Seattle Children's Hospital promises to provide high-quality, family-centered care. Patients and families are all members of the care team. This brochure explains what you and your family can expect as members of the care team. It also gives you ways to voice your comments and concerns.
To show respect we will:
- Tell you who we are and explain our role in your child's care.
- Provide considerate care that protects your dignity and respects your cultural, social and spiritual values.
- Honor you and your child's personal privacy.
- Keep your child's medical records, discussions about their care and family information private.
- Take actions to relieve your child's pain using medicines and other comfort measures.
- Provide safe care in a secure setting free from abuse, with access to protective services.
- Keep your child free from restraints and seclusion except when needed and as allowed by law.
To support your child and family we will:
- Let you stay with your child during most medical treatments, if you choose.
- Provide a place for one adult family member to spend the night near your child.
- Help you meet other families who have had experiences like yours, if you choose.
- Offer pastoral care and other spiritual services.
- Explain how you can give us your comments, share concerns or file a complaint.
- Review concerns promptly and resolve them when we can.
- Welcome visitors of your choice. This could include a spouse, domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), family member or friend. You can refuse these visitors anytime.
To help make information clear we will:
- Involve you in your child's plan of care and explain treatment outcomes in a way that you can understand.
- Provide interpreters for Deaf, hard-of-hearing or non-English-speaking patients, family members and legal representatives free of charge. We will also make information available in other formats if you request it.
- Communicate with your child's primary care provider. This includes notifying the provider promptly of your child's hospital admission and other important changes in therapy.
- Teach you about the care your child will need before they go home or are transferred.
- Talk with you about people and places in your community that can help you with your child's healthcare needs.
- Provide your child's medical records for review and explain how to request a copy of them.
- Give you our Notice of Privacy Practices, which explains how we use patient information and about the rights you have about your child's health information.
- Give you a copy of About Your Hospital Bill, which answers some of the most common questions about bills.
- Explain how you can apply for Children's financial assistance even if you have insurance.
- For our patients 18 and older, we will provide you written information about advance directives when you are admitted.
You have choices about your child's care. You may:
- Receive information about treatment options and their risks so you can make informed choices about care, including refusing care as allowed by law.
- Choose to help with your child's care, treatment and services when it is safe to do so.
- Choose to have a chaperone, such as a medical assistant, present during physical exams and sensitive procedures.
- Choose or refuse to take part in a research project presented to you. Your decision will not affect the quality of care we give your child.
- Request a change in healthcare providers.
- Request an ethics consult when there are confusing or difficult care issues.
Parents and Family Members
Your responsibilities as partners in patient care:
- Share correct and complete information about your child's health and medical history
- Ask questions and take an active part in decisions about your child's plan of care.
- Tell us right away if you have concerns about your child's safety or feel their care is at risk.
- Talk about pain-relief options and help make a pain-relief plan for your child.
- Learn about your child's healthcare needs. Follow the treatment plan at home or tell us if you are not able to follow the plan.
- Keep appointments or let us know if you cannot come.
- Respect the privacy and the rights of other children, families and staff at Children's.
- Follow Children's rules, such as those for visitors, smoking, alcohol, illegal drugs and weapons.
- Follow your health insurance rules for referrals so that your bill is paid.
As a patient at Children's, you can expect to:
- Be called by your name.
- Have friendly, caring staff who treat you with respect, take the time to listen and value your opinions and choices.
- Have prompt treatment and feel safe and comfortable.
- Be given medicine or other comfort measures for pain relief, if needed.
- Have privacy during exams, treatments and meetings.
- Have information about your illness and your health questions kept private.
- Be involved in decisions about your care and have staff answer your questions truthfully.
- Have your family and friends around to comfort you and help take care of you when they are able and it is safe.
- Have your visitation rights supported. We may need to restrict or limit your visitors for medical reasons. However, we will not restrict, limit or deny visitors based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.
- Be provided with an interpreter or assistive device if you need one.
- Have time to rest, sleep, study and play.
- Learn what you need to know and do when you go home.
As a patient at Children's, your responsibility is to try your best to treat other patients, families and staff with respect and to follow the hospital safety rules.
Comments or Concerns
We want to provide the best care for you and your family. Your suggestions help us improve our services. Here are the ways you can give us your comments:
- Speak with your child's nurse. If your nurse is not able to help, ask to speak with a charge nurse or the manager of that rea.
- Call Patient and Family Relations at 206-987-2550 or 1-866-987-2000 (toll-free). Or, if you'd like to speak to someone in your own language, call the Family Telephone Interpreting Line at 1-866-583-1527 and ask the interpreter to connect you with 206-987-2550.
- Fill out an electronic comment card.
- Send an email.
- Fill out a comment card, which you'll find at our entrances, and give it to a staff member.
- Write to:
Seattle Children's Hospital
Patient and Family Relations
PO Box 5371, RB.7.420
Seattle, WA 98145-5005
By calling or writing Patient and Family Relations about your grievance, you can expect acknowledgement of your concern within 7 days. If additional time is needed, we will give you an estimated date for a final response.
You may also file a complaint directly with the Washington State Department of Health:
If we cannot resolve your concerns, you may contact The Joint Commission, Office of Quality Monitoring. You can register your complaint by:
We believe all children have unique needs and should grow up without illness or injury. With the support of the community and through our spirit of inquiry, we will prevent, treat and eliminate pediatric disease.