Freeman is committed to protecting the privacy of our patients and the confidentiality of their medical information. Prior to the release of any patient condition report, all patients are given the opportunity to withhold information about their care—these patients are considered confidential. Under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Freeman cannot provide any information about confidential patients, which includes confirming or denying a patient’s presence in our hospital.
Occasionally, we receive requests from media for information about our patients. When a patient has not requested confidentiality about his or her stay, the American Hospital Association allows us to release patient condition information, while respecting the patients’ wishes and complying with federal privacy laws.
In most cases, if a patient is listed in our hospital directory, we can provide general, one-word patient condition reports, defined by the American Hospital Association:
- Undetermined: Patient is awaiting physician and/or 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.
- Deceased: Public information about a death may be disclosed after the next-of-kin has been notified.
Patient condition reports may only be obtained by the media through the Freeman Marketing and Public Relations Department. We will not provide patient condition reports if any of the following apply:
- The requestor is not a representative of the media
- The requestor does not provide the patient’s full name with correct spelling.
- The patient is confidential—he/she has exercised the right to withhold information about his/her care.
To receive a patient condition report, contact Freeman Marketing and Public Relations at 417.347.4606 or 417.434.3458.