Patient Conditions and Privacy

To obtain a patient’s condition, contact the Beacon Health System Corporate Communications Department at 574.647.3001 or 574.647.3234.

  • Members of the media seeking a patient condition must provide the patient’s full name and correct spelling.
  • To protect patient confidentiality, Beacon Health System does not release any patient information other than a one-word condition description as defined by the American Hospital Association.
  • If a patient requests that their condition remain restricted, the Health System will not release any information nor confirm that the patient is being cared for at the Health System.
  • No information about a patient who has died at a Health System facility may be released without the authorization of next of kin. Once next of kin has been notified, only confirmation of death can be provided, not time or date of death.

Definition of General Patient Conditions

According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the word “stable” is not used as a condition.

The HIPAA requires all hospitals to ask permission from each patient, or his or her legal representative, to disclose information about the patient’s medical condition. Under HIPAA, a patient may exercise his or her right to refuse or limit the release of this information.

The Beacon Health System Corporate Communications Department works directly with the media to provide accurate and timely information about patients’ conditions, while also respecting patients’ wishes and complying with HIPAA privacy regulations. To that end, the Health System does not release information on patients whose injuries may have resulted from domestic abuse or violent crime, or have requested to be placed on a Do Not Report list.

  • Undetermined – Patient is awaiting physician and/or assessment.
  • Good – Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Expected outcome is excellent.
  • Fair – Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is responding to treatment. Expected outcome is favorable.
  • Serious – Vital signs are stable at present. Patient is acutely ill. Expected outcome is unpredictable.
  • Critical – Vital signs are unstable. Expected outcome is unpredictable.