The primary focus of the Children’s Health media relations team is the safety and privacy of the staff, patients and families we serve, adhering to the guidelines of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). With that in mind, media should be aware of the following guidelines when pursuing stories or interviews with Children’s Health, including patients, families, medical personnel or staff:
- Media Contact: All contact by the media must be made through the Children’s Health media relations department. The media relations team will set up interviews with patient families, doctors and/or any Children’s Health staff when possible.
- On-Campus Media: Per hospital policy, any member of the media (including reporters, photographers and videographers) must be escorted by a Children’s Health media relations representative at all times while on property.
- Interviews with Staff or Physicians: A media relations representative must be present during any media interviews with Children’s Health staff or physicians, whether in person or by phone.
- Live Shots/Exterior Filming: Media wanting to film outside the hospital or any other facility must make the media relations team aware so they can notify Children’s Health security. When shooting the exterior of the hospital, media should avoid filming any patients or families who may be walking in or out.
- Patient Photography/Interviews: Written permission is required from the patients’ parents or legal guardians prior to any media interviews or photos/videos, including those taken during hospital events. All requests for patient interviews or photography must be authorized by the Children’s Health media relations team, who will obtain the necessary consents and make the media aware of who can and cannot be interviewed or filmed.
- Condition Reports: Per HIPAA, Children’s Health cannot share any information about a hospitalized child unless his/her parent or guardian has given prior written permission to release this information.
- Any media calling for a condition update must be able to provide the patient’s full name and age before the media relations team can request an update. Then, it is up to the parent or guardian to decide whether any information will be released.
- If a patient’s parent or guardian lists him or her as a “no-information patient,” Children’s Health cannot confirm or deny that the child is located at our facility, nor can we provide condition reports.
- When a condition report is permitted, it will be limited to one of the following descriptions:
- Good: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. The patient is conscious and comfortable. Indicators are good or excellent.
- Fair: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. The patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.
- Serious: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. the patient is acutely ill, and indicators are questionable. The patient may or may not be conscious.
- Critical: Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Major complications involved. The patient may or may not be conscious; death may be imminent.
- Treated and Released: The patient was here but has been released.