Receiving Patient Condition Reports

If you are a reporter looking for a Patient Condition, please call the 24-Hour Media Relations Line at 907.212.6083.
 
Providence Health & Services Alaska is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of our patients and their medical information as mandated by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). To help ensure these rights, we have adopted the following definitions approved by the American Hospital Association for reporting patient conditions to the media. 
 
How we provide patient conditions:
  • You must have the patient's full name.
  • We will only provide a one-word description about a patient's condition: "good", "fair," "serious" or "critical", or "undetermined/under evaluation" or "treated & released." Please note "stable" is not used. If there is no information available on the patient, the condition update will be "no information."
  • In the event of a large-scale disaster, we will attempt to provide non-specific information about patients brought to the Medical Center.
  • Under the HIPAA regulations, the Communications & Marketing staff will not be able to provide a one-word condition of the patient if one of the following apply:
  • The patient has "opted out" of being listed in the hospital directory. HIPAA provides all patients with the right to "opt out" of being listed in the hospital directory. If a patient opts out, no information whatsoever can be shared, including whether or not the person is even a patient at the hospital.
  • Family members have not yet been notified of the patient's admission to the hospital. As has always been the practice, no information will be given to the media until the next of kin have been notified.
  • The reporter does not supply the full name of the patient in question. In order for information to be released, HIPAA requires the caller to state the patient's name. For example, a reporter calling and requesting the names and conditions of "those injured in the Glenn highway accident earlier tonight" will not be able to receive any information from hospital officials.
  • The patient has been categorized by hospital administration as a "hidden patient," a designation that is occasionally used to protect the identity of a patient for security or other significant reasons. For example, in case of violence where the perpetrator remains at large and the security of the patient and/or staff may be compromised, or in order to protect the identity of a rape or child abuse victim, no information will be given. 
Please also be aware that under the Patient Privacy Regulations, HIPAA does not permit the release of the following patient information:
  • Patient's age or date of birth
  • Patient's home address
  • Nature and description of patient's injuries