Have you ever tried tracking a missing person? You would wish you didn’t have to engage yourself in such an activity.
Tracking down a missing person can be stressful and time-consuming. But then, that’s your best chance of locating them. So, it’s a necessary activity.
It would be best if you searched diverse places when looking for your missing friend, relative, or colleague. And one of such areas should be hospitals around.
Why hospitals? There’s a possibility that the person you’re looking for had an accident or became extremely sick all of a sudden. Anything is possible.
So, how can you check if someone is in a private or public hospital? Keep reading to find out.
Can I Ask If Someone Is In A Hospital?
The straightforward answer is yes, but there’s more. Every patient has rights. It doesn’t matter their age, status, or condition.
Even if the person you’re tracking is dead or alive, it doesn’t matter. Hospitals don’t give up information about patients that easily, whether it’s a public or private facility.
The law governs and dictates the type of information hospitals can give out. It doesn’t matter whether the person is a psychiatric or medical patient (someone undergoing treatment or surgery). It also doesn’t matter the nature by which the person was brought in.
In the United States of America, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) protects patients’ privacy. Only the hospitalized individual can grant the hospital permission to reveal their medical information or whereabouts to the public.
Do the police need permission to access a patient’s medical record or find out if they are in a specific hospital?
The straightforward answer is no. The police can access any patient’s medical record without persecution, provided they’re working on a related case.
How To Find Out If Someone You Know Is In The Hospital Or Not
Tracking down missing persons is a bit challenging for civilians like you and me. The reason isn’t just about the task involved. Hospitals can’t release certain information to any random person that asks.
So, even if your friend, relative, or colleague is at the hospital, you have to follow due process to find out. Let’s discuss the steps you need to take.
Step#1: Try Google Map search:
Straight to the point, Google Map will not reveal if the person you’re tracking is in a specific hospital or not. It doesn’t have that capacity.
Use Google Map to search for the possible hospital the person you’re looking for might be. When was he or she last seen? What hospital would he or she prefer if there were an emergency?
Let’s say you’re looking for the nearest hospital around Miami. The search term to use would be “hospital around Miami, FL.” Enter this term in Google Map. You’ll find the result you seek.
A Handy Tip: You need to broaden your search. Don’t focus on one area or hospital alone. Use Google Map to search for hospitals at various locations. But take it one step at a time.
Step#2: Create A Comprehensive List Of Hospitals:
Keep in mind that you have to search for clues near and far. Don’t just concentrate on one area alone.
To make the task easier for you to manage, create a comprehensive list comprising various hospitals. You can decide to create a list of potential hospitals you need to visit and note the ones you have succeeded in visiting.
You can even decide to write down the name of any hospital you visit during the search.
A Handy Tip: Don’t just write the names of hospitals. Include information such as phone numbers, names of head nurses, admitting personnel, and so on.
Step#3: Phone the hospital:
You can visit the medical facility in person or phone them. However, the latter would be easier. You won’t be wasting gas, energy, or time.
Whenever you call the hospital, ask to speak with their head nurse. The admitting staff is another vital individual you should consider contacting.
Try to speak with the personnel handling emergency room admission in the proposed hospital. Only they would have a good idea of the persons admitted or discharged in the last couple of hours, days, or weeks.
Step#4: Use clear description:
Before phoning any hospital to inquire if a missing friend or relative is there, be ready to provide an apt description of the individual.
Again, if you can’t remember certain features about the person, don’t use them in your description. Doing so can make it a bit more challenging for the hospital personnel to identify the person. In this case, you may likely miss out even if the person is in the hospital.
You can use the individual’s physical features to describe them when speaking to the hospital staff. Avoid using things like the type or color of the person’s clothes. Who knows, maybe the hospital management might have changed the patient’s clothing before you called.
It’s also possible that the person had changed their clothes before the incident that landed him or her in the hospital occurred.
Furthermore, you need to give the missing person’s name to the hospital management, so they can cross-reference and give you an accurate answer. And don’t forget to supply the person’s correct name. Give the first and last name.
Step#5: Identify yourself:
If you’re phoning the hospital, don’t forget to identify yourself. You need to explain the relationship you have with the patients. Is the missing person your friend, relative, colleague, neighbor, child, or student in school? Tell the hospital management.
You can say something like, “I am looking for a missing relative, and I am calling to know if he or she got admitted into your hospital.” You can then explain the person’s physical features to the hospital management. It will help them to provide a more detailed reply.
A Handy Tip: If the hospital management refuses to give you any information, don’t be rude to them. They’re just doing their job. It’s also possible that they have been dragged to court before giving out information about a patient. Who knows?
Step#6: Ask the hospital for unidentified patients:
Bear in mind that there’re limits to the information the hospital management can give to you owing to legal constraints.
However, this shouldn’t stop them from telling you if they have unidentified persons in their hospital or not.
So, go ahead and ask if they have unidentified patients. You can state the specific gender of the person you’re seeking. At least, that will make the search easier for you a bit.
Once you discover that they have unidentified persons in the hospital, don’t wait for more details before heading to the facility. Who knows, maybe your presence can save the person’s life too.
Can You Check If Someone Is In A Mental Facility?
No one wishes to have a mentally unstable relative. It’s difficult and sometimes impossible to have regular conversations with such persons.
However, when searching for a missing person, any location could be the right place to find the individual. That’s why it’s essential to search far and wide.
So, can you check if someone is in a mental facility? Well, the answer is a bit tricky.
Hospitals take mental health issues seriously. They also know that a mentally unstable person has rights. So, yes, you can check if someone you know is in a mental facility. But have at the back of your mind that you have to go through the police.
Even if the police discover the person’s whereabouts, they may not tell you. And this happens in situations where the patients have requested that their condition be kept a secret from friends and relatives.
The hospital management will not also give you a yes or a no. They understand that by saying yes to your inquiry, they have automatically notified you that the person in question is in a specific hospital.
Finding a missing person is no small matter. It would require patience, dedication, and finances. Most hospitals may not disclose whether the person is in their facility or not. They can only do so on the patient’s order.
However, the police can have access to the information you can’t as a civilian. The hospital can give them information about patients but deny you the same. But if you abide by the tips listed in this post, you might have some clue that will help you find your missing relative or friend.