In accordance with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), reporters must submit a patient’s name before UW Medicine can release a one-word condition. Without a name, we cannot release condition, nor can we confirm if the person is a patient.
Name provided: One-word condition released.
Patient conditions (as defined by the Washington State Hospital Association)
- Treated and released: The patient has been treated by the hospital and has been released.
- Satisfactory: Vital signs (heartbeat, breathing, blood pressure, temperature) are steady and within normal limits. The patient is conscious and comfortable. Indicators are good.
- Serious: Vital signs my be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill. Indicators are questionable.
- Critical: Vital signs are unstable or not within normal limits. The patient may be unconscious. There is some doubt the patient will recover. Death could be imminent.
Stable and unsatisfactory are not conditions. UW Medicine does not release the patient’s location in the hospital, except to say whether the patient is in the intensive care unit or on an acute care floor.
Occasionally, patients and/or their families may request that no information is released. In those cases, we cannot confirm or deny that a patient is being treated in our health system.
If the patient or next of kin signs UW Medicine’s Publicity Authorization Form, more information can be released such as injuries, age, etc.
For additional guidelines on HIPAA and news reporting, refer to the Washington State Hospital Association’s booklet Guide for Cooperation.
Experts Based at Other Facilities
Many of our faculty and physicians hold dual appointments, meaning they may teach at UW Health Sciences but hold their clinical practices at Seattle Children’s, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center or the VA Veteran's Affairs) Puget Sound Health Care System. To speak with faculty based at health-care facilities other than UW Medicine, please contact the following staff:
- Seattle Children’s
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
- Veteran’s Administration
Guidelines for Film Crews at UW Medicine Facilities, including UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center
- Media film crews must be escorted at all times at Health Sciences and UW Medicine facilities, including offices, clinics, labs or operating rooms.
- Reporters and film crews must make appointments through the UW Medicine media relations staff prior to arriving at any facility.
- If a patient is to be photographed, the patient must sign the appropriate HIPAA consent (UH 1874).
- When the crew arrives at the medical center, a representative of UW Medicine Marketing & Communications will escort them to the operating room, clinic or lab.
- For shoots in the operating rooms, the representative will inform the circulating nurse and nurse in the room that the crew has arrived.
- If anyone on the care team does not wish to be photographed, the news crew must honor that request.
- If the physicians or nurses ask that the crew stop filming at any time, the crew must stop filming and leave the room.
Photos of UW Medicine Facilities
UW Medicine facilities may be photographed from public sidewalks without permission. However, photographers must obtain prior permission to shoot on UW Medicine campuses and inside any building. Talk with a media relations specialist at 206.543.3620 to make arrangements.
UW Medicine Marketing & Communications makes available to the media stock images of our facilities. Please contact a media relations specialist for details, 206.543.3620.
Requests to Use Hospital as Backdrop
We frequently receive requests from stock photographers and television shows to use our campuses, exam rooms, waiting rooms, equipment, etc. for filming b-roll or taking stock images which will then be resold. We do not grant these requests for the following reasons:
- Patient confidentiality. Waiting areas are generally considered patient care areas, which means the people waiting in them are patients.
- We are a hospital, not a film studio. Because our occupancy runs 80 percent and higher, we do not have space available to grant these requests.
Other UW Media Contacts
News and Information (upper campus)
Norm Arkans, associate vice president, media relations & communications, 206.543.2580, email@example.com
Bob Roseth, director, News & Information, 206.543.2580, firstname.lastname@example.org