Patient Condition Inquiries

Carson Tahoe Health’s policy for release of patient condition information complies with federal patient privacy regulations (also known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA) and follows the guidelines provided by the American Hospital Association. The following information applies to Carson Tahoe’s health system and all related entities.

The inquiring media representative must provide the name of the patient for every inquiry. This applies to all patients, including those in the Emergency Department. In the event of a large-scale or community disaster, the guidelines do provide for exceptions and ages, genders and general injury descriptions may be given.

Carson Tahoe’s patient directory contains the name of each patient who is receiving care in one of our facilities. Patients have the right to request that their name be removed from the directory.

If an inquiry concerns a patient’s condition and the patient’s name is in the patient directory, only the appropriate one-word condition from the following list can be provided:

  • 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 or may not be stable, and may or may not be 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.
  • Deceased – The patient has died. Neither the date nor time of death can be provided or confirmed. If the death is a coroner’s case, inquiries may be directed to the coroner’s office.
  • Treated and Released or Discharged – The patient is no longer at the facility. Neither the date nor time of release or discharge can be provided or confirmed.

Please Note: if the patient’s name is not in the patient directory, we will not be able to provide any information, including confirmation that the patient is receiving care at the facility, even if the mechanism of illness or injury is a matter of public record.

We will state, “Federal patient privacy regulations allow us to release information on only those patients whose names appear in our directory. This patient’s name does not appear in our directory.

Finally, patient condition information may be withheld if, in the professional judgment of a healthcare provider, it is in the patient’s best interest to withhold information, even if the patient’s name is listed in the directory.

For media inquiries regarding a patient’s condition during business hours (8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday) contact Media Relations at (775) 445-5162 or info@carsontahoe.org.