|Guide to Inpatient Care
at McLean Hospital (pdf)
What are my rights as a patient?
It is important for you to know your rights as a patient. Please talk to a member of your clinical treatment team if you have questions or concerns.
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. There are additional specific privacy protections under state law for persons with HIV and for those who are participating in alcohol or drug abuse programs. Disclosures, however, can occur without written consent in certain specific circumstances, such as by judicial order or in a medical emergency. All communication with your clinical treatment team is strictly confidential. Unless you give permission in writing, no one at McLean can disclose information about you or your treatment to your school, your employer, your friends or even to your family. 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.
You may obtain a copy of your medical records by submitting a written request to McLean’s Health Information Management (Medical Records) department. A member of your treatment team can provide you with a request form. Copies of discharge summaries are provided at no charge. There is a copying charge for more extensive parts of your medical record. You can reach McLean’s Health Information Management at 617.855.2447. Consistent with current law, McLean Hospital allows only you, your legal guardian or your health care agent to request permission to read a hospital record or to obtain a copy of the discharge summary. In psychiatric facilities, health care agents can only access records if your health care proxy has been activated and you are unable to make health care decisions for yourself. Access to a record may be denied if it could result in serious harm to you.
Information regarding civil rights is provided to all patients. You or your family members are encouraged to contact the McLean civil rights officer on the Belmont campus at 617.855.3406 or at McLean SouthEast in Brockton at 508.894.8315 with questions or concerns. All calls are returned as soon as possible by the hospital’s civil rights officer and are handled in a confidential manner. It is the policy of McLean Hospital to affirmatively provide treatment and care to patients without regard to their race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, disability, sexual orientation, or any basis that would be in violation of any applicable law or regulation.
Under no circumstances will patients or patient-related issues be discussed with the media without written consent by you or your legal guardian.
Research Studies—It Is Your Choice to Participate or Not
McLean is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. During and after your stay, you may have the opportunity to participate in research studies. You may consent to participate in research, but you are not required to do so. You may decline to participate in research or discontinue participation without consequence to your treatment. Your records may be used for approved research purposes, but your identity and any identifying information are never disclosed in research-related publications. Information about participation in research can be obtained from the civil rights officer at McLean Hospital at 617.855.3406. For more detailed, legally binding information on your rights as a patient, refer to the publication Your Rights As An Inpatient at McLean Hospital and to The Partners HealthCare Notice For Use and Sharing of Protected Health Information.