Effective care of spinal disorders requires collaboration between the patient, family members and health care providers. The effectiveness of spine care is dependent upon timely intervention, continuity of care, interdisciplinary communication and consistent expectations. The needs and well-being of the patient should always be first in the delivery of health care services.
The American Academy of Spine Physicians (AASP) endorses a Patient's Bill of Rights with the expectation that compliance with the Patient Bill of Rights of Rights will contribute to improved health care delivery to the patient with a spinal disorder. The AASP is committed to educating the patient and facilitating their role in decision making about diagnostic and treatment options. The AASP Patient Bill of Rights represents a modified version of the American Hospital Association Patient Bill of Rights. The American Hospital Association encourages health care institutions to tailor their patient bill of rights to their select patient community by simplifying the language of their bill.
The AASP Patient Bill of Rights acknowledges that:
- The patient has the right to thoughtful and respectful care
- The patient has the right to be informed of the most conservative method of spinecare available that is thought to improve his or her condition.
- The patient has a right to conservative and cooperative spinecare.
- The patient has the right to obtain complete and current information concerning the diagnosis, proposed treatment, and expected prognosis in terms that he or she may reasonably be expected to understand. When it is not advisable to give such information to the patient, the information should be made available to an appropriate person (medical proxy) on the patient's behalf.
- The patient has a right make informed decisions about the plan of care prior to and during the course of treatment. The patient also has the right to review information required for medial decision making and the granting of informed consent prior to the initiation of any procedure or treatment. This information shall include at a minimum: a description of the expected procedure or treatment to be used, disclosure of who will perform the procedure or treatment, review of the likely benefits or results from the procedure or treatment, what alternatives exist if any, what are the likely risks associated with the procedure or treatment, what may occur if not treatment is predetermined, and the possible duration of incapacitation if any is expected.
- The patient has the right to refuse any and all therapeutic intervention to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed of any medical consequences of this action.
- The patient has a right to every reasonable consideration in privacy concerning the medical care provided except when there is an imminent risk to the individual or to others, or when the physicians is mandated or ordered by a court, state or federal statue to breach confidentiality. This right to privacy shall include case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment.
- The patient has a right to ask and be informed of the existence of business relationships the spine physician may have with a hospital, educational institution, other health care providers, or payers that may influence the patient's treatment and care.
- The patient has a right to every consideration in privacy concerning the financial aspect of their care in compliance with all state and federal guidelines.
- The patient has the right to be advised if the attending physician(s), agency or facility proposes to engage in any form of human experimentation which might affect the care or treatment provided. The patient has the right to consent or refuse to participate in research projects or to withdraw continued consent to participation without repercussions. If a patient declines to participate in a research project they are still entitled to the best available care for their condition.
- The patient has the right to be informed of the general cost for a procedure or treatment which is being proposed.
- The patient has the right to examine and receive an explanation of any and all itemized bills for professional services rendered.
- The patient has the right to expect reasonable continuity of care when appropriate and is be expected by reasonably informed of additional therapeutic options if applicable when either surgical or non-surgical care is no longer appropriate.