To protect our patients’ privacy, our public relations team releases only a standardized, one-word condition as defined by the American Hospital Association to the media. Additional information is released only with the consent of the patient or family members. As long as the patient or family has not requested the information be withheld, public relations may release the patient’s one-word condition to individuals who inquire about the patient by full name.
Patient conditions are defined as follows by the American Hospital Association’s Guidelines for Releasing Information on the Condition of Patients:
UNDETERMINED: Patient is awaiting physician and/or assessment.
GOOD: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious and comfortable; indicators are excellent.
FAIR: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious, but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.
SERIOUS: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill. Indicators are questionable.
CRITICAL: Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.
DEATH OF A PATIENT: The death of a patient may be reported to authorities by the hospital, as required by law. Typically, public information about a death will be disclosed after efforts have been made to notify the next of kin. Information about the cause of death must come from the patient’s physician and a legal representative of the deceased must approve its release. This means that hospitals cannot share information with the media about sudden, violent or accidental deaths, or deaths from natural causes, without the permission of the decedent’s next of kin or other legal representative.