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Patient & Family Experience

Patient Experience

Philosophy of Patient and Family Experience

Keeping the patient and her most essential relationships at the heart of the health care experience.

Dignity & Respect
We value and incorporate patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds into the planning and delivery of care.

We collaborate with patients and families in policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation; facility design; and professional education.

Family Liaison

The family liaison provides a connection between the surgical patient and waiting family members with reports on the patient's progress from pre-op to the recovery room. The liaison continues to update the family until the patient's discharge or admission to an inpatient room.

To contact please call:
(401) 274-1122, ext. 41153

Patient Feedback

Your feedback is very important to us. If you would like to share your story, let us know what we've done well or what we can improve, or if you need assistance in any way, please contact the Patient Service Line at (401) 430-4287 (English), (401) 430-4289 (Spanish). Your call will be returned within one business day. You can also email us at modonnell@wihri.org.

Safety and Security


Since your stay will be more pleasant if you don’t have to worry about valuables, we suggest that large sums of money or expensive personal items, such as jewelry, be left home or sent home. If you do happen to have an item of value with you and you wish to secure it, Women & Infants will allow you to place it in a sealed envelope and lock it in the safe. Although the hospital cannot assume responsibility for personal property that is not secured in the safe, please report any lost items to our Security Department. For more information about our policy regarding storage of valuables, please call the Security Department at (401) 274-1122, ext. 41635.


The hospital’s smoking policy conforms to Rhode Island state law and Women & Infants Hospital is completely smoke-free. Smoking is only permitted in designated smoking areas outside the hospital.

Fire Drills

Women & Infants takes every precaution to assure patient safety through a comprehensive accident prevention and fire safety program. Periodic fire drills are conducted. Should a fire drill occur while you are a patient, please follow any instructions given by your nurse or other staff members.

Latex Policy

Because many people are allergic to latex, please do not bring latex balloons into Women & Infants Hospital. Please read our latex information for details and safe alternatives to latex balloons.

View Our Latex Information PDF

No Show Policy

We have a policy for missed appointments at all Women & Infants’ physician practices. If you need to reschedule or cancel an appointment, please give us at least 24 hours notice. If you do not give us 24 hour notice, or if you do not show up for a scheduled appointment, you may be charged a $30 fee for a missed office visit or $100 for a missed procedure or testing appointment.

We realize that some things happen that are out of our control, so you will not be charged for your first missed appointment. However, you will be charged for any other missed appointments.  

To help, we will begin calling all patients to confirm appointments. We will also remind you of any referrals or authorizations that may be needed. We ask that you please show up on time for your scheduled appointment.

Patient and Family Advisory Councils For Patients & Families

Patient and Family Advisory Councils, are composed of patients, family members and hospital staff. Together they model the partnership that is the foundation of Patient and Family Experience. Advisory Council monthly meetings provide the patient/family perspective, ensuring that the voice of families is heard in decisions that can impact them.

If you would like to be involved in any of our Advisory Councils or simply want to share your story, please contact us at (401) 274-1122, ext. 44287, or email familyadvisorycouncil@wihri.org.

What is patient and family centered care?
Patient and family centered care is an approach to health care that shapes policies, programs, facility design, and staff day-to-day interactions. It leads to a more informed allocation of resources, better health outcomes, and greater patient and family satisfaction. At Women & Infants Hospital, we embrace the philosophy of patient and family centered care. We understand that our patients have invaluable input that can enhance our professional knowledge and improve the way we provide care for every patient.
What is a patient advisor?
A patient advisor is a current or former patient or family member who would like to contribute to Women & Infants in a meaningful way. Patient advisors are available to provide feedback, share their personal stories, and assist the hospital by providing the patient voice in a variety of venues to sustain and improve the care we provide. The level of commitment is dependent on the advisor and their role.
What is a Patient and Family Advisory Council?
We have developed several Patient and Family Advisory Councils in different service areas to provide a forum for patients and families to share feedback, suggestions,and ideas to continuously improve quality and patient care experiences. Patient and Family Advisory Councils are comprised of patients, family members, community partners, and hospital staff. Together they model the partnership that is the foundation of the patient and family experience. Advisory council monthly meetings provide the patient/family perspective, ensuring that the voice of families is heard in decisions that can impact them. The commitment would involve attending a monthly meeting, as well as doing additional work, if you choose.
What are the membership criteria?
  • Anyone who has been a patient of Women & Infants Hospital or one of its ambulatory settings, a family member of a patient, or a community member interested in making a positive contribution to the hospital.
  • The time commitment is dependent upon the advisor’s availability and interests.
How do I join?
  • Anyone interested in becoming an advisor or serving on an advisory council is asked to complete an application form.
  • Upon receiving your application, a member of the advisory council will contact you and complete a short interview.
  • Invitations to join the advisory councils are pending, based on the availability of a position.
  • When a position is available, prospective members are invited to attend a council meeting as a guest.
  • While there is a three-year term of service on the advisory councils, patient advisors may serve as long as is deemed appropriate by both the advisor themselves and the Director of Patient and Family Support Services.
  • All patient advisors will be required to be on-boarded through Women & Infants’ Volunteer Department, which includes a background check, review of health records, and completing an online hospital application and mandatory in-services.

