Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Welcome to Athens Regional Health System. We're honored to be your healthcare partner. As partners, we want to involve you in treatment decisions and ensure clear, effective communication. We will give excellent care in accordance with our mission and guiding principles, and as permitted by law and scope of practice.

While you are a patient with us, you, your family and/or legal guardian have the following rights and responsibilities:

Patient Rights

Access to Care

To receive considerate, respectful and compassionate care in a safe environment regardless of your age, color, national origin, culture, ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, religion, physical or mental disability, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, or manner of payment.

Emergency Treatment

To receive emergency treatment to stabilize your condition if presenting to the hospital emergency department.

Privacy and Confidentiality

  • To privacy and security.
  • To expect all information pertaining to your care will be kept confidential, including your treatment records, unless you give permission to release information or law permits reporting.

Read more about Patient Confidentiality and Privacy


  • To view your records and have the information explained, except when restricted by law.
  • To be well informed about your illness or injury, possible treatments and likely outcomes, including unexpected outcomes, and about pain and pain relief measures.
  • To discuss information with your doctor.
  • To know the names of people treating you.
  • To receive interpretation services in your preferred spoken language at no expense to you.
  • To receive hearing impaired and/or sign language services at no expense to you.

Request for Medical Records:

If you have a change to make to your medical records, please complete and submit this form.

You can fax completed forms to our Health Information Management Department at 706-475-6961. For more information about medical records, call 706-475-3361 and press option 1.

NEW!  Use the patient portal to request and receive medical records requests.

  1. Sign up for the patient portal by calling 706-475-3397.
  2. Download, complete, and sign the records request form.
  3. Take a picture of the request.
  4. Log into the patient portal on your smartphone or device of choice. The Healthelife app is available for Android or IOS, and can be utilized to access the patient portal.
  5. Upload the signed request to the patient portal. Select “Medical Records Request” from the secure messaging recipient drop down list.

Consent or Refuse Treatment

To consent or refuse treatment, as permitted by law, throughout your course of care. When refusal of treatment by you or your representative prevents the provision of appropriate care in accordance with professional standards, our relationship with you may be terminated upon reasonable notice.


To consult with a specialist at your own request and expense.

Transfer and Discharge

To transfer to another facility if requested or recommended. We will discuss risks, benefits and alternatives with you, and will transfer you if the receiving facility accepts the request.

To be involved in your discharge plan and to receive written discharge instructions.

Ethics Consultation

Any member of the healthcare team, the patient, legal guardian and/or any member of the patient’s family may consult the Ethics Committee at any time.

Advance Directive

To have an advance directive, such as a living will or durable power of attorney of health. These documents express your choices about your future care or name someone to act on your behalf if you cannot speak for yourself.

Billing and Fees

To request and receive an itemized and detailed explanation of your total bill and available payment methods for services rendered in the hospital.

Contact Information

To voice your questions, compliments, concerns or complaints to any member of the healthcare team or to a Patient Experience Representative at 706-475-3397.

If your concerns remain unresolved, you may contact:

Department of Community Health
2 Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
404-657-5726 or
Joint Commission
Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Patient Responsibilities

  • To provide information about your health, including past illness, hospital stays, allergies and use of medication, herbs and supplements.
  • To ask questions if you do not understand the information discussed with you, your legal guardian and/or your family.
  • To be involved in developing your plan of care and pain management plan with your healthcare team.
  • To tell the doctor if you believe you cannot follow through with your treatment.
  • To be considerate and respectful to all patients, visitors, employees and licensed independent practitioners.
  • To accept responsibility for refusing treatment or not following your doctors’ instructions.
  • To provide information for insurance and payment arrangements.
  • To assume all of the above rights and responsibilities if you are the parent or guardian of a patient who is a neonate, child or adolescent.

Visitation Rights

  • To have a family member or representative of your choice promptly notified of your admission to the hospital and be present during your stay to visit or provide support. This right may be revoked if visitor compromises your or others’ health, safety or rights.
  • To choose with whom they communicate and allow as visitors. Patients have the right to receive the visitor, whom they designate -- including but not limited to: spouse, domestic partner, another family member or friend -- and have the right to deny the visitor at any time.
  • To restrict visiting hours if preferred.