Information Disclosure: A Real World Example (non-IT)

A friend of mine collapsed on New Year’s Eve (no, not from drinking) and was admitted to the regional hospital. I called last night to ask when visiting hours were. I gave his name and was transferred to the department where he was (in the ICU). The gentleman I spoke with there told me to come by after 8AM to visit my friend. I told him I preferred to call ahead, since I live about an hour away, and he said that made sense.
This morning, I called to see if I could visit. However, I specifically asked if he was admitted. (Now, I’m not sure exactly why I didn’t say “My friend was admitted, can I come visit” instead, but that’s just the way the words came out of my mouth). I was asked for my friend’s name. I gave it, and was told “that patient hasn’t given permission to give out his status.”
I pointed out to the person on the phone that she had just confirmed to me that he was admitted, which was my original question. She replied “Okay…” I thanked her and hung up.
What conclusions do you draw from this?

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