Patient Information Policy
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, patient privacy is paramount, and hospitals may disclose a patient’s condition to a journalist in the general terms of Undetermined, Good, Fair, Serious or Critical.
The general condition will be provided to the journalist only when the journalist provides the patient’s first and last name (spelling must be correct). Providing the hospital PR contact with the circumstances by which the patient came to Augusta University Health is also helpful. In cases of common names, such as John Smith, a date of birth must also be provided, in order to get the correct condition of the specific “John Smith.”
Patient Condition Definitions
General condition statements will be used. “Stable” is not a condition.
Undetermined: This is not a medical condition. It indicates the patient is being evaluated to determine a more definite condition.
Good: Vital signs are stable. Patient is conscious and comfortable.
Fair: Vital signs are stable. Patient is conscious and uncomfortable. There will be minor complications.
Serious: Vital signs may be unstable or not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill; indicators are questionable.
Critical: Vital signs are clearly unstable or not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill; indicators are questionable.
Please understand that a patient or patient representative may request that his/her name NOT BE LISTED in the hospital directory. In such cases, no information will be provided to the media.
Media requests for patient conditions: Call 706-721-3893 and ask to be connected to the Media Relations representative on call.