Do We Need A Patient Bill of Rights?

Does EMS need a Patient Bill of Rights?

I read an article from Washington D.C. that they recently adopted a patient bill or rights (PBOR).

Having read through it, I find some of the content superfluous. These are all things that we should be doing anyway. Every provider should have these things in mind and a lot of them are the tenants of a professional service/system.

Why does DCFEMS need to be reminded of these things, instead of them being taken to heart, cherished ideals and protected? These things that guide our practice and make us ethical and worthy of the public trust? That when the time comes for something to be done that the fire department and it’s firefighters and paramedics that can do it?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that a position paper on our ideals is a bad thing, but how it is being presented and displayed is a slap in the face.

This is an excerpt from the press release, which you can read here:

“All patients have the right to expect: competent and compassionate service from FEMS, including timely and appropriate medical services; to be transported in a clean and properly maintained ambulance; that FEMS will never refuse to transport them; that FEMS personnel will check vital signs; that FEMS personnel will protect health information; that FEMS personnel will dress and act in a professional manner; that FEMS personnel will explain what is being done to assist patients; that FEMS personnel will be polite, compassionate, considerate and respectful; and that a patient’s privacy and comfort will be of utmost concern to FEMS personnel.”

You can find the complete document here.

This article was written by rstine

  • Anonymous

    Dear citizens of D.C.,

    We’re sorry that our nation’s capitol also has our nation’s worst EMS system. We know we suck, and we’re going to fix it, provided we can do it without strong medical direction, decent equipment, quality education, or work ethic. We’re going to get right on it… some day.

    In the meantime, here’s a nice position paper for you to read!

    • Too Old To Work

      I was going to point out that Washington, DC needs a Patient’s Bill of Rights, but you beat me to it in your unique idiom.
      I will add that if they weren’t so, uh, sub standard, then that wouldn’t be necessary. As is so often the case, the nation’s capitol shows us how something shouldn’t be done.

      Oh, I do have one quibble. DC EMS would have to improve substantially to suck, they aren’t even that good.

  • Dear citizens of D.C.,

    We’re sorry that our nation’s capitol also has our nation’s worst EMS system. We know we suck, and we’re going to fix it, provided we can do it without strong medical direction, decent equipment, quality education, or work ethic. We’re going to get right on it… some day.

    In the meantime, here’s a nice position paper for you to read!

    • Too Old To Work

      I was going to point out that Washington, DC needs a Patient’s Bill of Rights, but you beat me to it in your unique idiom.
      I will add that if they weren’t so, uh, sub standard, then that wouldn’t be necessary. As is so often the case, the nation’s capitol shows us how something shouldn’t be done.

      Oh, I do have one quibble. DC EMS would have to improve substantially to suck, they aren’t even that good.