The following is a listing of Women & Infants’ Patient and Family Advisory Councils and their meeting times:

Hospital Wide Advisory Council
Second Thursday of the month, 5-7 p.m.

NICU Family Advisory Council
First Friday of the month, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

OB Patient and Family Advisory Council
Third Tuesday of the month, 5:30-7 p.m.

Oncology Patient and Family Advisory Council
Second Tuesday of the month, 5-7p.m.

For more information, please contact:
Melissa O’Donnell, MSW, LICSW
Director, Patient & Family Experience
Phone: (401) 274-1122, ext. 43112
Fax: (401) 453-7679
Email: modonnell@wihri.org

Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Women & Infants Hospital is committed to respecting and protecting your rights as a patient here. We want to provide the best care for your needs. This bill of rights tells you about our commitment to you, and your rights and responsibilities as a patient.

  • You have the right to be treated with respect and courtesy.
  • You have the right to have your privacy respected, and to expect only necessary hospital staff to examine you, discuss your treatment, and review your medical record.
  • You have a right to confidentiality of all records and communications concerning your medical history and treatment, as stated in Rhode Island law.
  • You have the right to know the name of the doctor and other hospital staff responsible for your health care.
  • You have the right to participate as an important member of your health care team.
  • You have the right to know about your diagnosis, treatment plan and options, and the expected results of treatment, in understandable terms.
  • You have the right to ask for more information if you do not understand something about your care.
  • You have the right to all reasonable medical services provided by the hospital, at the request of your physician.
  • You have the right to ask for services commonly provided by the hospital that are consistent with your treatment, and do not require your physician's approval.
  • You have the right to appropriate assessment and management of pain.
  • You have the right to ask for patient care information related to the hospital's association with other hospitals, health care centers, schools, and universities, which take part in your treatment.
  • You have the right to receive care, treatment and services regardless of your age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, culture, language, disability, marital status, education, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, income, or who will pay your bill.
  • You have the right to ask for sensitivity and support for your religious beliefs and spiritual needs.
  • You have the right to talk with your physician about any concerns you may have about your treatment. If you continue to have concerns, please contact the hospital's senior vice president of patient care services.
  • You have the right to refuse treatment, as stated in the hospital policy and Rhode Island law. You have the right to fully understand, and to refuse to participate in, an experimental project.
  • You have the right to review any of the hospital's rules and regulations that specifically relate to your treatment.
  • You have the right to be told if a transfer to another hospital is needed and what the options are, before you are moved.
  • You have the right to ask your physician about the care you will need after you are discharged, and the people and agencies in your community who can help you.
  • You have the right to ask for and receive information about financial assistance and free health care.
  • You have the right to use a personal, portable television set in your hospital room that meets the underwriters' laboratory standards and U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration standards.
  • You have the right to receive a total medical bill within 30 days of discharge from the hospital. You have the right to ask for an itemized bill and an explanation of the bill, regardless of the payment source.
  • You have the right to receive a copy of your medical record free, within 30 days of your request, if you show that your request is to support a claim or appeal under any condition of the Social Security Act in any federal or state financial needs-based benefit program.

Your Responsibilities as a Patient

  • You have the responsibility to share your medical history completely so that together we can develop a care plan that is best for you.
  • You have the responsibility to do the things you agreed to do in your treatment plan. If you cannot follow the plan, please tell us.
  • You have the responsibility to respect the rights and property of other patients, families and hospital staff.
  • You have the responsibility to follow the hospital's rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
  • You have the responsibility to not discuss or repeat information about other patients or families. You have the responsibility to pay your hospital bill promptly, as stated in the hospital's policies.
  • You have the responsibility to provide a written request to the hospital for health records and documentation to support an appeal under the Social Security Act.
  • Our goal is to exceed every patient's expectations.
  • To assist us, please share any concerns and suggestions with us at anytime by dialing (401) 274-1100 and asking the hospital operator to connect you with a hospital administrator. A hospital administrator is on-call 24 hours a day to assist you. The Rhode Island Department of Health also has a concern line you may call: (401) 222-2566 .