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Obtaining Patient Condition Reports

The most recent HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) guidelines went into effect in April 2003. It has helped to further protect the privacy of our patients and has changed the way medical information about patients can be released. In most cases, UNC Health Care will release a one-word condition report; good, fair, serious, critical or deceased. The reporter's query must include the patient's correct name.

However, under federal patient privacy rules (HIPAA), patients have the right to "opt out" and block release of this information. When a patient "opts out," no information can be released about that patient nor can it be acknowledged that the person is a patient at a UNC Health Care facility.

The UNC Medical Center News Office will release a one-word condition report on a patient's status upon request (good, fair, serious, critical or deceased) from the news media. The reporter's query must include the patient's correct name.

Reporters may call (919) 966-3367 to request a patient condition report. At night and on weekends, leaving voice mail at this number will page the person on call for the News Office, who will then return your call.

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 are 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.

Source: American Hospital Association

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