Westerly Hospital Media Guidelines

Westerly Hospital is a not-for-profit, general, acute care, private hospital that has been serving this region for nearly 90 years. The hospital’s primary mission is patient care, safety and privacy. Therefore, we ask that you connect with us first if you are interested in interviewing a patient, staff member or physician. We will work with you to determine if an interview is possible and to expedite that process.

Regarding requests for patient conditions, Westerly Hospital follows the American Hospital Association guidelines regarding patient privacy issues contained in the Health Insurance and Portability Act.

While we cannot provide a patient name, we are able to provide a one-word status to media members who provide us with a patient name.

Because of HIPAA regulations, please know there are times when we cannot provide a condition report or even confirm that a patient is at Westerly Hospital. This could be when a patient opts out of our patient directory, is hospitalized under an alias, or other specific situations.

The official one-word patient conditions and their definitions are:

  • Undetermined – patient is awaiting physician and assessment
  • 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, and indicators are questionable.
  • Critical – vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious. Indicators are not favorable.
  • Deceased – the death of a patient is presumed to be a matter of public record and may be reported by the Hospital after the next of kin has been notified or after a reasonable amount of time has passed.