Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Patients and their parents or legal guardians are entitled to certain rights at UNM Health. At all our facilities, you will be:

  • Treated with dignity and respect of your individuality in a safe environment, free of threat and harm and with privacy in treatment
  • Assessed and treated for pain
  • Free from restraints unless they are necessary to keep you safe and when less restrictive methods have not worked

We will keep your medical record and health information private except when used for treatment, billing or hospital business, or when required by law.

Download a copy of your Patient Rights & Responsibilities in English [PDF], Spanish [PDF] or Vietnamese [PDF].

Specific Patient Rights

You have the right to:

  • Access qualified interpreter services
  • Express your religious and cultural beliefs as long as the exercise of these beliefs does not harm others or interfere with the medical treatment or the rights of others
  • Get the care you need regardless of your race, creed, age, color, beliefs, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, marital status or ability to pay
  • Request assistance if you are vision and/or hearing impaired

You have the right to:

  • Have a family member, representative or provider notified when you are admitted to the hospital
  • Know the members of your health care team
  • Get information you can understand about your diagnosis and the risks, benefits, prognosis and choices of treatment
  • Get a second opinion
  • Get information about follow-up care when you are discharged
  • Look at your medical records and get copies
  • Get information about being transferred to another doctor at another hospital including the reason for transfer and care offered by the receiving hospital or doctor
  • Get an explanation of your bill and the services provided to you
  • Receive a copy of your Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

You have the right to:

  • Choose whether to participate in a clinical trial Decide who may visit you in the hospital according to hospital policy
  • Participate with the treatment team in making care decisions
  • Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law
  • Sign an advance directive indicating who can make decisions about your care and treatment if you can't communicate your wishes

Questions, Concerns and Complaints

We always welcome questions, concerns and complaints from patients and their families. Your feedback gives us an opportunity to improve our care. You have a right to:

  • Speak to a member of the Ethics Committee
  • File a grievance [PDF] about a complaint that you haven’t been able to resolve with your provider. You can file by calling:
    • The UNM Hospital patient assistance coordinator at 505-272-2121
    • The UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center patient case manager at 505-994-7455
    • The New Mexico Department of Health at 800-752-8649. You can also mail a complaint to: New Mexico Department of Health, Division of Health Improvement, Incident Management, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM 87502-6110
    • The Joint Commission at 800-994-6610

Your Responsibilities

Patients also have certain responsibilities in their care, including to:

  • Ask questions or request more information if you do not understand
  • Cancel appointments you cannot keep
  • Follow hospital rules and regulations
  • Follow your treatment plan, or tell your health care team member why you cannot follow it
  • Give your care team correct and complete information
  • Give your opinions and concerns in a helpful way to the right people, including your doctor, nurse, patient assistance coordinator and case manager
  • Meet your financial obligations
  • Sign a consent for treatment, except in emergencies
  • Tell your doctor about any changes in your health
  • Treat other patients, hospital staff and property with respect

More Information for Patients

Use this downloadable information to learn more about your rights as a patient at UNM Health.

Privacy Practices

Learn how your medical information may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to the information. Download the booklet:

The Joint Commission Speak Up™ Guide

Learn how to advocate for yourself and your care. Download the Joint Commission’s Speak Up™ guide:

Advance Healthcare Directive

You have the right to give instructions about your own health care. You also have the right to authorize someone else to make health care decisions for you. The optional advance healthcare directive form lets you declare either or both statements and designate your primary doctor. This form is not required to receive care at UNM Health.

Download the Optional Advance Healthcare Directive: