A hospital must protect and promote each patient's rights.
(a) Standard: Notice of rights.
(1) A hospital must inform each patient, or when appropriate, the patient's representative (as allowed under State law), of the patient's rights, in advance of furnishing or discontinuing patient care whenever possible.
(2) The hospital must establish a process for prompt resolution of patient grievances and must inform each patient whom to contact to file a grievance. The hospital's governing body must approve and be responsible for the effective operation of the grievance process and must review and resolve grievances, unless it delegates the responsibility in writing to a grievance committee. The grievance process must include a mechanism for timely referral of patient concerns regarding quality of care or premature discharge to the appropriate Utilization and Quality Control Quality Improvement Organization. At a minimum:
(i) The hospital must establish a clearly explained procedure for the submission of a patient's written or verbal grievance to the hospital.
(ii) The grievance process must specify time frames for review of the grievance and the provision of a response.
(iii) In its resolution of the grievance, the hospital must provide the patient with written notice of its decision that contains the name of the hospital contact person, the steps taken on behalf of the patient to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance process, and the date of completion.
(b) Standard: Exercise of rights.
(1) The patient has the right to participate in the development and implementation of his or her plan of care.
(2) The patient or his or her representative (as allowed under State law) has the right to make informed decisions regarding his or her care. The patient's rights include being informed of his or her health status, being involved in care planning and treatment, and being able to request or refuse treatment. This right must not be construed as a mechanism to demand the provision of treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate.
(3) The patient has the right to formulate advance directives and to have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives, in accordance with § 489.100 of this part (Definition), § 489.102 of this part (Requirements for providers), and § 489.104 of this part (Effective dates).
(4) The patient has the right to have a family member or representative of his or her choice and his or her own physician notified promptly of his or her admission to the hospital.
(c) Standard: Privacy and safety.
(1) The patient has the right to personal privacy.
(2) The patient has the right to receive care in a safe setting.
(3) The patient has the right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
(d) Standard: Confidentiality of patient records.
(1) The patient has the right to the confidentiality of his or her clinical records.
(2) The patient has the right to access their medical records, including current medical records, upon an oral or written request, in the form and format requested by the individual, if it is readily producible in such form and format (including in an electronic form or format when such medical records are maintained electronically); or, if not, in a readable hard copy form or such other form and format as agreed to by the facility and the individual, and within a reasonable time frame. The hospital must not frustrate the legitimate efforts of individuals to gain access to their own medical records and must actively seek to meet these requests as quickly as its record keeping system permits.
(e) Standard: Restraint or seclusion. All patients have the right to be free from physical or mental abuse, and corporal punishment. All patients have the right to be free from restraint or seclusion, of any form, imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff. Restraint or seclusion may only be imposed to ensure the immediate physical safety of the patient, a staff member, or others and must be discontinued at the earliest possible time.
(i) A restraint is -
(A) Any manual method, physical or mechanical device, material, or equipment that immobilizes or reduces the ability of a patient to move his or her arms, legs, body, or head freely; or
(B) A drug or medication when it is used as a restriction to manage the patient's behavior or restrict the patient's freedom of movement and is not a standard treatment or dosage for the patient's condition.
(C) A restraint does not include devices, such as orthopedically prescribed devices, surgical dressings or bandages, protective helmets, or other methods that involve the physical holding of a patient for the purpose of conducting routine physical examinations or tests, or to protect the patient from falling out of bed, or to permit the patient to participate in activities without the risk of physical harm (this does not include a physical escort).
(ii) Seclusion is the involuntary confinement of a patient alone in a room or area from which the patient is physically prevented from leaving. Seclusion may only be used for the management of violent or self-destructive behavior.
(2) Restraint or seclusion may only be used when less restrictive interventions have been determined to be ineffective to protect the patient a staff member or others from harm.
(3) The type or technique of restraint or seclusion used must be the least restrictive intervention that will be effective to protect the patient, a staff member, or others from harm.
