Patient Rights and Privacy Policies

Protecting patient information

A Federal law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), establishes requirements for hospitals regarding how they use and share patient information. The law became effective on April 14, 2003.

Prisma Health maintains a directory containing the name and location of patients who have elected to be included. Upon admission to Prisma Health, patients are asked if they would like to be included in the directory. The directory allows family, friends and possibly clergy who ask for you by name to be given your room number when they call or visit the hospital. HIPAA law prohibits hospitals from providing information about patients who have chosen not to be in the patient directory. This also applies to patients who have not yet had the opportunity to authorize their inclusion in the directory. If a patient elects not to be included in the directory, individuals who inquire will be told, "We have no information about that person."

If a person seeking information about a patient has been told, "We have no information about that person," it is suggested that they contact an immediate family member of the patient for information.

Flowers or cards sent to a patient who is not listed in the patient directory will not be delivered unless they include the patient's name and room number as this could be construed as an acknowledgment that the person is a patient in the hospital. Additionally, patients not listed in the patient directory will be unable to receive phone calls made through the hospital switchboard.

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Joint notice of privacy practices

For additional details, including how patient medical information may be used or disclosed and how a patient can access their medical information, click here to read our Joint Notice of Privacy Practices or click the links below to access the following forms.