OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A bill that would improve patients’ rights at Oklahoma hospitals is moving forward at the state Capitol. This comes after an Oklahoma family said they had a negative experience in a metro hospital. They created HB 1013 which is the Lori Brand Patients’ Bill of Rights. 

This bill would ensure patients can get answers from their doctors while being treated fairly inside Oklahoma hospitals.  

“Those last three days nobody was allowed to be with her, and we don’t know what happened… It was it was a nightmare. I mean, just not knowing. The times we would call we were up in the middle of the night, you know, trying to find out things, trying to get a hold of her,” said Gerald Brand, author of HB 1013. 

The author of the bill, Gerald Brand said his wife Lori Brand had a bad experience while being treated in a metro hospital.  

Lori ultimately passed away in 2020 while in the hospital. 

Brand authored the bill after the difficult experience didn’t allow him access to information or even visitation sometimes. He said there was a lack of communication from caregivers in the hospital.  

The bill would give patients 30 rights while they’re in the hospital and one includes visitation by loved ones. 

“I went up a few times because they were only letting one person at a time. In the at the very end before she passed, they let me and my oldest daughter in. And they were compassionate and stuff. But that was three days that she was in the hospital, no one was allowed to be with her. And we don’t know what happened,” said Brand. 

The family hopes this bill will honor Lori’s legacy. 

“She did everything for everybody else and never wanted anything for herself,” said Brand. 

At the Capitol, Representative Jon Echols is fighting for the bill, and it passed through the house of representatives unanimously in March. 

“What this bill would do is both recognize our hospitals are doing the very best they can under trying circumstances, but also recognize that patients are people, and they have rights, and those rights need to be respected,” said Rep. Jon Echols, (R) – OKC.  

In a statement to KFOR, Echols said quote, “When Gerald Brand and his family shared their story with me of his wife Lori, and their fight to see her at the critical time of her illness and death, I knew we had to do more to ensure patients and their families and caretakers are treated with dignity and respect. 

This bill recognizes our hospitals and our health care workers are doing the very best they can under very trying circumstances, but it also recognizes that patients are people who have rights that need to be respected. Patients deserve to be informed about and have a right to understand matters within the hospital that would affect their care. They also must be allowed to participate in decisions that affect their medical treatment. We must mend this broken system. Oklahomans deserve so much more.” 

The bill now moves forward again after passing a committee meeting on Thursday. 

“If a patient’s rights are violated through a hospital system there’s no repercussion. There’s no way to file any sort of grievance that truly has any traction,” said Sen. Jessica Garvin, (R) – Duncan.  

Garvin sent KFOR this statement and said, “Mr. Brand has been a fierce advocate for patient rights. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with he and his daughter and hear the story behind their passion. It’s been an honor to work with everyone involved to find a solution to ensure Oklahoma families don’t find themselves in similar situations moving forward. I look forward to finding the right solution, while helping him honor the legacy of his wife.” 

The family is still grieving but hopes if this bill passes, it will help another family in the future. 

“There’s more stuff that I’m going to work on. But this is the first step to making things better for everybody. I can’t fix it for me, but maybe I can fix it for other people,” said Brand. 

KFOR reached out to the Oklahoma Hospital Association for a comment. The president Patti Davis said quote, “Hospitals take very seriously communication with the family members and loved ones of the patients we serve. Federal law dictates hospital policies regarding patient rights and privacy. We are currently working with the authors of HB 1013 on the bill’s language.”

The bill will go to the Senate floor for a vote within the next couple of weeks.