Patient Anonymity and Confidentiality
In most situations, with a parent or guardian’s permission, Gillette is allowed to release a patient’s name and general medical condition. A patient who is 18 years old or older can also give permission to release their name and general medical condition. However, certain safety, confidentiality or security concerns—such as gang affiliations, parental custody concerns, high-profile family connections, or a criminal investigation—might mean that releasing the information is not in the patient’s best interests. In such situations, the family and Gillette staff members (such as a nursing supervisor, administrator or social worker) decide what patient information should or should not be released to keep a patient safe during his or her hospital stay.
Precautions Related to Releasing Patient Information
If we decide not to release a patient’s general information, this is what will happen:
- Any information using the patient’s name will be coded with a fake name (alias). Anyone requesting information using the patient’s actual name would be told, “We have no information on that person.”
- Staff will be told not to release verbal or written information about the patient (except to immediate family members— such as parents and caregivers—or members of the care team).
- No one will be able to get information on the patient’s medical status by calling the hospital. We’ll only give updates to authorized people.
- Any calls from the media will be referred to Gillette’s Public Relations department.
Note: Keep in mind, the hospital will release patient information to law enforcement, public health or government authorities when it is required by law, such as during a suspected abuse investigation. The release of information requires proper documentation (such as a court order).
When the patient leaves the hospital, or when the family and care team decide that the precautions are no longer necessary, the name associated with the patient’s information will be changed back to the patient’s legal name.
You Can Help
Parents and families can make these safety and security precautions effective by:
- Not telling anyone that the patient is at Gillette
- Limiting who is allowed to receive information about the patient
If you give information to anyone but immediate family members (primarily parents and significant others), the safety of the patient could be compromised and we might talk with you about lifting the precautions.
If you have any questions about patient confidentiality, call Gillette Public Relations at 651-229- 1753 or Child and Family Services at 651-229-3855.
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.