Patient Privacy and Confidentiality
Lakeland HealthCare is committed to protecting patient privacy and confidentiality.
In accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Lakeland is able to provide the media with a one-word condition report on current patients.
Prior to giving any patient information, the patient's privacy status must be assessed. No information will be given to the media on any privacy patient or any patient who, for security reasons, is identified as being inappropriate for media release.
If a patient is currently listed in the hospital directory, his or her condition may be given only to those, including media, who inquire about the patient by name.
The one-word conditions determined by the American Hospital Association used to describe patients are:
Undetermined - patient currently being evaluated
Good - vital signs (pulse, temperature, blood pressure) are stable and within normal limits; patient is conscious and comfortable; outlook for recovery is good or excellent
Fair - vital signs are stable and within normal limits; patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable or have minor complications; outlook is favorable
Serious - vital signs may be unstable or not within normal limits; patient is acutely ill; outlook is questionable
Critical - vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits; patient may have major complications; outlook is unfavorable
Treated and Released - received treatment, but not admitted
Treated and Transferred - received treatment; transferred to a different facility
Death of a Patient
A patient's death may be confirmed only after the next of kin has been notified. Information regarding the cause of death must come from the patient's physician, and its release must be approved by a legal representative of the deceased.
When a death is investigated by the county coroner, questions about the cause of death should be addressed to the coroner.
For more information about patient privacy rights, please see the Michigan Health & Hospital Association's Hospital Media Guide.