(4) The use of restraint or seclusion must be -
(i) In accordance with a written modification to the patient's plan of care; and
(ii) Implemented in accordance with safe and appropriate restraint and seclusion techniques as determined by hospital policy in accordance with State law.
(5) The use of restraint or seclusion must be in accordance with the order of a physician or other licensed practitioner who is responsible for the care of the patient and authorized to order restraint or seclusion by hospital policy in accordance with State law.
(6) Orders for the use of restraint or seclusion must never be written as a standing order or on an as needed basis (PRN).
(7) The attending physician must be consulted as soon as possible if the attending physician did not order the restraint or seclusion.
(8) Unless superseded by State law that is more restrictive -
(i) Each order for restraint or seclusion used for the management of violent or self-destructive behavior that jeopardizes the immediate physical safety of the patient, a staff member, or others may only be renewed in accordance with the following limits for up to a total of 24 hours:
(A) 4 hours for adults 18 years of age or older;
(B) 2 hours for children and adolescents 9 to 17 years of age; or
(C) 1 hour for children under 9 years of age; and
(ii) After 24 hours, before writing a new order for the use of restraint or seclusion for the management of violent or self-destructive behavior, a physician or other licensed practitioner who is responsible for the care of the patient and authorized to order restraint or seclusion by hospital policy in accordance with State law must see and assess the patient.
(iii) Each order for restraint used to ensure the physical safety of the non-violent or non-self-destructive patient may be renewed as authorized by hospital policy.
(9) Restraint or seclusion must be discontinued at the earliest possible time, regardless of the length of time identified in the order.
(10) The condition of the patient who is restrained or secluded must be monitored by a physician, other licensed practitioner, or trained staff that have completed the training criteria specified in paragraph (f) of this section at an interval determined by hospital policy.
(11) Physician and other licensed practitioner training requirements must be specified in hospital policy. At a minimum, physicians and other licensed practitioners authorized to order restraint or seclusion by hospital policy in accordance with State law must have a working knowledge of hospital policy regarding the use of restraint or seclusion.
(12) When restraint or seclusion is used for the management of violent or self-destructive behavior that jeopardizes the immediate physical safety of the patient, a staff member, or others, the patient must be seen face-to-face within 1 hour after the initiation of the intervention -
(i) By a -
(A) Physician or other licensed practitioner.
(B) Registered nurse who has been trained in accordance with the requirements specified in paragraph (f) of this section.
(ii) To evaluate -
(A) The patient's immediate situation;
(B) The patient's reaction to the intervention;
(C) The patient's medical and behavioral condition; and
(D) The need to continue or terminate the restraint or seclusion.
(13) States are free to have requirements by statute or regulation that are more restrictive than those contained in paragraph (e)(12)(i) of this section.
(14) If the face-to-face evaluation specified in paragraph (e)(12) of this section is conducted by a trained registered nurse, the trained registered nurse must consult the attending physician or other licensed practitioner who is responsible for the care of the patient as soon as possible after the completion of the 1-hour face-to-face evaluation.
(15) All requirements specified under this paragraph are applicable to the simultaneous use of restraint and seclusion. Simultaneous restraint and seclusion use is only permitted if the patient is continually monitored -
(i) Face-to-face by an assigned, trained staff member; or
(ii) By trained staff using both video and audio equipment. This monitoring must be in close proximity to the patient.
(16) When restraint or seclusion is used, there must be documentation in the patient's medical record of the following:
(i) The 1-hour face-to-face medical and behavioral evaluation if restraint or seclusion is used to manage violent or self-destructive behavior;
(ii) A description of the patient's behavior and the intervention used;
(iii) Alternatives or other less restrictive interventions attempted (as applicable);
(iv) The patient's condition or symptom(s) that warranted the use of the restraint or seclusion; and
(v) The patient's response to the intervention(s) used, including the rationale for continued use of the intervention.
(f) Standard: Restraint or seclusion: Staff training requirements. The patient has the right to safe implementation of restraint or seclusion by trained staff.
