Definition Of Patient Conditions
Releasing Information about DeKalb Medical Patients
DeKalb Medical follows the American Hospital Association’s guidelines for releasing information on the condition of patients. Information about the condition and location of an inpatient, outpatient or Emergency Department patient may be released only if the inquiry specifically contains the patient's name.
There are times when a patient and/or their family wish not to have their condition or presence at one of our facilities disclosed. In these cases they become a “No Info” patient and no representative of the hospital system will provide any information to the news media, even if the patient’s name is given.
When information is given regarding a patient’s condition, the following definitions apply:
- Undetermined - Patient awaiting physician and 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 - The death of a patient is presumed to be a matter of record and may be reported after the next of kin and other appropriate family members (grandparents, divorced parents, etc.) have been notified. If the patient’s next of kin cannot be notified, no information will be released. Once the patient's next-of-kin is notified, place and time of death will be released. Information regarding the cause of death must come from the patient’s physician, and its release must be approved by a member of the immediate family.
*Source: American Hospital Association and Georgia Hospital Association