10 Rights All Patients Deserve

By Dr. Thomas Schwieterman
April 22, 2019

Routine visits to the doctor can be stressful and filled with anxiety—appointment times can be difficult to get, the pre-visit paperwork is often redundant, waiting room time can be long, and the environment is often sterile and ‘clinical’ in look and feel. Additional stress may occur due to interactions that are a core piece of the patient's visit—interactions with the physician and

the rest of the care team. This type of anxiety is so common that the industry has coined a term, “white coat syndrome”, for when patient anxiety causes a higher than normal blood pressure reading in a medical environment.

With an industry shift toward measuring and rewarding better patient outcomes, we are seeing a renewed focus on improving the patient experience. A visit to the doctor’s office does not have to be an uncomfortable, anxiety-filled experience. Patients deserve better.

With that in mind, we identified a set of 10 patient rights to help healthcare organizations and providers alike design a better patient experience at the point of care, resulting in improved care and outcomes. 

We at Midmark believe all patients should be guaranteed:

  1. An inviting environment that does not unduly make the patient feel uncomfortable, nervous or unsafe.


  2. Prompt, timely care throughout their entire experience.


  3. Interaction with the care team that is centered around the patient and reassures patients that care teams are listening to their concerns.


  4. An exam room size and layout that accommodates the patient’s mobility limitations (e.g., wheelchair, walker) and provides improved accessibility allowing them to maintain their dignity.


  5. Technology and security procedures that allow the doctor to easily share important information with the patient while safeguarding protected health information.


  6. A clean, uncluttered environment that does not expose the patient to possible infections or injury.


  7. Maintenance of patient dignity and privacy as a top priority for the care team (e.g., weight taken in the exam room instead of in the hallway).


  8. An exam chair that helps keep the patient comfortable during the visit and does not require them to strain or ask for assistance to get on and off of it.


  9. Doctors and staff who are easily accessible when the patient has questions or concerns.

  11. Confidence that the doctor and the staff are doing everything they can to provide the best care possible.