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For all media inquiries, including information requests and interview arrangements, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although Altru Health System is not obligated by law to release any patient-related or other information to news media, Altru wishes to maintain a positive understanding and assure consistency, accuracy and fairness of communications. Our first responsibility, however, is to protect the patient's right to privacy.
Marketing Communications oversees all interviews, photograph/filming requests, etc. Altru staff must also coordinate and be present at all interviews, photographing and filming. We request advance notice from the media of interview and photography/filming requests. This enables us to receive appropriate consent forms.
The patient's primary doctor has the privilege to decline permission to interview and/or photograph a patient if they feel it would interfere with the patient's well-being or their care. Often these circumstances are temporary, and normally approval is given as the patient's condition changes. In addition, a patient or immediate family member must provide written consent for an interview or photo.
Due to Altru's concern for quality healthcare and protecting the privacy of our patients, there are areas that are protected under law, HIPAA. Therefore, news media must make a request to be on our property each time they are here. Media does have the right to be on sidewalks surrounding our facilities.
Before Altru Health System will release information about a particular patient’s condition, the news media must:
- Identify himself or herself by name and news affiliation.
- Be able to provide the correct spelling of the first and last name of the patient.
The following terms shall be used by the authorized spokesperson to describe the patient's condition:
- SATISFACTORY - Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.
- GUARDED - Vital signs are stable and within normal limits, but monitoring is advisable. 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.
- DEAD - The death of a patient can be reported by the system after the next of kin or legal authorities have been notified. Information regarding the cause of death must originate from the patient's physician or coroner. Its release must be approved by a member of the immediate family or an appropriate representative.