Patients and Families

Welcoming Partners in Care

Patients and partners in care are respected as essential members of the health care team, helping to ensure quality and safety. Partners in care, as identified by the patient are family members, friends, and/or other individuals who provide physical, psychological, emotional, and/or spiritual support for the patient.  Partners in care are invited to contribute to the care of the patient during ambulatory care experiences, a hospital stay in critical care, medical/surgical, and specialty units, in an emergency room visit, and in the transition to home and community care.  For safety of our partners in care, there may be some patient care areas that may have limited participation.


The following guidelines are intended to be flexible to respond to the diverse individual needs and preferences of each patient including unanticipated and unique circumstances, as well as to assure the safety of patients, families, and staff.

  • Partners in care are welcome 24 hours a day according to patient preference, however in the hospital the hours of 9 p.m. until 7 a.m. are the preferred quiet time hours to promote a restful healing environment for our patients. Patients may modify their preferences during their hospital experience.
  • Patients and partners in care are encouraged to designate a primary partner in care to facilitate effective communication among extended family members and healthcare team.  For hospitalized patients, the primary partner in care will be identified on the communication board located in the patient’s room. For all other service areas, the primary partner in care will be identified and communicated to the care team.
  • The number of people welcomed at the bedside at any one time will be determined in collaboration with the patient, partner(s) in care, and the health care team.  In situations where there are shared rooms, this negotiation will include the other patient and partners in care. To ensure safety, considerations will also be given to the physical limitations of the space.
  • Children supervised by an adult other than the patient, are welcomed. Children are not restricted by age, and are expected to remain with the adult who is supervising them.  Children’s behavior and safety will be monitored by the responsible adult and/or care team to ensure a safe and restful environment for the patient(s) and a positive and developmentally appropriate experience for children.
  • All partners in care must be free of communicable diseases and should respect the hospital’s infection control practices.  Partners in care are encouraged to perform hand hygiene before entering and upon leaving the patient’s room.  
  • There may be unique and extenuating circumstances that require compassionate exceptions to these guidelines. It is recommended that the primary nurse and the health care team, in collaboration with the patient and primary partner, use professional judgement in considering the unique family circumstances and patient needs when applying these guidelines.
  • All Regional Health markets have an interdisciplinary council involving patient and family advisors and representatives from the market organizations to implement, monitor, and evaluate these guidelines.
  • Disruptive behavior and unsafe practices are not acceptable; these situations, while usually rare, will be addressed directly and promptly.

Additional Patient and Family Resources:


CaringBridge Website

It's a dilemma we've all faced when someone we care about needs medical care...

We want to know how they're doing, and offer encouragement and support. At the same time, we don't want to interfere with the care or rest we know our loved ones need.

That's where CaringBridge comes in. It's a free, online service developed to help keep family and friends up-to-date during some of life's most important events. 

Here's how you can create a CaringBridge site:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on "Create a CaringBridge site" and follow the easy directions. Please choose Regional Health as your care facility. 
  3. Share your CaringBridge site with friends and family.

To protect the privacy of everyone involved, CaringBridge web pages are not available through Internet search engines. If you have questions about creating your page, please call CaringBridge Customer Service at 651-789-2300.



Patients who are capable of making their own health care decisions have the right to consent, to reject and to withdraw consent for medical procedures, treatments, or interventions. They may say yes, no, or "I will think about it." For patients who are incapable, someone else must make decisions for them.

For many patients, this possible loss of control is a concern. Should they try to designate someone else to speak for them? How do they protect and effectively transfer their right to choose to a person whom they know will speak their mind and heart?

Those concerns can be addressed by signing an advance directive – a document that sets out guidelines for your future care. The two most common types of advance directives are the durable power of attorney for health care and the living will.

You have the right to have either, or both document(s), as long as you are capable of making decisions for yourself. Once you are incapable of making your own decisions, you lose the opportunity to choose someone to speak for you or to make your wishes known about future health care decisions. For that reason, durable powers of attorney for health care and living wills are like fire insurance – you must arrange it before the fire. If you become incapagle of making your own decisions, the health care decisions made for you may not be those that you would choose for yourself. Please see the links below to access either of these two important documents.

This information is based on South Dakota law and is designed to inform, not to advise. No person should ever apply or interpret any law without the aid of an attorney who knows the facts and may be aware of any changes in the law. This information was compiled by the South Dakota State Medical Association, the South Dakota Hospital Association, and the State Bar of South Dakota.


