If you are a member of the news media:
We are always willing to accommodate members of the news media as much as possible. All media inquiries must go through the Public Relations and Marketing Department, and the department must be notified any time you are planning to come onto the Nash Health Care campus—even if just doing a “remote” broadcast or shooting B roll footage. This will help us ensure that you will get your information in a timely manner and help you meet your deadline..
Members of the news media should contact:
Jeff Hedgepeth, director of public relations and marketing at:252-962-8762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If calling after hours, please dial the main hospital line at 252-962-8000 and ask to speak with the nursing supervisor on duty and identify yourself as a member of the news media. He or she will be able to assist you.
While we are always willing to work with the news media, patient safety and patient privacy are our first priorities. For this reason, we ask that you familiarize yourselves with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This is a federal law that requires us to get written consent from patients if they are going to be featured in an article or broadcast. For a brochure on HIPAA, return to our home page and click “Your privacy,” which is located at the bottom of the page.
In addition, you may follow this link to a file for a written acknowledgement we require of all news media who create stories involving patients. This form essentially affirms that we have explained the HIPAA act and the importance of patient privacy to you. If you or your editor have any concerns, you may contact us directly via the numbers above.
A note about patient conditions:
Frequently, members of the news media will call concerning an update on a patient condition. Due to privacy regulations, we are only able to give a one-word description of the patient condition. Following is a list of those descriptions and a general guideline for what they mean:
Patient Condition Definitions:
- Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious and comfortable. Indicators are excellent.
- Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious, but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.
- Vital signs may be unstable and are not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill. Indicators are questionable.
- Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.
(Source: American Hospital Association)
Please note that there are a few exceptions. A patient may “opt out” of the directory. In which case we will not be able to acknowledge whether or not he or she is a patient at one of our facilities.
In addition, we may not give out information concerning specifics of patient injuries, nor are we able to give specific information about the accident or incident that caused the patient to arrive at the hospital. (For this information you must contact the police department, NC Highway Patrol, or the investigating agency.)
We are also unable to disclose whether or not a patient has been transferred to another facility. You will have to contact that facility directly.
We can not give out patient information unless you give us a patient’s name. We frequently receive requests concerning the condition of a patient who was “brought to the hospital around 2 p.m. as the result of a car accident.” Due to privacy regulations, we are unable to accommodate requests without a name.
Looking for a health-related story idea?
Members of the news media are invited to peruse our press releases.
If you have any questions, please contact Jeff re: the contact information listed above.