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HIPAA and Confidentiality

When it comes to patient information, "mum's the word."

We are committed to maintaining the privacy of our patients. During registration, we will ask whether you want to be listed in our patient directory. If you choose not to be listed, we will not provide any information about you to anyone.

If inquiries about you are made at our information desk or through our hospital operator, the response will be that, “we do not have a patient by that name in our directory.” This means that if your friends or family call or visit the hospital, we will not be able to tell them your room number or even that you are a patient in our hospital.

Of course, you are welcome to tell your family and friends you are here, but if you want them to call or visit, you will need to let them know your room number. Our information desk and hospital operator will not be permitted to release that information under any circumstances.

What Is HIPAA?

In response to growing concerns about keeping health information private, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. The legislation includes a privacy rule that creates national standards to protect individuals' personal health information.

To learn more about how Duke Medicine and Duke Regional Hospital are implementing HIPAA standards, including privacy practices, please visit the dukemedicine.org privacy policy page.