At McLean Hospital, we are committed to protecting privacy. See below for more information on patient privacy, website privacy, news media policies, and social media policies for the general public and McLean employees.
McLean Hospital is committed to treating people with dignity, respect, and mutuality; protecting their rights; providing the best care possible; and assisting them in their recovery.
Privacy and Confidentiality
McLean Hospital policies and state and federal law protect the privacy of patient identities and information. In general, any disclosure of clinical information requires a written consent from you, or, if you are under the age of 18, a parent or guardian. Disclosures, however, can occur without written consent in certain specific circumstances, such as by judicial order or in a medical emergency. McLean staff are “mandated reporters” for child and elder abuse and have a duty to warn if it is felt that you are a danger to yourself or to someone else.
- McLean HIPAA Privacy Notice – English
- McLean HIPAA Privacy Notice – Spanish
- McLean HIPAA Privacy Notice – Portuguese
A Note for Families and Friends
All health care providers must comply with these federal regulations, which means that they must obtain formal permission to share information (including diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis), even if you are a spouse, parent, or guardian of an adult patient.
A patient provides permission by signing a release of information form. If a patient has not signed a release, then clinical staff 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.
News Media Policy
The Office of Public Affairs and Communications manages all inquiries from members of the media seeking expert comment from McLean Hospital faculty.
McLean Hospital’s reputation for excellence in psychiatric clinical care, research, and training attracts hundreds of inquiries from members of the local, regional, national, and international media each year. The media often asks McLean Hospital experts to comment on a variety of topics, including the latest medical breakthroughs, scientific research, psychiatric healthcare policies, and feature stories. McLean Hospital enjoys a strong relationship with members of the media. In order to continue to ensure productive interaction with the media, the Public Affairs Office has established the following guidelines.
All interviews with members of the McLean Hospital staff must be arranged by a member of McLean’s media relations team. When arriving on campus, all members of the media should go to the Administration Building, where they will be met by a member of the Public Affairs Office and then escorted to the interview/filming location.
To protect the privacy of McLean Hospital patients and families, Public Affairs must escort all reporters, producers, film crews and photographers on the McLean campus. Any unauthorized members of the media will be asked to leave the McLean campus.
Media questions regarding the location or status of a patient should be directed to the Public Affairs Office. However, it is hospital policy not to confirm or deny the status of any current or former patients.
Reporters must identify McLean Hospital staff by their McLean Hospital title in stories related to the staff member’s work or role at McLean.
In compliance with the HIPAA privacy law, patients who agree to be interviewed or filmed must complete a media release form prior to the interview. If the form is not completed by the time of the interview, the interview cannot take place.
Social Media Policy for Site Visitors
Thank you for participating with McLean Hospital in social networking communities such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. We welcome and encourage open discussion on McLean Hospital’s social media sites, and look forward to any comments, stories, and experiences you want to share.
We do make reasonable efforts to monitor participation to ensure that you stay on topic, are courteous, and avoid making offensive comments. The information provided by McLean Hospital on these platforms is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as an endorsement, or a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Please also be aware that once you post something online, there exists the potential for countless people to read your words, even years from now. As a result, we suggest that you exercise caution when posting medical information on any of our social media sites and that you not disclose personal identifiable information like your location, social security number, medical record number, financial information, etc.
Above is the plain English version. Here it is explained in legal language:
The opinions and or views expressed on McLean Hospital social media platforms, including, but not limited to, our blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages, represent the thoughts of individual bloggers and online communities, and not those necessarily of McLean Hospital or any of its corporate affiliates or any of their respective directors, officers, employees, research staff, medical staff, or members of its respective boards. The opinions and views expressed on these pages do not in any way reflect the views of the site they are posted on, other sites affiliated with the site, the staff involved with maintaining the site, or any members of the site. While McLean Hospital makes every reasonable effort to monitor and/or moderate content posted on its social media platforms, we do not moderate all comments and cannot always respond in a timely manner to online requests for information, particularly outside of regular business hours.
McLean Hospital reserves the sole right to review, edit, and/or delete any comments it deems inappropriate. Comments including but not limited to the following may be deleted or edited by the moderators:
- Abusive or hurtful comments about a blogger, staff member, or any other participant on our sites and social media channels
- Off-topic and redundant comments, as well as spam (this includes promotion of events, groups, pages, websites, organizations, and programs not related to or affiliated with the hospital)
- Comments that use profane or vulgar language or “hate speech” (for example, including but not limited to racial, ethnic, or gender bashing language)
- Personal attacks or defamatory statements or comments (i.e., making negative personal or untrue comments about a participant), instead of just criticizing his/her posting, opinion, or comments
- Comments that intentionally or unintentionally violate the privacy of our patients and their families
Information posted on our sites is not intended to be medical advice and should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace consultation with a qualified physician or other health care provider. All links to other websites found linked from McLean Hospital’s social media sites are provided as a service to readers, but such linkage does not constitute endorsement of those sites by McLean Hospital, and as such we are not responsible for the content of external third party websites.
By submitting content to any of McLean Hospital’s social media sites, you understand and acknowledge that this information is available to the public, and that McLean Hospital may use this information for internal and external promotional purposes and fundraising purposes. Please note that other participants may use your posted information beyond the control of McLean Hospital. If you do not wish to have the information you have made available via this site used, published, copied, and/or reprinted, please do not post on this page.
Social Media Policy for McLean Hospital Employees
The following are guidelines for McLean Hospital employees, students, volunteers, and contractors who participate in social media. Social media includes personal blogs and other websites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube or others.
These guidelines apply whether employees and students are posting to their own sites or commenting on other sites. These guidelines are specific to McLean and should be followed in conjunction with the social media policy of Mass General Brigham:
- Follow all applicable McLean Hospital policies. For example, you must not share confidential or proprietary information about McLean Hospital and you must maintain patient privacy. Among the policies most pertinent to this discussion are those concerning patient confidentiality, government affairs, mutual respect, political activity, computer, email and Internet use, photography and video, and release of patient information to media.
- Write in the first person. Where your connection to McLean Hospital is apparent, make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of McLean Hospital. In those circumstances, you should include this disclaimer: “The views expressed on this [blog; website] are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer.” Consider adding this language in an “About me” section of your blog or social media profile.
- If you identify your affiliation to McLean Hospital, your social media activities should be consistent with McLean’s high standards of professional conduct.
- If you communicate on a public website about McLean Hospital or McLean Hospital-related matters, you must disclose your connection with McLean Hospital and your role at McLean. Only approved spokespeople are permitted to speak on behalf of the hospital.
- Only a small number of pre-approved staff members have access to official hospital social media sites and no accounts may be set up without authorization.
- Be professional, use good judgment, and be accurate and honest in your communications; errors, omissions or unprofessional language or behavior reflect poorly on McLean, and may result in liability for you or McLean Hospital. Be respectful and professional to fellow employees, business partners, competitors, and patients. Ensure that your social media activity does not interfere with your work commitments.
- McLean Hospital strongly discourages “friending” of patients on social media websites. Staff in patient care roles generally should not initiate or accept friend requests except in unusual circumstances such as the situation where an in-person friendship pre-dates the treatment relationship.
- McLean Hospital discourages staff in management/supervisory roles from initiating “friend” requests with employees they manage. Managers/supervisors may accept friend requests if initiated by the employee, and if the manager/supervisor does not believe it will negatively impact the work relationship.
- McLean Hospital does not endorse people, products, services, and organizations. Please keep this in mind when posting on social media sites as well.
- Your social media name, handle, and URL should not include McLean Hospital’s name or logo and you should not use your McLean/Partners business email address in association with personal social media accounts.