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The UNC Health Communications, Marketing and External Affairs Office will, in most cases, release a one-word condition report on a patient’s status upon request from the news media.

Reporters may call 984-974-1140 to request a patient condition report. At night and on weekends, leaving voice mail at this number will page the person on call for our office, who will then return your call. The reporter’s query must include the patient’s correct name. In most cases, UNC Health will release a one-word condition report: good, fair, serious, critical or deceased.

However, under patient privacy guidelines mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), patients have the right to “opt out” and block release of this information. When a patient “opts out,” no information can be released about that patient nor can it be acknowledged that the person is a patient at a UNC Health facility.

In addition, UNC Health does not release any information about patients who are victims of violent crimes (these include shootings, stabbings, assault, sexual abuse and child abuse).

Patient Condition Definitions:

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 are 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.
Source of definitions: American Hospital Association