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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Thank you for choosing Gundersen Health System for your care. You have the right to know how we will care for you while you are a patient. It will also explain your responsibilities as a patient. We want you to have the best experience possible.

This information is available in Spanish and Hmong. Interpreters are available for several other languages as well.

You have the right to expect this from us:

High-quality care

  • We will care for you with dignity, respect and appreciation of your beliefs, values and individuality. We care for patients without regard to: age, race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, creed, religion, culture, language, physical or mental ability, newborn status, socioeconomic status, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
  • We will give you the names of your caregivers.
  • We will explain your illness and the care we will provide. We will help you understand your treatment and how you can expect to recover.
  • We will manage your pain safely.
  • We will tell you when something goes wrong with your care.
  • We will give you a list of all your current medicines.

A clean, safe environment

  • Our staff, trained in safe practices, will take care of you in a safe setting, free of all forms of physical or mental abuse.
  • You will not be restrained or isolated, unless you could harm yourself or others.
  • You shall not perform labor or services for the facility unless those activities are included for therapeutic purposes and appropriately goal-related in their individual medical record.

Protection of your privacy

  • You will have privacy during your treatment.
  • Any discussion about your care will take place privately. Only your care team will be present, unless you give permission for others to participate.
  • Information given to family members or others will be delivered in private.
  • Your medical records are read only by those directly involved in your treatment. Others may see your records only with written authorization by you or your legally authorized representative. We store and protect your medical records. These records are kept private.
  • You may decide who may or may not visit you during your hospital stay or during your clinic visit.
  • You can ask to see a copy of your medical records. You can ask for a copy of the Notice of Privacy Practices at (608) 775-7439.

Involvement in your own care

  • Get information in your preferred language in a way that you best understand.
  • Get information in a way that will meet your vision, speech, hearing or cognitive needs.
  • Make decisions about your care plan and understand how to follow through with it.
  • Prepare an advance directive with the help of hospital staff.
  • You or your legally-authorized representative will be asked for consent before treatment or participation in research. You may refuse care as much as is permitted by law. We will explain the medical consequences of refusal.
  • Give us feedback about your care. Our staff will listen. Patients shall have the right to prompt and reasonable response to their questions and requests.
  • You choose who you want to know about your hospital stay. Have a personal representative, also called an advocate, with you during your care. Your advocate is a family member or friend of your choice.
  • You may retain and use your personal clothing and possessions, unless doing so would infringe upon rights of other patients or is medically contraindicated for documented reasons.
  • You have the right to associate and communicate privately with persons of your choice and they may enter and leave the facility as they choose.
  • You shall have access, at your expense, to writing instruments, stationary, and postage and mail shall be sent without interference unless medically or programmatically contraindicated and documented by the physician in the medical record
  • You have the right to make and receive telephone calls privately unless it is medically unadvisable, or limited by a facility abuse prevention plan, as documented in the medical record by the attending physician.

Help when leaving a Gundersen Health System facility

  • We will help you understand what medicine to take, why you need it, and when to take it.
  • We will help with your follow-up care.
  • We will explain transfer and continuing care plans. This includes transfers to other facilities, except in emergencies.
  • We will explain your choices of skilled care in your home, in a nursing home or assisted living facility, if needed.

Help with understanding your bill

  • You can ask for an explanation of your charges.
  • We will help you understand the cost of your care.
  • You can ask for financial assistance or advice on resources to apply for help.

Your responsibilities as a patient:

  • Be involved in your care in an open, respectful partnership.
  • Give your care team a complete and accurate medical history.
  • Follow hospital rules.
  • Be respectful of other patients, staff and property.
  • Provide required information concerning payment of your bill.

Share your concerns at the time of your service

Speak with a patient representative

  • La Crosse, Onalaska and Winona
    • (608) 775-7676 or (800) 362-9567, ext. 57676
  • Boscobel, Fennimore and Muscoda
    • (608) 375-6215 or (608) 375-4112, ext. 63748
  • Hillsboro, Elroy and Wonewoc
    • (608) 489-8000
  • Friendship and Westfield
    • (608) 339-8410
  • West Union, Fayette and Postville
    • (563) 422-3811
  • Whitehall, Blair and Independence
    • (715) 538-1709 or (715) 538-2403.
  • Other regional sites
    • (608) 775-7676 or (800) 362-9567, ext. 57676

For more information visit our Patients & Visitors section of the website.

If you are not satisfied with our resolution or choose not to use our complaint process, you also have the right to contact a state agency:

  • Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services Bureau of Quality Assurance
    P.O. Box 2969
    Madison, WI 53701
    Phone: (608) 266-8481
  • Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals (DIA)
    Health Facilities Division/Complaint Unit
    Lucas State Office Building
    321 East 12th Street
    Des Moines, IA 50319-0083
    Phone: (877) 686-0027
  • Office of Health Facility Complaints Intake Unit
    85 East Seventh Place, Suite 300
    P.O. Box 64970
    St. Paul, MN 55164-0970
    Phone: (651) 201-4201

Livanta, an independent medical review agency:

  • Online: livantaqio.com
  • In Wisconsin/Minnesota: (888) 524-9900, TTY
  • Number (888) 985-8775
  • In Iowa: (888) 755-5580 (Iowa), TTY
  • (888) 985-9295

You may also contact The Joint Commission*:

* The Gundersen Regional Hospitals are not accredited by The Joint Commission and The Joint Commission complaint process does not apply to them.


If you speak a language other than English, language assistance services are available to you, free of charge, at (608) 775-4141. Gundersen Health System complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

Atención: Si usted habla Español, tenemos disponible para usted servicios de asistencia de idioma gratuitos. Llame al (608) 775-4141. Gundersen Health System cumple con las leyes federales de derechos civiles aplicables y no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, discapacidad o sexo.

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Updated 1/20

what to expect

We've taken steps at all our locations to keep you and our staff healthy and safe. Here's what to expect when you visit us.

Stay safe