Patient Bill of Rights

Recognizing that a personal relationship between the treating dentist and the patient is essential for the provision of dental care, the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine presents this Patient's Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.

Patient's Rights

We expect that the following right will contribute to more effective patient care and greater satisfaction for the patient, the patient's treating dentist, and the School of Dental Medicine. The following guidelines form a structure with which successful, comfortable, and satisfying dental care may be given and received.

The patient has the right to considerate and respectful care.

The patient has the right to expect from the treating dentist/student dentist complete, current information concerning diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in terms the patient can understand. If the condition or age of the patient does not permit this to occur, the information must be made available to the appropriate person in the patient's behalf.

The patient has the right to expect information sufficient to give informed consent prior to the beginning of any treatment procedure. Except in severe emergencies, information for informed consent should include but not be limited to the specific procedures and treatment, the risks (if any) involved, and the probable costs.

The patient has the right to refuse treatment but he or she must be informed of the possible consequences of this decision.

The patient has the right to every consideration of his or her privacy concerning dental care. Case discussions, examinations, and treatment are to be held confidential within the setting of the faculty, student dentist, and specialty residents. Confidentiality must be maintained regarding all records pertaining to patient care except when appropriate consent is given.

The patient has the right to expect that his/her care meets the standard of care of the profession.

Once accepted for treatment by the School of Dental Medicine, the patient has the right to expect prompt and continuing care.

The patient has the right to emergency care as needed.

The patient has the right to request and examine an itemized total bill regardless of the source of payment for services rendered.

The patient has the right to know the School of Dental Medicine's guidelines affecting:

    a. acceptance as a patient
    b. eligibility for continuing treatment
    c. fees involved and payment methods.

The patient has the right to decide to participate or refuse to participate as a subject in a research project. This decision will have no effect upon access to continuing care. Agreement to participate in a research project must be in writing.

The patient has the right to know the rules of the School of Dental Medicine and the regulations that apply to his or her conduct as a patient.


Patient's Responsibilities

The patient shall provide, to the best of his or her knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters pertaining to his or her health. The patient has the responsibility to report unexpected changes in his or her condition to the responsible practitioner.

The patient shall make it known to the appropriate practitioner whether he or she clearly understands the course of treatment and what is expected of him or her.

The patient is responsible for following the recommended instructions given by the practitioner, including follow-up treatment instructions.

The patient is responsible for his or her actions if he or she refuses treatment or does not follow the instructions of the practitioner.

The patient is responsible for keeping appointments, and when unable to do so for any reason, to notify the practitioner or the School of Dental Medicine.

The patient (or the legally responsible party) is responsible for assuming that the financial obligation is fulfilled as promptly as possible.

The patient is responsible for being considerate of the rights of other persons and the School of Dental Medicine.

The patient should expect the School of Dental Medicine to provide only those services that the attending practitioners determine to be appropriate.