Patient Rights & Safety

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health centers, hospitals, staff and physicians will treat each patient – regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, newborn status, handicap or source of payment – with consideration, dignity and respect. Mutual rights and responsibilities exist between patients and the health network.

Patient Rights

  • Froedtert & MCW health centers and hospitals will reasonably respond to requests and needs for treatment or service within their capacity, stated mission, and applicable laws and regulations. No patient will be denied appropriate hospital care based on race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, newborn status, handicap, or source of payment.
  • Patients will be treated with respect and awareness of their individuality and personal needs, including the need for privacy, effective pain management, and psychosocial, spiritual and cultural differences.
  • The patient’s medical record, including all computerized medical information, is kept confidential according to the requirements of state and federal laws. The patient, or any person authorized by law, will have access to the patient’s medical record.
  • Each patient may know who has overall responsibility for his/her care.
  • Each patient, or any person authorized by law, will receive information about the patient’s illness, course of treatment and prognosis for recovery in terms the patient can understand from the appropriate Froedtert & MCW staff person.
  • Patients have the opportunity to make health care and ethical decisions in collaboration with their health team members. They may also assign representatives to be involved in their care.
  • Except in emergencies, consent for treatment will be obtained from patients, or those legally authorized to act for them, before participating in research, and before any diagnostic and/or surgical procedures are performed.
  • Any patient may refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and will be informed of the medical consequences of the refusal.
  • Except in emergencies, the patient may not be transferred to another facility without being given a full explanation for the transfer, without coverage for continuing care and without acceptance by the receiving institution.
  • Patients may look at their hospital and clinic bills and receive an explanation as needed. Each patient may receive, upon request, information relating to financial assistance available.
  • Patients have the right to designate their visitors, and people involved in their care.
  • Each patient may make an advance directive and appoint an authorized representative to make healthcare decisions on their behalf as permitted by Wisconsin law and the Froedtert & MCW Advance Directives policy.

Patient Responsibilities

Patients, or their legally authorized representatives, are responsible for providing complete and accurate medical information and for cooperating in the patient’s treatment. This includes:

  • Communicating to caregivers whether or not the plan of care and related expectations are understood.
  • Following the care plan recommended by their physicians, and the instructions of nurses and other caregivers, or, upon refusal to do so, accepting the consequences of the refusal.
  • Promptly reporting any unexpected changes in condition to the designated health care providers.
  • Patients, or their legally authorized representatives, are responsible for observing Froedtert & MCW policies, rules and regulations, including rules on visitors, noise control and smoking. All are expected to be respectful of other patients, visitors, staff and property.
  • Patients, or their legally authorized representatives, are expected to cooperate when making appropriate arrangements for payment of hospital charges for care and treatment, including providing all required information and signing all necessary documents.

Communication Preferences

To help you keep track of your appointments, we send appointment reminder notifications by text message or phone call. You can update your communication preferences at any time in My HFM Record. If you do not have a My HFM Record account, please let us know how you want to receive appointment notifications when you schedule your next appointment. We’ll update your preferences for you.

Please note: Effective Sept. 9, 2020, we have upgraded our appointment notification system to better meet the needs of our patients. This update may affect how you receive appointment notifications. You will have the option to opt out from future appointment notifications when you receive an appointment notification. You can also opt out or change how you receive appointment notifications by updating your preferences in My HFM Record or letting our staff know your preferences when scheduling your next appointment.

Grievance Procedure

If there is a concern about the care provided by Froedtert & MCW health centers, hospitals or staff, please contact us to file a complaint or grievance:

  • Bureau of Health Services-Division of Quality Assurance
  • P.O. Box 2969
  • Madison, WI 53701-2969
  • Phone: (608) 266-8481