  2. Provide copies of advance directives and any other documents that designate surrogate decision makers, or direct or limit care, to those responsible for your care while you are in the hospital. If you do not have an advance directive, you have the responsibility to inform your care providers about your requests regarding your plan of care and medical management.
  3. Be responsible for your personal items and property during your hospital stay.
  4. Not demand medically inappropriate treatments, services or care.
  5. Cooperate and communicate appropriately with your health care team. This enables each care team member to work with you to achieve your medically appropriate treatment goals.
  6. Be considerate of other patients. Assure that your visitors are considerate as well.
  7. Keep appointments. Call the appropriate hospital department when you cannot keep a scheduled appointment.
  8. Be respectful of hospital property and the property of others.
  9. Inform Holy Cross Health, as soon as possible, if you believe that any of your rights have been, or may be, violated. You may do this anytime by calling Customer Relations at 301-754-7495 for Holy Cross Hospital or 301-557-6495 for Holy Cross Germantown Hospital. To speak with a hospital representative after regular business hours, call the operator at 301-754-7000 for Holy Cross Hospital or 301-557-6000 for Holy Cross Germantown Hospital and ask to speak to the administrative coordinator.