Protecting the privacy and confidentiality of patients and patient information is a primary responsibility of the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.
New federal regulations have changed the way we report patient information to the media. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountabilty Act (HIPAA) establishes privacy standards that protect the kind of information we can provide about hospital patients.
Under the law, individuals entering our hospital for any kind of treatment have an opportunity to opt in or opt out of the patient directory.
If they "opt in," Geisinger Health System will release a one-word condition (see below) about a patient's status upon request from the media. The reporter must provide the patient's first and last name.
If the patient "opts out," or if you do not provide a first and last name, no information can be given. In this case, HIPAA will not even allow us to acknowlege that the patient is or was at our facility.
Patient Condition Definitions
- Undetermined: Patient is awaiting evaluation by a physician.
- 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.
- Treated and Released: Received treatment, but was not admitted.
- Treated and Transferred: Treated and transferred to another facility. We may not disclose where the patient has been transferred.
Note: "Stable" is not a recognized condition.
Geisinger Medical Center, Danville: During regular business hours, Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, call Public Relations & Marketing at 570-271-6435. After hours, weekends and holidays, call 570-271-6339.
Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre: During regular business hours, Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, call Public Relations & Marketing at 570-808-3248. After hours, weekends and holidays, call 570-808-7300.