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Patient Rights of the Tokyo Metropolitan Hospitals
Under the doctrine of “patient-centered health care,” all patients have the right to receive health care with respect and dignity. In addition, as care is developed through cooperation based on mutual trust between the patient and health care providers, it is also necessary for the patient to participate as a responsible individual.
Tokyo Metropolitan Hospitals (hereinafter referred to as “Metropolitan Hospitals”), which have been entrusted with the mission to protect the lives and health of the residents of Tokyo, have drawn up this Patient Rights based on the above concept.
Metropolitan Hospitals shall uphold this Patient Rights and shall support patients in their responsible participation in matters concerning their own health care.
While this Patient Rights encompasses all patients, particularly attentive care must be provided to children, with careful consideration given to their growth and development. Based on this concept, Metropolitan Hospitals have also drawn up the Children Patient Rights.
Metropolitan Hospitals shall uphold the Children Patient Rights and be especially attentive to children.
1. All patients regardless of their medical complaint have the right to receive equal, high-quality health care.
All patients, regardless of their social standing, medical complaint, nationality, religion, or any other individual characteristics, have the right to receive safe and effective health care based on proper medical standards. Metropolitan Hospital staff shall respect this right of patients and treat all patients equally at all times. They shall also work to improve their knowledge and skills in order to provide proper and safe medical services and enhance the quality of their services.
2. All patients have the right to receive health care respectful of their personality, beliefs and other individual qualities, and under a mutually cooperative relation with the health care provider.
When they receive treatment or undergo examinations, all patients should be respected as members of society who have their own personality, beliefs and other individual qualities. Metropolitan Hospital staff shall respect these individual differences and work to provide medical services under a mutually cooperative relation with each patient.
3. All patients have the right to receive, in comprehensible words and/or methods, sufficient explanation and information regarding their medical condition, tests, treatment and prospects until they are completely satisfied with the explanation.
The provision of explanation and information regarding health care must not be a one-way process from the health care provider to the patient. Health care providers must obtain the understanding and acceptance of the patient through close communications based on a patient-centered approach in which the patient provides information including his or her symptoms and medical history and the health care provider properly answers the patient’s questions using understandable words and/or methods.
Metropolitan Hospital staff shall value communications with the patients and strive to help patients understand and accept their health care regimen.
4. All patients have the right to select the strategy of medical treatment, etc., to be taken after receiving sufficient explanation and information.
To guarantee patients’ right to select their medical strategy on their own accord, health care providers with proper levels of medical knowledge and experience must not only provide medical information but also support patients with their interests in mind at all times. Metropolitan Hospital staff shall respect patient wishes by standing on this position. Patients’ wishes for a second opinion will be honored as well.
5. All patients have the right to request access to their personal medical records.
Given that it is often difficult for patients to understand their personal medical records by themselves, the right to request access to such records includes not only the right to read and take a copy of them, but also the right to receive a summary and/or explanation of them. Based on this policy, Metropolitan Hospitals have established their own system to allow patients to access their medical records.
To ensure that patients can fully benefit from the right to access medical records, Metropolitan Hospital staff shall always strive to maintain records in an appropriate manner.
6. All patients have the right to have their privacy respected and undisturbed to the extent possible during time spent at the hospital, and any personal information on patients obtained during consultation and treatment shall be kept confidential.
At a hospital, staff handle patients’ personal information concerning their illness, and patients live their private lives in an atypical environment. This is why special attention must be paid to protect patient privacy. Metropolitan Hospital staff shall firmly keep in mind this nature of a hospital, and strictly uphold the patient’s right to privacy by keeping personal information confident and ensuring that the private lives of the patients are respected and undisturbed.
7. For medical treatment still under research, all patients have the right to determine if they wish to undertake such treatment after receiving sufficient information on it including its goals and risks, and also have the right to refuse such treatment at any stage without impacting their access to standard care.
For clinical trials of drugs (clinical tests conducted on patients to obtain drug approval) or therapies still under study, all patients have the right to determine if they wish to receive such treatment after obtaining sufficient information including their goals and risks.
Such treatment will not be administered without the patient’s consent. And, even if consent has been given, the patient can withdraw from the study at any stage without impacting his or her access to standard care. In particular, clinical trials must be conducted according to the standards of good clinical practice (GCP), with a hospital’s clinical research coordinator working to protect the patient’s rights. Metropolitan Hospitals shall also provide medical services through the proper procedures in accordance with such guidelines.
8. All patients have the responsibility of providing, as accurately as possible, all relevant information concerning their health to doctors and other health care providers to ensure that high-quality care is provided.
To help health care providers make the best possible decisions about patients’ conditions, treatment plan, etc., patients are requested to provide, as accurately as possible, all relevant information concerning their health including their allergies and individual and family health history.
9. In order for patients to receive health care that meets their satisfaction, all patients have the responsibility of asking questions about any part of the medical treatment they do not understand until they can fully comprehend it.
Patients are requested to ask health care providers questions as many times as necessary in order to receive sufficient explanation and information on the treatment, etc. and thus health care that meets their satisfaction, and so that they can select the strategy of treatment, etc. on their own.
10. So that all patients can receive optimum medical services, all patients have the responsibility of giving due consideration so as not to interfere with the treatment of other patients or the provision of medical care by the hospital staff.
At a hospital, staff are constantly providing many patients with various medical treatment. Patients may thus be subject to certain restrictions that they do not experience in their regular lives. Patients are asked to accept this and cooperate with the health care providers’ efforts to provide optimum care to every patient.
General Affairs Section, Service Promotion Division
Office of Metropolitan Hospital Management