Patient and Visitor Rights and Responsibilities

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At Health Sciences North, we are committed to providing quality care to everyone who comes through our doors.

As a patient, you have both rights and responsibilities when it comes to your health and the health care services you receive at the hospital.

As a family member or friend, you also have a role to play. According to this philosophy, patients and visitors have a right and responsibility to: 


Patient Rights

  • Be treated in a kind and respectful way.
  • Receive culturally-sensitive care.
  • Expect that all information about your health care will be kept private and confidential in accordance with the law.
  • Be given information in a way you will understand.
  • Expect that your health care team will share important information with each other.
  • Participate in making decisions about your care.
  • Refuse care as permitted by the law.
  • Express your concerns and get answers to your questions. 

Patient Responsibilities
As a patient you have a responsibility to:

  • Be polite and respect the privacy of other patients, visitors and members of the health care team.
  • Avoid offensive or abusive language.
  • Recognize that the needs of other patients and families may sometimes be more urgent than your own.
  • Give accurate information to your health care team to help them plan your care.
  • Give your health care team the name of the person who will represent you if you cannot make decisions by yourself.
  • Be familiar with the names and roles of people involved in your care.
  • Follow the plan of care given to you the best way you can.
  • Accept responsibility for the decisions you make about your treatment.
  • Take care of your personal things and send home anything that is not needed.
  • Respect hospital property and act in a safe and responsible way.
  • Understand that you may be responsible for all expenses not covered by OHIP or private insurance during your hospital stay.
  • Keep appointments, or call to cancel if you are unable to keep your appointment.
  • Comply with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws.

Visitor Responsibilities
As a family member or friend, we count on you to assist us in the following ways:

  • Observe the visiting hours for the area you are visiting.
  • Respect our patients’ right to privacy and leave the patient room or care area when asked by hospital staff – indecent or abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.
  • Be considerate of the rights of our patients and hospital staff by treating them with courtesy and respect.
  • Do not visit if you are not feeling well or have an illness that could be transferred to our patients.
  • Be respectful of the property of other people and of the hospital.
  • Comply with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws.
  • Comply with safe conduct regulations.
  • Photos are not to be taken while on hospital property without prior approval.
  • Visitors who do not comply with these responsibilities may be asked to leave or escorted off hospital property.

We hope these guidelines for patients and visitors will make your visit more pleasant.

Patient Safety

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Understanding Your Role

HSN recognizes that patient safety is everyone’s  responsibility and is committed at every level of your care to make sure that your stay is safe and free of harm. Patients who are more involved in their care do better and recover faster.

Here is how you can make your visit or hospital stay safer and a more positive experience:

Top 10 Patient Safety Tips

1. SPEAK UP – it’s okay to ask questions about your care
2. TELL US – about your health history
3. ASK FOR HELP – don’t hesitate when you need it
4. CLEAN YOUR HANDS – and remind others
5. BE INVOLVED – in your health care
6. KNOW AND UNDERSTAND – your medications
7. HELP – prevent falls
8. CHECK – for staff identification
9. MAKE SURE – staff identify you before providing care
10. RESPECT – others and expect it back


Download the Top 10 Safety Tips or the Patient Safety brochure