Brianna Williams, the mother of missing 5-year-old Taylor Williams, was rushed to the hospital Tuesday instead of jail after a suicide attempt left her in serious condition.
She was charged with child neglect and giving false information to investigators in relation to the case of her missing daughter.
Family and law enforcement officials had differing accounts of her condition on Tuesday night. Relatives say she is on life support, while investigators told First Coast News she is in a medically-induced coma.
But when First Coast News made a request to get an update on her health status, the hospital replied: "that name is not in our system."
More Details: Arrest warrant details child neglect, Brianna Williams' alleged lies prior to 5-year-old Taylor Williams' disappearance
This caused questions to swirl on social media about whether Williams had gotten out of the hospital or perhaps died.
First Coast News believes neither are the case as of Wednesday at 8:50 a.m.
So why doesn't Brianna Williams' name appear in the hospital directory?
Here's what we know.
Medical facilities are required to strictly follow HIPAA privacy guidelines, which determines what information can be released.
Dan Leveton, media relations for UF Health Jacksonville, says for this reason, there are many hypothetical examples of why a patient may not show up in a hospital directory.
More Details: Family says Brianna Williams on life-support after suicide attempt following discovery of a child's remain in Alabama
Leveton says patients can 'opt themselves out' of reporting. A patient’s family member, guardian or even law enforcement can also 'opt-out' a patient for a handful of reasons.
Regardless, if someone is “opted out,” no matter who made that decision, Leveton says the hospital has to tell anyone who inquires that the person’s name is not in their system and they cannot give out any other information.
If the patient has not opted out, information can still be scarce. Leveton says the hospital can only legally give a one-word condition report (such as critical, serious, fair, etc.).
More information can be released if the patient signs a consent form.
Besides 'opting out,' here are some other reasons Leveton says why a name may not appear in the directory of UF Health or UF Health Jacksonville:
- The person is not a patient at the facility
- The person was treated and released
- The person is not yet formally admitted into the system, is being transferred within the health system or is in treatment and a condition report is unavailable
- The person was transferred to another facility
- The person was admitted to the facility under an alias, so the patient does not show up in any records by his or her name
- The patient is dead
More information about patient condition reports can be found here and on HIPAA Guidelines here.
More: Arrest warrant details child neglect, Brianna Williams' alleged lies prior to 5-year-old Taylor Williams' disappearance