Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is committed to protecting your privacy and personal health information. Plus, it’s required by federal law.
If someone calls seeking information about your condition or the condition of a family member while at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, we will release that information only if they provide the patient's first and last name. You, or the person authorized to give consent, have the right to opt out of providing information altogether.
Virginia Mason Franciscan Health complies with the strict patient-privacy guidelines established by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, which governs the type and amount of patient information that may be legally provided.
Conditions of adult patients can be provided only when:
If the requirements provided above are met, then the patient condition classifications below will be used and have the following meanings:
The patient is awaiting a physician and medical assessment
The patient has been treated by the hospital and released; generally, this indicates the patient’s condition was satisfactory upon release
The patient was stabilized at the hospital and transferred to another facility for further care; we do not disclose where the patient was transferred
Vital signs such as heartbeat, breathing, blood pressure and temperature are stable and within normal limits; the patient is conscious and comfortable; indicators are good
Vital signs such as heartbeat, breathing, blood pressure and temperature are not within normal limits; the patient is acutely ill; indicators are questionable
Vital signs such as heartbeat, breathing, blood pressure, and temperature are unstable and not within normal limits; the patient may be unconscious; there is some doubt that the patient will recover; death could be imminent
The death of a patient can be disclosed to the public and news media only after the next of kin has been notified and the patient’s body is still in the hospital
If an adult patient has been released from the hospital and we receive a proper inquiry about the patient by name, we confirm that the patient is no longer in our care, but we do not give the release date, admission date, length of stay or other information
Reporters and photographers may be granted permission to photograph, videotape and/or interview patients inside the hospital only after receiving permission from the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health media relations manager (Media Hotline: 253-382-3889). Arrangements will be made only if the patient is willing and his or her medical condition permits.
Members of the news media should not enter patient care areas without the hospital’s permission.
Please read the Washington State Hospital Association Guide for Cooperation for an explanation of the terms that are used to describe patient conditions and injuries, and for information about the federal laws that govern hospitals' release of patient information to media.