Clergy Visitation Guidelines
At New Hanover Regional Medical Center we welcome clergy and value your ministry. As the leading healthcare provider for Southeastern North Carolina we are committed to providing comprehensive medical care for our patients. We recognize the importance of the spiritual as well as medical needs in the healing process.
Our patients are asked their religious affiliation when they are admitted. The New Hanover campus at 17th Street provides a directory of patients by religious affiliation. As a result of HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) that went into effect on April 23, 2003, there are stricter regulations about confidentiality in hospitals. Only persons wearing a Clergy Badge can access the directory in order to visit patients from their congregation.
Patients have the right to decline having their names listed. When requesting their room number you may be informed that we do not a patient with that name. It is helpful to have your members contact your office whenever they are hospitalized.
Persons wanting to obtain a Clergy Badge and visit patients on behalf of their congregation need to be oriented to NHRMC by a member of the Spiritual Care Department staff. You must submit a letter on the congregation's letterhead stating that you are serving the congregation in this capacity. The letter should be signed by the congregation's lay leader for all clergy, or by the pastor for lay ministers. You should also fill out the Clergy Badge form and bring it with you to the Spiritual Care office.
Sample wording for this letter follows:
"Rev. _____ is a part of the ministerial staff of _____ church at (address). Part of her/his duties include hospital visitation of members of our congregation.
Please issue a Clergy Badge to Rev. _____ so she/he will be easily identified in the hospital as clergy."
_____________ (office title)
(Name of church/congregation)
You may call the Spiritual Care office asking a chaplain to visit a patient, and we will be glad to do so. We will also inform the patient that you called. However, apart from the patient's room location, we cannot pass along any information to you about the patient or the patient's condition.
Please click on this link to see the hospital policy regarding Patient Visitation by Clergy.
For more information or to ask questions, please call the Spiritual Care Department at 910-343-7014, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.