Patient Responsibilities

Speak Up!

You are a critical member of our healthcare team. The effectiveness of your care and your satisfaction during the course of your treatment at Kennedy depends, in part, upon you. We need your participation by carrying out the following responsibilities to help make your hospital stay more pleasant and your treatment more effective:

  • Provide information about past illness, hospitalization, medications, and other matters related to your health history in order to help your healthcare team to effectively treat your condition.
  • Ensure that the hospital has a copy of your Advance Directive (living will and/or proxy), if you have one. If you do not, you may review the enclosed material on advance directives and contact Guest Services for assistance, if necessary.
  • Select a designated spokesperson, when possible, to communicate with care providers regarding your wishes should you be unable to do so.
  • Respect the rights of other patients and hospital associates by following the policies and procedures at Kennedy Health System (e.g., assist in the control of noise, receive two visitors at a time, respect the property of other people and the hospital).
  • Assist the physicians, nurses and other clinicians by following their instructions and medical orders to facilitate your care. If you have any concerns following prescribed treatments, let your physician and/or caregivers know. Ask questions.
  • Recognize the impact of your lifestyle on your personal health and work with your care team to eliminate risks. Follow the nutrition plan that your doctor has ordered for you. Do not consume alcohol or toxic substances while hospitalized. These may interfere with your treatment and recovery.
  • Do not take any medications which have not been ordered by your attending physician and administered by your nurse.
  • Do not bring valuable items into the hospital.
  • Discuss with your physician, nurse or other healthcare providers any pain that you have that will not go away and about your options for pain relief. Work with your healthcare team to create a pain control plan that meets your treatment goals. Take or ask for the pain relief drugs or other comfort measures when needed.
  • It is your responsibility to pay for all services rendered, either through third-party payers (your insurance company) or being personally responsible for payment of any services not covered by your insurance policies.
  • Participate in Kennedy’s SpeakUP campaign:

Everyone has a role in making healthcare safe – doctors, healthcare executives, nurses and technicians. Healthcare organizations across the country are working to make healthcare safety a priority. You, as the patient, can also play a vital role in making your care safe by becoming an active, involved and informed member of your health care team by remembering to SpeakUP!

Speak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don’t understand, ask again. It’s your body and you have a right to know. It may also be helpful for you to write down questions you have for physicians and other care providers and record their answers.

ay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you’re getting the right treatments and medications by the right healthcare professionals. Don’t assume anything.

Educate yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are undergoing, and your treatment plan. Ask care givers to clarify if you don’t understand instructions or can’t read a provider’s writing.

Ask a trusted family member or a friend to be your advocate.

Know what medications you take and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common healthcare mistakes.

Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center, or other type of healthcare organization that has undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established, state-of-the-art quality and safety standards, such as that provided by JCAHO.

Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.


If you have any questions or concerns about patient rights or responsibilities, please contact Guest Services at your location. Dial the last four digits if calling within the hospital.

Cherry Hill - 856/488-6864
Stratford - 856/346-6002
Washington Twp - 856/582-3115

Please review the following information regarding Kennedy’s policies and procedures so we may better serve you during your stay with us:

Respecting Your Personal Health Information

To protect confidentiality, our staff will only provide information to those individuals you designate. You were assigned a confidentiality code at the time of admission. Persons requesting your confidential information must provide the code number before staff will respond to phone calls or other confidential information requests. It is recommended that you designate a primary spokesperson to keep your family informed.

Medication Safety – What to Bring to the Hospital

It is helpful if you are can bring a list of medications and dosages you have been taking prior to your hospitalization. Do not bring in medications from home (including vitamins, herbal remedies, over-the-counter medications, etc) unless specifically requested to do so by your doctor. Our hospital pharmacy will provide you with the medications you need during your hospital stay. Medications brought in without your physician’s approval should be sent home with a friend or family member. If any medications are approved that are brought from home, they must be immediately given to your nurse.

The only medications you should take during your hospitalization are those given to you by your nurse. All medications are checked by our pharmacy for drug interactions, dosing, and allergies before you can receive them. For safety reasons, medications should not be kept at bedside.

If you are uncertain about any medication ordered during your stay, please ask your doctor or nurse to review the reason it was ordered – dosage, frequency, potential interactions, etc.


Please do not bring valuable items, such as jewelry, large sums of money, or credit cards, as the hospital is not responsible if these items are lost or misplaced. If valuables cannot be sent home with a family member or a friend, then please ask that they be placed in the hospital’s safe. To protect essential valuables, such as dentures, eyeglasses, hearing aids, or contact lenses, store them in a protective case, labeled with your name.

Hospital Identification Band – MUST BE WORN

Wear the wrist identification band that you receive upon admission throughout your hospital stay. It provides positive identification to all those who serve you. Tell your nurse if the information on your band is incorrect or is missing, so your band may be replaced.