Update on a Patient’s Condition
HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) prohibits the release of patient information without the patient’s consent. Every healthcare provider is required by law to follow HIPAA guidelines. Patient conditions and information will only be released by authorized hospital personnel in accordance with general HIPAA guidelines.
- If you are inquiring about a family member or loved one: To reach patients admitted to the hospital, call the main hospital number (207) 363-4321 and speak to one of our Care Access Switchboard Reception staff members. Please note that we respect the wishes of patients who prefer to not receive visitors or phone calls to the room.
- If you are a member of the media inquiring about a patient: The confidentiality of medical records and the right of a hospital patient to privacy is as important to the hospital as is the patient's medical care. For patients treated at York Hospital, only the conditions of publicly reportable patients will be released - those involved in an incident that is a matter of public record and reportable to public authorities (i.e., police, Medical Examiner or public health officer). The media MUST provide a patient name in order to receive a condition report.
The exception to this involves mass casualty incidents. When contacted by the media about a specific patient by name, unless the patient or the patient’s
authorized representative opts out of the patient directory, the hospital will confirm the presence of the patient and issue limited information. We do not give out the location (room/unit) of the patient or the nature/type of injuries. We also do not give out any information that might endanger or embarrass the patient. A “Condition Statement” may be given, limited to the following definitions:
- Satisfactory: 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 good.
- Serious: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may or not be conscious. Patient is acutely ill. Indicators are questionable.
- Critical: Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may not be conscious. Indicators are unfavorable.
- Treated and Released: Patient received treatment but was not admitted.
- Treated and Transferred: Received treatment. Transferred to a different facility.
- Undetermined: Patient is being evaluated.
- For inquiries, please contact: Friendraising/Public Relations office (207) 351-2385; After Hours: (207) 363-4321 and a public relations staff member will be paged.