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Media Inquiries

Memorial welcomes working with members of the media on stories relating to health and wellness. Requests for interviews should be made through Memorialís media relations office.To be able to provide a prompt response to your inquiry and to ensure your needs as journalists are met, we ask that you first contact our media center to coordinate our response to your inquiry. Contacts to individual departments, employees, patients or physicians may result in a delayed response to your inquiry.

Inquiring about a patient

In compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Memorial maintains strict guidelines for releasing patient information. Patient privacy is of great importance to Memorial Family of Services.

As long as the patient has not requested that information be withheld, or the patient is unable to request having information withheld because of incapacity, Memorial may release a one-word description of the patientís condition.

Information about the condition and location of an inpatient, outpatient or emergency department patient may be released only if the inquiry specifically contains the patientís name. No information is to be given if the request does not include a specific patientís name.

Condition classifications:

  • Undetermined - the patient is awaiting a physician and a medical assessment
  • Treated and released - The patient has been treated by Memorial, and has been released. Generally, this indicates the patient's condition was satisfactory upon release. We cannot release the date the patient was released or where the patient went upon release without patient authorization.
  • 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. Indicators are questionable.
  • Critical - Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.
  • Deceased - No information will be released until the next-of-kin has been notified and the patient's body is still in the facility.
  • Released - If a patient has been released, and Memorial receives an inquiry about the patient by name, Memorial will confirm that the patient is no longer in the hospital.

Members of the media may have further access to information about patients including patient interviews and photography if the patient has signed a media release form. To inquire about the status of a media release form, please contact Memorialís media relations office.

Media photographers and reporters must have hospital permission before entering patient care areas. Hospital permission should be requested through the media center.

Special cases

The victims of an assault or other crimes are listed under "protective status" and their conditions will not be included in Memorialís patient directory, for the protection of the patient and others in the hospital. It is Memorialís policy not to provide any information pertaining to the patient's condition, or even confirm they are in the hospital.

In addition, law prohibits Memorial from releasing any information to the news media about psychiatric or substance abuse patients. Also, no statement may be made pertaining to whether a patient has a sexually transmitted or communicable disease, or is a victim of domestic violence or child abuse.

The guidelines included on this page are consistent with those recommended by the American Hospital Association.

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