Media Procedures

Interviews

All requests for interviews that take place at Hoops Family Children's Hospital or on campus must be arranged or approved by the Strategic Marketing, Planning & Business Development Department.

  • For requests during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.), please call Shawn Jordan, Media Relations Manager, at 304-399-6742 to request an interview with a physician, employee or patient.
  • For requests outside of business hours, please call the nursing supervisor on duty at 304-526-2000. If the nursing supervisor cannot help you, he or she will contact Shawn Jordan or someone else from the Strategic Marketing Department.
  • When a patient contacts you about his/her situation and asks to be interviewed, the reporter must notify Marketing before coming to the hospital for the interview. Prior approval is necessary because:
    –the patient may have been prescribed a narcotic medication that alters decision-making ability
    –the physician/caregivers may feel that an interview may not be good for the patient's recovery
    –the privacy of other patients in the unit might be disturbed by the media
    –the staff may have schedule conflicts that prevent them from escorting the media

Every effort is made to accommodate your request; however, the patient's best interest is the hospital's first priority at all times.

Patient Conditions

To request a patient's condition, you must first have the patient's name; no information can be given out without a name.

  • For patient's condition requests during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.), please call Shawn Jordan, Media Relations Manager, at 304-399-6742. f she is not available, please  call the nursing supervisor on duty at 304-526-2000.
  • For requests outside of business hours, please call the nursing supervisor on duty at 304-526-2000.
  • Request for information to be withheld: Patients have the right to request that their information be withheld, including confirmation of their presence in the hospital. By law, we must honor that request.
  • Child and adult protective service cases: All child and adult protective service cases are confidential, and no information may be released about the patient, nor can confirmation that the individual is a patient be given.

Condition Terms & Definitions

You will be given a one-word statement that describes the patient's condition. Conditions on minors will only be released if permission has been obtained from the parent or guardian.  PLEASE NOTE: "Stable" is not a condition. Here are the  conditions and definitions that you may hear:

  • Undetermined:  The patient is still undergoing assessment and treatment.
  • Good: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. The patient is conscious and comfortable.
  • Fair: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious, but may be uncomfortable.
  • Serious: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient is suffering from acute illness or injury.
  • Critical: Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious.
  • Deceased: Confirmation that a patient has died is permissible, but the date, time or cause of death may not be disclosed. Next of kin notification also must be confirmed before any information is released to the media. If the patient had requested that no information be released to the media, then the patient’s death cannot be confirmed unless the deceased's next of kin gives permission.

Crisis & Disaster Situations

During a community crisis or disaster, the hospital will provide you with general information about the number of patients received, the scope of injuries and the age range of the patients. Please call 304-399-6742 to reach Shawn Jordan, the primary point of contact. In the event of a hospital crisis or disaster, a media area will be established and working members of the news media will be escorted to this area and asked to remain there awaiting updates. Such events may include security issues, flooding, electrical outages, infectious disease outbreaks or hospital accidents.Every effort will be made by hospital staff to keep the media informed of the situation. However, it is critical to understand that patient and hospital employee safety and privacy are the first priority.

Patient Privacy & HIPAA

A comprehensive law governing how hospitals and health systems protect the privacy and confidentiality of their patients and patient information, known as The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), is in effect. To comply with this law, Hoops Family Children's Hospital (HFCH) has made adjustments to its policy for releasing information about patients to the media. We cannot release information about patients without you providing the patient's name. This eliminates confusion over which patient you may be calling about. While the circumstances that bring some patients to the hospital may be unique, the absence of a name may cause the hospital to provide you with a condition on the wrong patient.

We cannot disclose the specific location of the patient in the hospital, for example the ICU, PICU, etc. In some cases, patients may exercise their legal right remain anonymous while being cared for at HFCH. In those cases, the patient will be listed as "confidential" in the hospital patient listing, and no information will be released regarding that patient's condition. Also, we will be unable to confirm that patient's presence on the hospital's campus. This is a right each patient is given and informed of at the time they check into the hospital. Please respect this decision and understand that while you may know that a person was transported to or is being treated at HFCH, the hospital staff, including the Marketing staff, will not discuss that patient.

Celebrities, public figures and public officials fall under the same guidelines for patient privacy as any other patient in the hospital.