Under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), a patient condition update is the only information that the HRSRH is legally authorized to disclose to the media.
The Act provides for the following: A health information custodian that is a facility that provides health care may disclose to a person the following personal health information relating to an individual who is a patient or a resident in the facility if the custodian offers the individual the option, at the first reasonable opportunity after admission to the facility, to object to such disclosure and if the individual does not do so:
- The fact that the individual is a patient or resident in the facility.
- The individual’s general health status described as critical, poor, fair, stable or satisfactory, or in similar terms.
Explanation of Patient Conditions
Provided the media provide the patient's name, only the following terms will be used to describe the patient's condition:
CRITICAL - Questionable prognosis, vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits, there are major complications and death may be imminent.
SERIOUS - Acutely ill with questionable prognosis, vital signs may be unstable or not within normal limits, and there is a chance for improved prognosis.
STABLE - Vital signs give no cause for concern. Patient is conscious, the prognosis is favorable, but he is uncomfortable or may have minor complications.
GOOD - Vital signs are stable and within normal limits, patient is conscious and comfortable and his prognosis is good or excellent.