(1) Training intervals. Staff must be trained and able to demonstrate competency in the application of restraints, implementation of seclusion, monitoring, assessment, and providing care for a patient in restraint or seclusion -
(i) Before performing any of the actions specified in this paragraph;
(ii) As part of orientation; and
(iii) Subsequently on a periodic basis consistent with hospital policy.
(2) Training content. The hospital must require appropriate staff to have education, training, and demonstrated knowledge based on the specific needs of the patient population in at least the following:
(i) Techniques to identify staff and patient behaviors, events, and environmental factors that may trigger circumstances that require the use of a restraint or seclusion.
(ii) The use of nonphysical intervention skills.
(iii) Choosing the least restrictive intervention based on an individualized assessment of the patient's medical, or behavioral status or condition.
(iv) The safe application and use of all types of restraint or seclusion used in the hospital, including training in how to recognize and respond to signs of physical and psychological distress (for example, positional asphyxia);
(v) Clinical identification of specific behavioral changes that indicate that restraint or seclusion is no longer necessary.
(vi) Monitoring the physical and psychological well-being of the patient who is restrained or secluded, including but not limited to, respiratory and circulatory status, skin integrity, vital signs, and any special requirements specified by hospital policy associated with the 1-hour face-to-face evaluation.
(vii) The use of first aid techniques and certification in the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, including required periodic recertification.
(3) Trainer requirements. Individuals providing staff training must be qualified as evidenced by education, training, and experience in techniques used to address patients' behaviors.
(4) Training documentation. The hospital must document in the staff personnel records that the training and demonstration of competency were successfully completed.
(g) Standard: Death reporting requirements: Hospitals must report deaths associated with the use of seclusion or restraint.
(1) With the exception of deaths described under paragraph (g)(2) of this section, the hospital must report the following information to CMS by telephone, facsimile, or electronically, as determined by CMS, no later than the close of business on the next business day following knowledge of the patient's death:
(i) Each death that occurs while a patient is in restraint or seclusion.
(ii) Each death that occurs within 24 hours after the patient has been removed from restraint or seclusion.
(iii) Each death known to the hospital that occurs within 1 week after restraint or seclusion where it is reasonable to assume that use of restraint or placement in seclusion contributed directly or indirectly to a patient's death, regardless of the type(s) of restraint used on the patient during this time. “Reasonable to assume” in this context includes, but is not limited to, deaths related to restrictions of movement for prolonged periods of time, or death related to chest compression, restriction of breathing, or asphyxiation.
(2) When no seclusion has been used and when the only restraints used on the patient are those applied exclusively to the patient's wrist(s), and which are composed solely of soft, non-rigid, cloth-like materials, the hospital staff must record in an internal log or other system, the following information:
(i) Any death that occurs while a patient is in such restraints.
(ii) Any death that occurs within 24 hours after a patient has been removed from such restraints.
(3) The staff must document in the patient's medical record the date and time the death was:
(i) Reported to CMS for deaths described in paragraph (g)(1) of this section; or
(ii) Recorded in the internal log or other system for deaths described in paragraph (g)(2) of this section.
(4) For deaths described in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, entries into the internal log or other system must be documented as follows:
(i) Each entry must be made not later than seven days after the date of death of the patient.
(ii) Each entry must document the patient's name, date of birth, date of death, name of attending physician or other licensed practitioner who is responsible for the care of the patient, medical record number, and primary diagnosis(es).
(iii) The information must be made available in either written or electronic form to CMS immediately upon request.
(h) Standard: Patient visitation rights. A hospital must have written policies and procedures regarding the visitation rights of patients, including those setting forth any clinically necessary or reasonable restriction or limitation that the hospital may need to place on such rights and the reasons for the clinical restriction or limitation. A hospital must meet the following requirements:
(1) Inform each patient (or support person, where appropriate) of his or her visitation rights, including any clinical restriction or limitation on such rights, when he or she is informed of his or her other rights under this section.
(2) Inform each patient (or support person, where appropriate) of the right, subject to his or her consent, to receive the visitors whom he or she designates, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend, and his or her right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time.
(3) Not restrict, limit, or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
(4) Ensure that all visitors enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with patient preferences.