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Press Room

Patient Condition Updates

Tanner Health System works to ensure the privacy of its patients in compliance with federal patient privacy laws.

Hospital patients and their families may choose whether or not the patient will be included in the hospital directory.

Tanner Marketing and Public Relations staff and all other Tanner representatives will only have information on a patient if the patient is in the hospital and has chosen to be included in the hospital directory. Otherwise, if the patient is not in the hospital (i.e., has not been admitted, was transferred to another facility, has already been discharged, etc.) or has elected not to be included in the hospital directory, Tanner staff will have no information about the patient.

If a patient is listed in the directory, Tanner staff can provide a simple one-word condition update, based on American Hospital Association guidelines:

  • Good: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits; the patient is conscious and comfortable and all indicators are excellent.
  • Fair: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits; the patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable and indicators are favorable.
  • Serious: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits; the patient is acutely ill and indicators are questionable.
  • Critical: Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits; the patient may be unconscious, and indicators are unfavorable.

If calling to check a patient condition, please have the following information available:

  • The patient’s full name (Patients are admitted by their full name – not their nicknames – and the Tanner staff member searching for a patient condition will not find any patient information by searching for a nickname alone.)
  • The proper spelling of the patient’s name (Proper spelling is necessary for accurate search results – otherwise, the Tanner staff member searching the hospital directory will find no information on the patient.)
  • The hospital to which the patient has been admitted (Searches are done by facility, not system-wide, so it is necessary to know if the patient is in Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica or Higgins General Hospital in Bremen; searches are not performed for patients at Willowbrooke at Tanner.

To request a patient condition report:

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Call Tanner Marketing and Public Relations at 770.836.9687

Weekends, evenings and holidays
Call 770.836.9666 and ask the switchboard operator to page the Tanner Marketing representative on duty.

Interviewing a Patient

Tanner Health System complies with federal laws to ensure the privacy of the patients in its care. Interviews with patients are permitted, but only under certain circumstances.

Clinical Condition – The team of clinicians caring for the patient must make the determination that the patient is well enough to be interviewed, and that an interview will not cause the patient’s condition to worsen or slow the patient’s recovery. The patient care team will update the Tanner Marketing and Public Relations staff if and when this condition changes.

Wishes of the Patient and Family – If the patient does not want to be interviewed or wishes to be interviewed by one news organization and not another, Tanner staff will accommodate the patient’s wishes. In some instances, depending on the patient’s condition, the patient’s family may make the determination as to whether or not their loved one will be interviewed and, if so, by whom. Tanner discourages contact with the loved ones of patients, as patients and their families may share information with loved ones that they would not want divulged to the media.

Tanner Staff Presence – For interviews that take place on Tanner property, a designated Tanner representative must be present. In instances of interviews with patients, this ensures that the wishes of the patient and their loved ones are respected and provides for improved interactions between patients, their loved ones and the media.

In order to photograph, film and/or interview a patient, staff must obtain the patient’s or his or her immediate family's written consent. A consent form, kept on file in the Tanner Marketing and Public Relations office, must be signed prior to any interaction with the media.

Requests for interviews will be relayed to patients and/or their loved ones by a clinician involved with their care, usually a nurse. Patients and their families will make the determination of whether or not to allow an interview at their leisure, so it may take time before Tanner Marketing staff knows if the request for an interview has been accepted or declined.

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