McLean Hospital 115 Mill Street Belmont, MA 02478
Up to two family members and close friends, except for children under 18 years old, may stay (with the patient’s permission) while he or she is being evaluated. Family and friends will be asked to step out of the room for all or part of the evaluation.
Any family member or friend with information that is important for clinicians to know during the initial assessment should ask to speak with staff if they do not have an opportunity to provide this information during the evaluation. Formal family meetings are not routinely part of the initial evaluation. These will occur later in the inpatient stay with staff on the unit.
Patients who are 18 years old or older are legal adults with legal privacy rights. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) prohibits clinical staff from sharing information without a patient’s written consent. All health providers must comply with these federal regulations, which means that they must obtain formal permission to share information (including diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis) with you, or anyone else, even if you are a spouse, a parent, or a guardian of a patient. A patient provides permission by signing a release of information form.
Release of information forms can be signed during the admission process and can also be completed on the unit. If the patient has not signed a release for the clinical staff to give you information, they cannot share any information. Please note, however, that you may share with clinicians any information that you think is important for the patient’s treatment and recovery.
Staff is available to answer questions. In addition, ask for a McLean Hospital publication called Guide to Inpatient Care at McLean Hospital or view it at mcleanhospital.org. This guide provides answers to many questions that you may have and presents a lot of information that you may find helpful.