Quote from HeartsOpenWide
We have these boards but we just use first and last initials.
And no, no one can just call and ask if some one is admitted. Your hospital is committing a violation.
Incorrect. Once again this is an excellent example of changing policy without understanding it.
"(3) Uses and Disclosures with Opportunity to Agree or Object.
Informal permission may be obtained by asking the individual outright, or by circumstances that clearly give the individual the opportunity to agree, acquiesce, or object. Where the individual is incapacitated, in an emergency situation, or not available, covered entities generally may make such uses and disclosures, if in the exercise of their professional judgment, the use or disclosure is determined to be in the best interests of the individual.
It is a common practice in many health care facilities, such as hospitals, to maintain a directory of patient contact information. A covered health care provider may rely on an individual's informal permission to list in its facility directory the individual's name, general condition, religious affiliation, and location in the provider's facility.25 The provider may then disclose the individual's condition and location in the facility to anyone asking for the individual by name, and also may disclose religious affiliation to clergy. Members of the clergy are not required to ask for the individual by name when inquiring about patient religious affiliation."
You have to give people the ability to opt out. Most facilities have as part of their general consent to treatment an opt out. You cannot give out their condition without permission but you can certainly tell people they are present in the hospital if the have aquiesced.
David Carpenter, PA-C