To protect the privacy and confidentiality of our patients and families, a staff member from the communications team must accompany all reporters, video crews and photographers while visiting our hospital.
It is the function of our communications team to serve as the main liaison between our hospital and the news media. The team provides the timely and discretionary release of information about our hospital and its operations.
The news media policy is intended to accomplish the following:
- Ensure all communications from our hospital are accurate, consistent and in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Guidelines.
- Protect patients from the release of unauthorized information.
- Promote, through the news media, a better understanding of our hospital and its various publics.
- Remove any burden or responsibility of interacting with the news media from our staff who are unable or unwilling to do so.
- Maintain good working relationships with the news media.
Patients have the option, upon admission of requesting “no comment” status. Such requests are clearly noted on the patient chart. In such cases, hospital policy prohibits giving of any information about the patient, including whether they are in the hospital or not. Even if reporters have information concerning persons who subsequently become “No Comment” patients, all inquiries about such patients will be answered with, “we cannot, by State law, comment on this case.”
No one other than a member of the communications team will release patient information to the news media. It will be the responsibility of the medical and nursing staff to provide all pertinent patient information to the communications team, who will then determine the information that can be released according to established guidelines.
Our communications team will respond to all inquiries from the news media with minimum delay and provide as much requested information as possible. It will be the responsibility of the communications team to respond to media inquiries or to coordinate a response from an appropriate staff person. Any hospital employee or volunteer who is contacted by a reporter or other media representative will refer the call to the communications team, whose responsibility it will be to help determine the appropriate response and select the proper spokesperson. The team will then arrange and coordinate an interview with the most appropriate spokesperson. At no time will any hospital employee or volunteer make a statement to the news media concerning Miller Children’s & Women's business or official policy without obtaining prior authorization from the communications team.
No hospital employee or volunteer will give news media access to the campus, its employees or patients without prior authorization from the communications team. While on campus, all news media (this includes newspaper, magazine, radio or television reporters and/or affiliated photographers, film or video crews) will be accompanied by a representative from the communications team, unless otherwise arranged. Any unescorted news media on campus – particularly in patient care areas – will be reported to the communications team and to security.
Any interviewing, filming, videotaping or other news-gathering activities that interfere with the proper delivery of patient care are prohibited at all times. Access by the news media to any hospital department – especially patient care areas – will be approved in advance by the communications team, as well as the appropriate department manager or supervisor. Any videotaping, photographing or filming of patients is prohibited unless written approval is obtained in advance from the patient or his/her guardian.
It is our policy to restrict use of our campus and facilities for the purposes of providing locations and sets for *commercial film production. This policy is based on our primary objective of minimizing disruption to the care for our patients and service to our physicians, patients and families, as well as protecting their confidentiality.
*The term “commercial film production” applies to any project contracted with Miller Children’s & Women's by an outside organization designed for profit making purposes, including still photography, motion picture and television filming.