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Patient Condition Reports

Patient condition reports

The media relations staff provides general patient condition information within the limitations imposed by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). A patient name is required. Release of detailed information or information about minors requires written consent of the parent, guardian or legal representative.

The American Hospital Association recommends the following one-word descriptions of a patient's general condition.

  • Undetermined: Patient awaiting physician 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.
  • Treated and released: Received treatment but not admitted.
  • Treated and transferred: Received treatment. Transferred to a different facility.

Additionally, the California Hospital Association Guide to the Release of Patient Information to the Media can be located at http://www.calhospital.org/. From the home page, click on the Press Room, then click on the "Release of Patient Information" button. A PDF of the brochure is posted.