Patient Conditions

If you are a reporter looking for a condition report, please call the Public Relations Office at 518-262-3421 during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. After hours, on weekends and on holidays, the on-call Public Relations staff member should be paged through the Albany Med page operator by calling 518-262-3111.

Please note that Albany Medical Center is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of our patients and their medical information as mandated by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). To help ensure these rights, we have adopted the following definitions approved by the American Hospital Association for reporting patient conditions to the media.

How we provide patient conditions:

  • You must have the patient's full name.
  • Conditions are released four times a day: 5 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m., and 9:30 p.m.
  • We will only provide a one-word description about a patient's condition: "fair," "serious" or "critical." Please note "stable" is not used. If there is no information available on the patient, the condition update will be "no information."
  • In the event of a large-scale disaster, we will attempt to provide non-specific information about patients brought to the Medical Center.

Under HIPAA regulations, Public Relations staff will not be able to provide a one-word condition (fair, serious, critical) of the patient if one of the following circumstances apply:

  • The patient has "opted out" of being listed in the hospital directory. HIPAA provides all patients with the right to "opt out" of being listed in the hospital directory. If a patient opts out, no information whatsoever can be shared, including whether or not the person is even a patient at the hospital.
  • Family members have not yet been notified of the patient's admission to the hospital. As has always been the practice, no information will be given to the media until the next of kin have been notified.
  • The reporter does not supply the full name of the patient in question. In order for information to be released, HIPAA requires the caller to state the patient's name. For example, a reporter calling and requesting the names and conditions of "those injured in the Thruway accident earlier tonight" will not be able to receive any information from hospital officials.
  • The patient has been categorized by hospital administration as a "hidden patient," a designation that is occasionally used to protect the identity of a patient for security or other significant reasons. For example, in case of violence where the perpetrator remains at large and the security of the patient and/or staff may be compromised, or in order to protect the identity of a rape or child abuse victim, no information will be given.

Please also be aware that under the Patient Privacy Regulations, HIPAA does not permit the release of the following patient information:

  • Patient's age or date of birth
  • Patient's home address
  • Nature and description of the patient's injuries