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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Wayne UNC Health Care recognizes that each patient is an individual with unique health care needs. Care should be focused upon each patient’s needs and provided in a manner that is considerate and respectful of each patient’s personal dignity. Similarly, Wayne UNC Health Care expects each patient to treat its providers and staff in a manner that is considerate and respectful. It is in recognition of these factors that Wayne UNC Health Care affirms the following rights and responsibilities for its patients. When a patient is incompetent or without capacity to make his/her own decisions, Wayne UNC Health Care recognizes the patient’s authorized representative as the patient’s decision-maker. Wayne UNC Health Care protects and promotes the rights of each patient. Hospital employees are provided with information on Patient Rights and Responsibilities during orientation


  • Respectful Treatment

    1. A patient has the right to be treated in a dignified and respectful manner, free from neglect, exploitation or abuse, with good quality care using high professional standards provided by competent personnel in a safe environment.
    2. A patient has the right to medical care without discrimination based upon age, race, ethnicity, color, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity (or expression), national origin, expression, or source of payment.
    3. Except as medically necessary, a patient has the right not to be awakened, to be free from duplicative procedures, and to avoid treatments that cause discomfort.
    4. Wayne UNC Health Care will accommodate a patient’s right to religious and other spiritual services, to the extent practicable.
    5. A patient has the right to have all records pertaining to his/her medical care treated as confidential, except as otherwise provided by law or third party contractual arrangements. A patient may access his/her records, requests amendments, and obtain information on disclosures, as required by law and pursuant to procedures established by Wayne UNC Health Care.
    6. A patient has the right to an environment that preserves privacy and dignity, including a right to privacy during treatment and personal hygiene activities. Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment are considered confidential and should be conducted discreetly.
    7. A patient who presents to the Emergency Department has the right to receive at least a medical screening exam, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay, and the right to have any emergency medical condition stabilized or to be transferred appropriately.
    8. Wayne UNC Health Care honors a patient’s right to give or withhold informed consent to produce or use recordings, films, or other images of the patient for purposes other than his/her care.
    9. A patient has the right to receive or refuse visitors whom he/she designates, regardless of legal relationships. Patient visitation is only restricted by hospital personnel when a visitor is disruptive, interferes with staff or patient care, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated for the patient.
  • Communication, Information and Participation in Care Decisions

    1. A patient has the right to effective communication in understandable terms concerning his/her diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, including information about alternative treatments and possible complications, in order to make informed decisions about his/her care plan. An interpreter, or appropriate auxiliary aids and services, will be provided free of charge when necessary so that a patient can effectively communicate with his/her health care providers.
    2. A physician/provider must obtain informed consent prior to any procedure or treatment, except in an emergency.
    3. A patient has the right to have his/her family and physician/provider promptly notified of his/her admission to the hospital.
    4. A patient has the right to refuse drugs, treatments and procedures and will be informed by the physician/provider of the medical consequence of that refusal. A patient may be discharged if such decisions render it impossible for Wayne UNC Health Care to provide meaningful care.
    5. A patient has the right to assistance in obtaining consultation with another physician/provider (at the patient’s expense). If medically safe to do so, the patient has the right to transfer to another facility if the new facility has accepted the patient and the patient has been provided information of the risks and alternatives.
    6. A patient has the right to participate in the development and implementation of his/her discharge plan, which includes being informed of his/her continuing health care requirements following discharge and the means for meeting them.
    7. A patient has the right, upon request, to be given the name of the physician(s), clinical psychologist(s), or other practitioner(s) who has primary responsibility for his/her care, as well as the names of other physicians and health care providers who directly participate in his/her care.
    8. A patient has the right to information about advance directives, to formulate advance directives, and to have staff and health care personnel comply with these directives, within the limits of law.
    9. Wayne UNC Health Care documents a patient’s wishes concerning organ donation when he or she makes such wishes known, in accordance with law and regulation.
    10. A patient has the right to consent to or refuse participation in research, investigation, or clinical trials. In order to make that decision, the patient will be informed of the purpose and duration of the research, the procedures involved, the potential risks and benefits, and alternative care and treatment available. (An Institutional Review Board may waiver or alter the consent requirement consistent with applicable laws and regulations.) A patient’s refusal to participate in research, investigation or clinical trials, or discontinuing participation at any time, will not jeopardize his/her access to care, treatment and services unrelated to the research.
    11. A patient has the right to access protective and advocacy services authorized to act on the patient’s behalf, and Wayne UNC Health Care will provide contact information for patient advocacy groups when requested.
    12. A patient has the right to be informed about unanticipated outcomes of care, treatment and services.
    13. A patient has the right to receive a detailed explanation of his/her bill.
    14. A patient has a right to information and counseling on the availability of known financial resources for his/her health care.
  • Complaints and Grievances

