Privacy and Confidentiality

Resident Rights

You have the right to:

  • privacy and confidentiality of your personal and clinical records which reflect accommodations, medical treatment, written and telephone communications, personal care, associations and communications with people of your choice, visits and meetings of family and resident groups;
  • private meeting space for you and your family;
  • approve or refuse the release of personal and clinical records to any individual outside the facility except when you are transferred to another health care facility or when record release is required by law or health insurance company contract;
  • privacy in written communications, including the right to send and receive unopened mail promptly;
  • access to stationery, postage and writing implements (at your own expense);
  • regular access to the use of a telephone where calls can be made without being overheard and which is wheelchair accessible and usable by residents who are visually and hearing impaired.

Nursing Home Responsibility

The nursing home must:

  • ensure that you have privacy in accommodations, medical treatment, personal care, visits and meetings of family, friends and resident groups;
  • ensure that your mail is delivered to you unopened and that it is sent out unopened;
  • provide you, upon your request, with stationery, postage and writing materials (to be paid for by you) and assist you in reading or writing mail if you so request;
  • provide you, upon your request, with access to a telephone (and assist you in its use) that is private and, if necessary, wheelchair accessible and equipped for the hearing impaired or the visually impaired;
  • instruct all staff and assure that all staff adhere to its instructions to fully honor and maintain your right to approve or refuse to approve release of your personal and clinical records to any outside individual;
  • instruct all staff involved in your care to maintain your personal and clinical record in the strictest privacy. Staff must restrict discussion of your medical, mental and psychosocial problems to appropriate forums only, for example, at facility interdisciplinary care team conferences or unit conferences. Staff must not discuss or otherwise divulge your medical, mental and psychosocial problems with any other resident, even though discussion may be initiated by the other resident.