State and federal law prohibit Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center (LLUBMC) from divulging any information without the written consent of the patient or legal guardian. The penalties for providing confidential information without appropriate consent are severe for both the facility and the individual divulging it. At the same time, family members are entitled both legally and morally to have access to their loved ones. To reconcile these two conflicting laws, we have had established the following procedures.
When patients are admitted, they are assigned a three digit number we refer to as the visitor ID. The visitor ID is given to the adult patient who can give it to whomever he or she chooses. In the case of minors, the number is given to the parent who is signing the patient into the hospital, or in the case of involuntary detentions, the custodial parent or guardian. This visitor ID gives visitors access to the patient during visiting hours and gives callers access to the nurses and doctors to discuss details about the case.
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