Protecting Our Patients
Protecting the privacy and confidentiality of patients and patient information is a primary responsibility of the Communications, Marketing and Media Department at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Federal regulations dictate the way we report patient information to the media.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has established privacy standards that will protect the kind of information we can provide about hospital patients.
Under this law, individuals entering the Medical Center for any kind of treatment will be given an opportunity to "opt in" or "opt out" of the patient directory.
If they "opt in," the Medical Center 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 they "opt 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 acknowledge 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
During regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm), call the Communications, Marketing and Media Department at 336-716-4587. This number is for news media inquiries only. If you are not a member of the news media, call Patient Information at 336-713-0000.
After hours, weekends and holidays, call Nursing Administration at 336-716-3418.