For The Press
Privacy and Confidentiality
North Shore Medical Center protects the privacy and confidentiality of our patients. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) specifies the purposes for which information may and may not be released without authorization from the patient.
- Information about the condition and location of an inpatient, outpatient or emergency department patient may be released only if an inquiry specifically identifies the patient by name.
- No information will be given if a request does not include a specific patient's name.
- Patients may also opt not to have information released under any circumstances.
- More about patient privacy and HIPAA
Because of privacy regulations, NSMC can only provide a one-word description of a patient’s condition to callers. Any additional patient information may only be provided with written consent of the patient. Patients may designate one spokesperson for telephone communication and more detailed condition updates.
NSMC patient condition reports follow the American Hospital Association guidelines for release of information.
- 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 uncomfortable. Indicators are unfavorable.
- Undetermined: Patient is awaiting physician and/or assessment.