Definitions

Patient Condition Report Definitions

(From the South Dakota Code of Cooperation)

Undetermined: Patient or resident is awaiting physician and/or assessment.

Good: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient or resident is conscious and comfortable. Indicators are excellent.

Fair: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient or resident is conscious, but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.

Serious: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient or resident is acutely ill. Indicators are questionable.

Critical: Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient or resident may be unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.

Death: The death of a patient or resident may be reported to the authorities by the hospital, as required by law. Any release of information to the public by the hospital about a death will only be made following the notification of next-of-kin and upon receipt of a request about the specific patient. Information about the cause of death must come from the patient's physician, and a legal representative of the deceased must approve its release.

Discharged: This term will be used when a patient has been listed in the patient directory, has either received medical treatment in the Emergency Department or as an inpatient, and has been released from the facility. This term will also be applied to patients who have been listed in the directory and have been transferred to another facility. Time and date of discharge, the term "transferred" or disclosure of place of transfer, cannot be released due to federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.

Not in the Directory: In accordance with HIPAA regulations, patients at Regional Health facilities are asked if they want to be listed in our patient directory. If the patient wants to be listed in the directory, we can provide reporters with a one-word condition report listed above. If the patient does not want to be listed in the directory, news media will be informed the individual is not listed in the patient directory.

Therefore, when reporters are told an individual is not listed in the facility directory, it could mean either the patient is not in that facility, or that the patient is in the facility, but has chosen not to be listed in the directory. Members of the Regional Health Public Relations and Marketing Department will not have direct knowledge of whether the patient is actually in the facility or not.

For more information on patient condition reports, click here:

Patient Condition Report Guidelines (Full document)
South Dakota Code of Cooperation (Full document)