Patient Rights & Responsibilities | Patients & Visitors | UNM Health System (2024)

Patients and their parents or legal guardians are entitled to certain rights at UNM Health. At all our facilities, you will be:

  • Treated with dignity and respect of your individuality in a safe environment, free of threat and harm and with privacy in treatment
  • Assessed and treated for pain
  • Free from restraints unless they are necessary to keep you safe and when less restrictive methods have not worked

We will keep your medical record and health information private except when used for treatment, billing or hospital business, or when required by law.

Download a copy of your Patient Rights & Responsibilities in English [PDF], Spanish [PDF].

Patient Rights & Responsibilities ASL Translation Video Download

Specific Patient Rights

Language, Culture, Religion, Gender, Disability and Race

You have the right to:

  • Access qualified interpreter services
  • To wear religious and symbolic items as long as they do not get in the way of your care.
  • To be offered a trained interpreterif your preferred language is not English.
  • To be offered appropriate resources if you have vision, speech, hearing, or cognitive needs.

We Do Not Discriminate

  • University of New Mexico Hospitals (UNMH) follows federal and state civil rights laws. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or marriage status

Medical Information

You have the right to:

  • You have the right to know who is on your health care team.
  • You have the right to know of your health problems and diagnosis.
  • You have the right to know your treatment choices, including the risks, benefits, and results you may expect.
  • You have the right to ask questions.
  • You have the right to a second opinion.
  • You have the right to learn about additional care you may need
  • You have the right to know why we move you to a new doctor at a different hospital. You also have the right to know what care you can expect there.
  • You may ask for an explanation of your bill and our services.
  • To ask for a copy of the Patient Rights and Responsibilities.

Decisions About Your Care

You have the right to:

  • Say who can visit you in the hospital, based on hospital and unit policy.
  • Make decisions about your care, treatment and services, together with your health care team.
  • Refuse care, treatment, and services, according to state and federal laws and regulations.
  • Say who may make medical decisions about your care, when you are unable to speak for yourself.
  • Sign an “Advance Directive.” This form helps you say what you would want if you ever became too sick to make choices for yourself.
  • Decide whether or not to be a part of research studies or clinical trials.

Update on Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act

The Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act is effective in New Mexico as of June 18, 2021. UNM Hospital, UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the UNM Medical Group are participating health care entities as defined in the Act, and have implemented a process to care for outpatients that request these services.A patient must simply ask their care provider about these services to start the process.Sandoval Regional Medical Center (SRMC) is not currently a participating entity.

Questions, Concerns and Complaints

You Have the Right to Question What We Do and to Make a Complaint or File a Grievance.

  • Make a complaint or file a grievance if you think we have done something wrong or unfair or are concerned about your care:
    • Talk to the nurse in charge, the department leadership, or your doctor.
    • Call the Patient Advocate at 505-272-2121.
    • Call the UNMH Ethics Committee at 505-272-6663.
    • Call the NM Department of Health (NMDOH) at 1-800-752-8649
      • You may also write to the NMDOH
        Division of Health Improvement
        P.O. Box 26110,
        Santa Fe, NM 87502-6110
    • Call The Joint Commission (TJC) at 1-800-994-6610.
      • You may also write to TJC:
        Office of Quality and Patient Safety The Joint Commission
        One Renaissance Boulevard
        Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181
    • For UNM Medical Group Clinics Call: Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) at 1-847-853-6060 or submit a complaint online to complaints@aaahc.org.

Your Responsibilities

Patients also have certain responsibilities in their care, including to:

  • Give correct and complete information about your health to your health care team.
  • Tell your doctor about any changes in your health.
  • You and your health care team have talked about what you need to do to get better. We call this your care plan. Follow the plan, and if you think you cannot, tell your team why.
  • Cancel appointments that you can’t keep.
  • Make sure your medical bills are paid.
  • Tell us your thoughts and concerns.
  • Treat other patients, hospital staff and property with respect.

More Information for Patients

Use this downloadable information to learn more about your rights as a patient at UNM Health.

Privacy Practices

Learn how your medical information may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to the information. Download the booklet:

The Joint Commission Speak Up™ Guide

Learn how to advocate for yourself and your care. Download the Joint Commission’s Speak Up™ guide:

  • English [PDF]
  • Spanish [PDF]

Advance Healthcare Directive

You have the right to give instructions about your own health care. You also have the right to authorize someone else to make health care decisions for you. The optional advance healthcare directive form lets you declare either or both statements and designate your primary doctor. This form is not required to receive care at UNM Health.

Download the Optional Advance Healthcare Directive:

  • English [PDF]
  • Spanish [PDF]
  • Vietnamese [PDF]
  • Advance Directive for Mental Health Treatment [PDF]
Patient Rights & Responsibilities | Patients & Visitors | UNM Health System (2024)
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