Subject 290-4-9 CLIENTS' RIGHTS
|(1)||Purpose. The purpose of these regulations is to safeguard the rights of persons treated pursuant to O.C.G.A. Chapters 37-3, 37-4, 37-5, and 37-7.|
|(2)||Applicability. These regulations shall apply to all area community mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse programs, as defined in O.C.G.A. Chapters 37-2, 37-5, and 26-5, which are operated by the Boards of Health or Community Service Boards or funded through contracts with the Boards of Health, the Regional Boards, the Community Service Boards, or the Department of Human Resources, including licensed Personal Care Homes which are under contract with the Department, Boards of Health, Regional Boards or Community Service Boards to receive clients who have mental illness, mental retardation, or are substance abusers. These regulations shall in general apply to all persons served in such programs without regard to the type or source of entry into the program. When the client is a minor or an adult with a legally appointed guardian, the regulations are applicable to that parent or guardian, with certain exceptions, as specifically stated in various parts of the regulations. For persons being served by virtue of a court order related to a criminal matter, the regulations are applicable to the extent that they do not violate the provisions of the order nor the need to provide for the safety of the individual or of others.|
|(3)||Implementation. Each Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Program shall instruct each staff member in the contents of these regulations. Each Program shall also provide, at the beginning of each client's treatment, the client or his parent or guardian, if applicable, a written summary of the rights and remedies contained in these regulations and their applicability to him. Insofar as is possible, notifications shall be done in such a manner commensurate with the individual's abilities and capabilities of comprehension and understanding and shall be documented in the client's record. Further, prior to the restriction of any client's rights (as permitted in these regulations), a staff member shall again inform the client, or his parent or guardian if applicable, of his right to administrative complaint of that restriction, except in cases where the client's condition makes this impractical, and in such cases the client shall be informed at the time when his condition permits.|
Definitions. Unless a different meaning is required by the context, the
following terms as used in these regulations shall have the meanings
hereinafter set forth:
|(1)||General. The individual dignity of each client shall be respected at all times and upon all occasions. The provision of all services shall be offered in an environment, which is designed to assure the health and safety of all clients.|
|(2)|| Abuse and Sexual Activity.
|(1)|| Complaint Procedures. Any client (or his
guardian or parent of a minor client, if applicable) or his representative or
any staff member may file a complaint alleging that a client's rights under
these regulations or other applicable law have been violated by staff members
or persons under their control. Such complaints shall be governed by the
procedure established in this Section 290-4-9-.04. A person who considers
filing such a complaint is encouraged to resolve the matter informally by
discussing it first with the staff members or other persons involved or Program
Clients' Rights staff as specified in the Program's Quality Improvement Plan.
The client is not required to use the procedures established by this Section
290-4-9-.04 in lieu of other available remedies, including the right to
directly contact the Personal Advocacy Unit at the Division of Mental Health
and Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse or to submit a written complaint to
the Regional Executive Director or Program Director or Governor's Advisory
Council as provided in O.C.G.A. Chapter 37-2-4.
|(2)|| First Step.
|(3)|| Second Step.
|(4)|| Third Step.
|(5)|| Fourth Step.
|(6)|| General Provisions.
|(1)|| A service
record for each client shall be maintained. The record shall include data
pertaining to admission and such other information as may be required under
regulations and standards of the Department. The service record shall not be a
public record and no part of it shall be released except:
|(2)||Any disclosure authorized by this section or any unauthorized disclosure of confidential or privileged client information or communication shall not in any way abridge or destroy the confidential or privileged character thereof, except for the purpose for which such authorized disclosure is made. Any person making a disclosure authorized by this section shall not be liable to the client or any other person notwithstanding any contrary provision of O.C.G.A. Section 24-9, Article 2, as now or hereafter amended.|
In addition to the provision of these Regulations Paragraph 290-4-9-.01(3), each Program shall display a notice in a prominent place of the availability and accessibility of these regulations Chapter 290-4-9 at each appropriate service site.