Patient Rights and Responsibilities

At MedStar St. Mary's Hospital, we are here to take care of you or your loved ones. Although we are here to serve you, as a patient you also have specific responsibilities, as outlined below.

Patient rights

As a patient at MedStar St. Mary's Hospital, you have specific rights, as outlined below. You have the right to:

  • Receive appropriate medical care without consideration of race, color, national origin, religion, handicap or source of payment.
  • Expect considerate, safe and respectful care. You can expect courteous attention from all personnel when you request help, recognizing that other patients may have similar or more urgent needs.
  • Know, by name, the doctor responsible for coordinating your care and the name and professional status of all those providing your care. You can also expect to know what hospital policies apply to you as a patient.
  • Receive complete information from your doctor and other healthcare team members in words you can understand. This information should include an explanation of tests, procedures and what might be wrong with you.
  • Receive a list of current medications at discharge.
  • Understand the alternatives and risks of any procedure that requires your consent.
  • Be involved in all aspects of your care, including giving informed consent, refusing any treatment or procedure, formulating advance directives, knowing when something goes wrong with your care and making care decisions. These care decisions may involve forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment and choosing your care at the end of life.
  • Receive appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  • Receive reasonable continuity of care, including instructions for your healthcare needs following discharge.
  • Receive an explanation of your hospital bill regardless of the source of payment.
  • Receive information explaining how your patient privacy is protected and how your medical information may be used and disclosed.
  • Voice your complaints regarding care, treatment or service, and be listened to by your caregivers.

Patient responsibilities

You have the responsibility to:

  • Provide accurate and complete information regarding your present or past healthcare issues.
  • Follow the plan of treatment established by those who plan your care with your agreement. You are responsible for asking any questions you may have regarding the instructions you receive.
  • Report any unexpected or sudden changes in your condition to those responsible for your care.
  • Accept any natural consequences if you refuse treatment or do not follow medical instructions.
  • Be courteous and considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel, and see that your visitors do the same.
  • Provide accurate information when making financial arrangements to pay your hospital bill. You are responsible for the payment of your bill - including any portion that is not promptly paid by your insurance company.
  • Observe hospital policies related to your conduct as a patient.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Administrative Offices at 301-475-6001 Monday through Friday during business hours. You may also call the operator at 301-475-8981 and ask to speak with a patient care supervisor, or call our patient advocate at 301-866-7281 with any concerns, complaints, or suggestions. 

If your concerns about patient safety and quality are not resolved, we encourage you to contact The Joint Commission at 1-800-994-6610 or send an e-mail to [email protected] You can also reach the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at 410-528-1840.