Patient Rights

Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities

Carilion Clinic is committed to providing an environment which fosters quality healthcare for its patients as described below. Employees are expected to assist patients in understanding and exercising their rights. Likewise, patients are expected to understand their responsibilities to their caregivers and other individuals attempting to provide services to them.

Our entire staff serves the community in all their ethnic, religious and economic diversity. Our goal is for you, and your family, to have the same care and attention we would want for our families and ourselves. The following sections explain some of the basics about how you can expect to be treated during your hospital stay. They also cover what we will need from you to care for you better. If you have questions at any time, please ask them. Unasked or unanswered questions can add to the stress of being in the hospital. Your comfort and confidence in your care are very important to us.

Patient Rights

We are dedicated to giving you the best health care and service possible. As a patient here, you may expect to receive considerate and respectful care.We will honor your rights to be informed and to be involved in making decisions about your care. You have the following rights as a competent adult patient:

  • You have the right to know about your illness and proposed treatment and to participate in the development of your plan of care. Information will be given to you by your doctors and other members of your healthcare team in language you can understand.
  • You have the right to make decisions about your care, including the right to know why you need an operation or treatment and who will perform that operation or treatment. This includes the right to refuse care or treatment and to know what may happen if you do not have this care or treatment.
  • You have the right to develop Advance Directives and to have hospital staff comply with those directives.
  • You have the right to access all information contained in your medical record within a reasonable amount of time (usually 15 days). This includes the right to know the name of the doctor who is in charge of your care and the names of all other health system staff taking care of you.
  • You have the right to have a family member or representative and your own physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • You have the right to receive treatment in a safe, abuse-free environment without discrimination as to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or source of payment.
  • You have the right to personal privacy while in the hospital and to have all information about your illness and care treated as confidential.
  • You have the right to be free from restraints or seclusion of any form that are not medically indicated.
  • You have the right to receive appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  • You have the right to agree or refuse to take part in any study or experiment related to your care or treatment.
  • You have the right to review your bills and have any questions you have about them answered.
  • You have the right to discuss your concerns or file a complaint with the hospital regarding your experience as a patient here, and to receive a response in a timely manner. You also have the right to an internal appeal to any response that you receive and a right to file a complaint with an external agency.
  • You have the right to know your rights and responsibilities before treatment, if possible.

Patient Responsibilities

In order to receive optimal care, you and your family are responsible for:

  • Providing accurate information about your present illness and past medical history and wishes for your medical care.
  • Seeking clarification when necessary to fully understand your health problems and the proposed plan of care.
  • Following through on your agreed plan of care.
  • Considering and respecting the rights of others.
  • Being courteous.
  • Providing accurate information for insurance claims and working with Carilion Clinic to make payment arrangements when necessary, so that others can benefit from the services provided here.
  • Following visitation policies of the hospital.
  • Following the rules and regulations of Carilion Clinic and of the Commonwealth of Virginia which forbid:
    • engaging in verbal or physical abuse,
    • using alcohol or illegal substances, and
    • carrying weapons of any kind.

Advance Directives

You have rights under Virginia law to make decisions about your medical care. These rights include the right to accept or refuse care and the right to make advance directives about your care (a Durable Medical Power-of-Attorney and/or a LivingWill). For further information about your Advance Directives, please consult your social worker/case manager or nurse.

Infection Control

Everyone plays an important role in infection prevention including hospital staff, patients and visitors. Help us prevent the spread of infection by following these guidelines:

  • Clean hands are your best protection against infection.Wash your hands before you eat, after using the restroom, before and after changing wound dressings, and after contact with body fluids. You can wash your hands with soap and water or by using a hand sanitizer.
    Follow these steps to ensure adequate cleaning of hands:
    • Wet hands with warm water and then apply soap. Rub your hands together vigorously for 15 seconds or longer. Get in between fingers and scrub wrist areas. Friction is necessary to rid your hands of germs. Rinse your hands and dry them. Use a clean paper towel to turn off the water faucet. Discard the paper towel in a trash can.
    • Waterless hand sanitizers are very effective for preventing the spread of infection -- if you use enough to cover your hands and wrists well. After applying the sanitizer, it should take about 15 seconds to rub your hands dry.
    • Expect our staff to clean their hands before and after patient care. Remind them if they forget. It‚Äôs OK to ask someone to clean their hands. Your health may depend on it.
  • Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue. If you don‚Äôt have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper arm -- not your hands! Before you cough or sneeze you should always turn away from other people. Discard used tissues in the trash and then clean your hands.
  • Ask family and friends not to visit if they‚Äôre sick. If they must visit, ask them to talk to nurse before entering the room. Protective items, such as a mask, may be required. Make sure to eliminate germs when you go home by using disinfectants, such as sprays and wipes, to clean surfaces often. Some germs can live three days or longer on hard surfaces. That‚Äôs why it‚Äôs so important to disinfect surfaces like countertops, sinks, phones and TV remotes often.

Help With Your Bill and Filing Insurance Claims

Our staff will file claims for you with healthcare insurers or other programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. They also will help your doctor with needed documentation. Hospital bills and insurance coverage are often confusing. If you have questions please contact Patient Payment Services or our business office at 540-224-5500 or 1-888-822-1872.

If you need help understanding your insurance coverage or health plan, start with your insurance company or health benefits manager. If you do not have health coverage, we will try to help you and your family find financial help or make other arrangements.We need your help with collecting needed information and other requirements to obtain coverage or assistance.


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 established national standards to protect patients' personal and medical records. The regulations outlined by HIPAA protect the medical records and other personal health information maintained by healthcare providers, health plans and health insurers, and healthcare clearinghouses. If you have any questions about your privacy rights as a patient, please ask your social worker/case manager or nurse.

Voicing Your Concerns

We are always interested in improving.When an individual has any concerns about patient care and safety in the hospital that has not been addressed, he or she is encouraged to contact the hospital’s management. Ask your nurse or the hospital operator to call an administrative representative for you. If you have questions, comments, or concerns about your care or safety, please contact our hospital administration.

Carilion Clinic Hospitals Near You:



New River Valley


540-981-7798 or 540-981-7751

Rocky Mount

If you have questions about patient rights or responsibilities, quality of care, coverage decisions or premature discharges, you may also notify:

Department of Health
Center for Quality Health Care Services and Consumer Protection
3600 W. Broad Street, Suite 216
Richmond, Virginia 23230

Carilion Clinic is accredited by several agencies including the Joint Commission, whose mission is to continuously foster and improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the organizations that seek its accreditation. If issues cannot be resolved by the hospital, you may also contact the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring. You may report any concerns or register complaints about a Joint Commission-accredited healthcare organization by calling 1-800-994-6610 or emailing