Patient Information & Condition Reports
We have a duty to protect the confidentiality and privacy of our patients, and we adhere to federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) regulations. HIPAA sets standards that hospitals must follow with regard to the release of patient information.
HIPAA regulations state that hospitals can release patient condition information if the caller has the patient's name, and if the patient has given us permission to do so. Then, we can release only the patient's condition and his/her general location within the hospital, unless the location would indicate the type of care the patient is receiving.
Patient Condition Definitions
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.
Undetermined – Physician has not had ample time to diagnose the patient's problems/condition and arrive at a diagnosis and prognosis.
Deceased – Next of kin must first be notified. Information regarding the cause of death must come from the patient's physician and a legal representative of the deceased must approve its release.
No Information Available - Patients have the right to request that no information be released, in which case we will inform media representatives that the person is either not a patient or has requested that no information be provided.
Cases of Public Record
Genesis is a private entity and is not obligated to release any information about patients. State law generally defines a public record as information kept by any public office, not otherwise privileged or confidential. The fact that a police or fire department has transported someone to the hospital from an accident, crime scene or fire is a matter of public record likely to be reported by those agencies. These public records are available from the reporting agencies, not the hospital.
Gaining Access to Patients
Patients are free to release their own personal information or to consent to interviews providing it does not interfere with their medical treatment.
Written permission of the patient is needed for photos or interviews. Corporate communications will obtain the written permission on its media authorization form. If the patient is a minor, permission must be obtained from a parent or legal guardian.
For questions about HIPAA guidelines, please contact corporate communications at (740) 454-5913.