Patient Rights

North Shore Medical Center (NSMC) emphasizes the importance of respecting patients’ rights to all members of our staff. A "patient bill of rights and responsibilities" is posted throughout our hospitals, in several languages.
Nurses at North Shore Medical Center
Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

NSMC adheres to the following beliefs regarding patient’s rights:

  • You have the right to say yes to treatment. You also have the right to say no or refuse treatment. 
  • You have a right to be involved in all aspects of your care and treatment.  
  • You have a right to expect that your pain and symptoms will be assessed and treated with the goal of minimizing your experience of pain and discomfort, to the extent clinically possible.  
  • You have a right to equitable, considerate, respectful care that includes consideration of your psychosocial, spiritual, cultural and personal values and beliefs.  
  • You have the right to know the identity and specialty of individuals involved in your care.  
  • You have a right to refuse to be observed, examined, or treated by students or by any other staff without jeopardizing your access to medical care. 
  • You have a right to prompt response to all reasonable requests.  
  • You have a right if suffering from any form of breast cancer, to receive complete information on all alternative treatments, which are medically viable.  
  • You have a right to receive prompt, life-saving treatment without delay and to receive the most appropriate medical treatment and care available without regard to your economic status or the source of payment.  
  • You have a right to confidentiality of all records and communications concerning your medical history and treatment to the extent provided by law.  
  • You have a right to participate or have your designated representative participate in the consideration of ethical issues, which arise in your care.  
  • You have a right to receive medically and factually accurate information prepared by the Commissioner of Public Health about emergency contraception if you are a female rape victim and of childbearing age, to be promptly offered emergency contraception; and to be provided with emergency contraception upon request. You have a right to receive competent interpreter services when seeking care at NSMC.  
  • You have a right to report safety concerns.  
  • You have a right to obtain a copy of any rules and regulations of NSMC, which apply to your conduct as a patient, such as the No Smoking Policy.  
  • You have a right to file a complaint or grievance both internally and externally. Internally, you may file a complaint by contacting the NSMC Patient and Family Relations Department at 978.354.2025. If you have a question about the hospital’s business practices, you may call NSMC’s Compliance Hotline at 800.856.1983. Externally, you may file a complaint with MA Department of Public Health, Division of Health Care Quality at 800.462.5540, the Joint Commission at 800-994-6610, or to the Board of Registration in Medicine at 800.377.0550. 

NSMC adheres to the following beliefs regarding patient’s responsibilities:

  • To provide accurate and complete information about your present symptoms, past illnesses (including pain and response to treatment), hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to your health. • To report unexpected changes in your condition to those responsible for your care.
  • To tell us if you do not understand the proposed plan of care and what is expected of you.
  • To follow the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily responsible for your care.
  • To accepting responsibility for your actions if you refuse treatment or do not follow your practitioner’s instructions.
  • To assure the financial obligations of your health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible; to give the NSMC all necessary information we will need about the payment of your care.
  • To follow NSMC rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct, including the No Smoking Policy. To be considerate of the rights of other patients and NSMC personnel by assisting with the control of noise and number of visitors.
  • To respect the property of others and of the NSMC.
  • To ask questions if you do not understand instructions given to you at discharge about the treatment plan that you will use at home, including the medications that you will take and the activities that you can perform.

Contact Outside Agencies

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Quality
99 Chauncy Street, 2nd floor
Boston, MA 02111
800.462.5540

Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine
Patient Care Assessment Unit 200
Harvard Mill Square, Suite 330
Wakefield, MA 01880
800.377.0550

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization
1 Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
800.944.6610