Information for Media
As a non-profit health care organization, Guthrie Health, its physicians and employees are focused on improving the health and well-being of the communities it serves. Guthrie’s mission, vision and values statements articulate the principles on which the organization was founded and exists today.
Reporters are invited to partner with Guthrie in sharing important health information with the general public. Guthrie’s multi-specialty group practice includes physician experts on a wide variety of topics that may be of interest to audiences of all types of media. Guthrie’s Strategic Planning & Marketing department is the primary contact for media and its staff will be as accommodating as possible in helping reporters/journalists get the stories they seek.
Patient Condition Reports
Patient privacy is respected and protected in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
Requests for information about patient conditions must include the full name.
If the patient, or parent or guardian, gives Guthrie permission to release directory information, the patient’s condition will be given as one of the following terms, as outlined by the American Hospital Association (AHA). Definitions of these AHA terms are as follows:
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 sings 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.
In addition, a report of “still being evaluated” may be given. This means an assessment of the patient assessment has not yet been completed.
In some cases, even if the patient’s full name is provided, the spokesperson may say “that name is not on the list of names of patients for whom I am authorized to release information.” There are several reasons of this response. The Guthrie spokesperson is not able to provide insight into which of the reasons, listed below, have resulted in this response.
- The patient has exercised the right to have NO information released by Guthrie regarding his or her condition or hospitalization.
- The person is not a patient at a Guthrie hospital.
- The patient is being evaluated and has not yet been admitted to the hospital.
- The patient has been discharged from an inpatient unit or was treated and released from the Emergency Department.
- The patient has expired. Note – in the case of patients who have expired, no information will be released by the hospital until next-of-kin have been notified or all reasonable efforts to locate next-of-kin have been exhausted.