If you need your personal medical information for continuing health care, billing, insurance, or administrative purposes, you must complete and return this form:

Authorization for Disclosure of Medical Information 

If you would prefer, you can pick up a form by contacting the Health Information Management Release of Information staff at:

Rapid City Regional Hospital
Health Information Management
8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Returning the Completed Form

You are welcome to visit the Health Information Management Department at Rapid City Regional Hospital to begin the record request process and complete the Authorization for Disclosure of Medical Information during the hours listed above.

You may also print, complete and mail the Authorization for Disclosure of Medical Information form to:

Rapid City Regional Hospital HIM Department
Release of Information Services
353 Fairmont Blvd
Rapid City, SD 57701
or email the completed form to: RCRH Health Information Management

Birth Certificates and Paternity Affidavits

The Health Information Management Department (formerly Medical Records) at Rapid City Regional Hospital routinely prepares the South Dakota Certificate of Live Birth for all babies born at our hospital. Please contact us at 605-755-8170 for assistance with birth certificate and paternity affidavit information needs.

A legal and certified copy of your baby's birth certificate may be obtained from the Register of Deeds at the Pennington County Courthouse or from any courthouse in the State of South Dakota, for any child born in South Dakota. There is currently a fee of $15 payable to the courthouse for the certified birth certificate copy.




Financial Assistance

Patient Rights

At Regional Health, we believe the patient and their providers share responsibility for care. A copy of your rights and responsibilities is available in the admissions packet, are posted in the outpatient areas throughout the facility, are are listed below.

Rights and Responsibilities

As a patient at Regional Health, you have rights and responsibilities. Knowing your rights and responsibilities can help you and the caregivers work better as a team. This will improve the care you receive as a patient. Below is an outline of your rights and responsibilities. If you are under 18 years of age, these rights and responsibilities will be carried out by your parents or guardians. 

Your Rights
As a patient, you can expect;

  • Provision of care in a safe setting and freedom from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  • Considerate and respectful care.
  • Consideration of spiritual and cultural practices.
  • Access to services and care that is medically indicated without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national
    origin, disability, or source of payment.
  • Information concerning advance directives and implementation of your directive to the extent it is known, and
    within state laws and facility policies.
  • Identification of all caregivers responsible for your care.
  • Provision of information so you can make informed decisions about your care.
  • Participation in the development and implementation of your plan of care.
  • Information regarding your health status.
  • Freedom from restraints that are not medically necessary.
  • Personal privacy subject to the facility’s ability to provide adequate medical and nursing care.
  • Confidential treatment of your medical records and other medical information, unless otherwise required by law,
    unless you consent to the release of this information, or unless the disclosure is required to provide continuity of
    care for you.
  • Measurement of pain with initiation of pain treatment if required.
  • Transfer to another facility for appropriate care when medically indicated and ordered by your physician.
  • Notification of a family member or your own physician at your request.
  • Information regarding continuing care after discharge.
  • To be informed when you are participating in experimental or investigational care or research.
  • Assistance in arranging for consultation with a medical specialist at your expense if requested.
  • Access to an interpreter or other communication device if needed.
  • Access to your medical record within a reasonable time frame.
  • To receive an itemized bill if requested.
  • To be informed of the procedure for making a complaint.

Your Responsibilities
As a patient, you should:

  • Provide, to the best of your ability, accurate and complete information about present and past illnesses and health
  • Tell caregivers if your condition changes.
  • Tell caregivers if you do not understand what you are to do to participate in your care.
  • Tell caregivers if your pain is not being controlled.
  • Inform caregivers of any refusal of treatment.
  • Follow the instructions of caregivers.
  • Follow facility rules and procedures.
  • Be considerate of other persons and caregivers.
  • Respect the property of others.
  • Assure the financial obligations for your health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns about these rights and responsibilities, please call Patient Relations at 605-755-4704. If a patient or family has concerns, complaints, or compliments about patient care, they are encouraged to visit with their care provider, a department director, a patient relations representative, or a hospital administrator.

Any Regional Health patient has the right to contact the South Dakota Department of Health with concerns, complaints, or compliments:
South Dakota Department of Health
Office of Health Care Licensure and Certification
615 East 4th Street Pierre, SD 57501
605-773-3356 for Hospital, Nursing Home, and Hospice
800-592-1861 for Home Health

Rapid City Regional Hospital and Rapid City Regional Hospital Home Health/Hospice patients additionally have the right to contact The Joint Commission with concerns, complaints, or compliments.
The Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
(800) 994-6610



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