    1. A patient cannot be denied the right of access to an individual or agency that is authorized to act on his/her behalf to assert or protect the rights set out in this document.
    2. A patient has the right to file a grievance through the Patient Experience Department when the patient believes any of the above rights have been violated. See Wayne UNC Health Care Policy "Administration - Complaint and Grievance Management."
    3. A patient has the right to file a complaint with the North Carolina Division of Health Services Regulation (DHSR) and The Joint Commission.


  1. Patients are informed about their responsibilities initially and as needed thereafter. The patients is responsible for:

    1. A patient has the responsibility to treat Wayne UNC Health Care providers and staff with consideration and respect, without regard to age, race, ethnicity, color, religion, culture, language, disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity (or expression), or national origin. This includes refraining from inappropriate, discriminatory, harassing or abusive language and behavior.
    2. A patient has the responsibility to treat other patients and visitors with consideration and respect, including keeping conversations (in person and by phone), television and music devices at low levels to avoid disturbing others.
    3. A patient has the responsibility to follow Wayne UNC Health Care policies, rules and regulations. This includes the patient’s responsibility not to use tobacco products, alcohol or any drugs or medication other than medications administered by Wayne UNC Health Care providers.
    4. A patient has the responsibility to cooperate with his/her providers and to provide accurate and complete health information in order to facilitate his/her care and treatment. A patient is expected to ask questions and is responsible for telling caregivers if he/she does not understand his/her care or treatment.
    5. A patient will not demand and Wayne UNC Health Care will not provide treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate.
    6. A patient has the responsibility to assure that the financial obligations for his/her health care are fulfilled in a reasonable period of time.

Have a privacy or compliance concern?

Patients and guests may report compliance and privacy concerns by calling 1-800-362-2921 or online at

Concerns or Complaints 

Our goal is to meet your care expectations all of the time. If we fall short of your expectations, please share your concerns immediately with your care team. If your direct care team can’t resolve your concern, please call our Patient Experience team at 919-587-CARE or fill out our Share Your Experience form available at

Wayne UNC Health Care is committed to a positive patient experience. Our Patient Experience department is responsible for managing patient complaints and grievances, including grievances related to Patient Rights and Responsibilities. 

When an issue cannot be resolved promptly by teammates, a patient or his or her representative can file an oral or written grievance with the Patient Experience department. Grievances can be made in person, by phone at 919-587-CARE, by mail to the Patient Experience Department, Wayne UNC Health Care, 2700 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro, NC 27534 or online at

The Patient Experience department will attempt to resolve a grievance within seven business days, communicating a written resolution of the grievance, including the decision, the name of the grievance investigator, the steps taken to investigate the grievance and the date of completion. If you need help filing a grievance, our Director of Patient Relations can help you. 

If your patient care concerns aren’t resolved to your expectations, you can contact:

Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring


North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation
Unit 2711 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2711
Complaint hotline: 919-855-4500 / 1-800-621-3004 

You can also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal at, by mail at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 509F, HHH Building, Washington, D.C. 20201 or by phone at 1-800-368-1019; 1-800-537-7697 (TDD). Complaint forms are available at

UNC Health Care Nondiscrimination Notice

Notice of Nondiscrimination [PDF]