HonorHealth Media Relations Policy
The HonorHealth Media Relations staff is responsible for working with news media and community organizations to provide information about hospital services and events.
Working in partnership with service line leadership, marketing and organizational leaders, the department develops proactive news story pitches that are aligned with network strategies, responds to media requests, and coordinates crisis communication.
Media Relations staff is committed to respecting and honoring our patients' right to privacy.
All media relations activity is coordinated the Media Relations staff. News media are required to obtain permission through Media Relations to report from HonorHealth property and/or conduct interviews with patients, their family members or designated hospital staff. This includes live reporting or photography on site at any HonorHealth facility.
A member of the Media Relations staff or authorized designee must accompany media while on HonorHealth property. A signed consent form from the patient (or parent or guardian) must be obtained prior to conducting interviews.
ALL media contacts or requests must be referred to Media Relations for evaluation and response.
Media Relations staff will evaluate the validity of the request, conduct any needed research, identify, prepare appropriate spokespeople and provide a timely response to the request.
Guidelines for Release of Patient Information to the News Media
HonorHealth recognizes the news media's responsibility to keep the public informed. However, hospital employees have neither the right nor the obligation to furnish any patient information to the news media, except as it serves the patients' best interests.
The HonorHealth Communications Department will coordinate all media relations. Any contacts by news media must be referred to a Media Relations staff member.
Media questions, on-site filming or recording requests, along with requests for patient or staff interviews and patient conditions, as well as internal suggestions for media coverage, will be coordinated through Media Relations.
All patient contacts by media must be facilitated by Media Relations staff.
All media representatives are required to contact Media Relations prior to arrival at any HonorHealth facility.
Media Relations office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday.
During this time, please call 480-323-1950.
Email for HonorHealth Media Relations: firstname.lastname@example.org
After-Hour Media Calls
After 5 p.m. on weekdays, or on weekends and holidays, please call 480-323-4500.
Handling Media Requests
Privacy of patient information is strictly regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, commonly known as HIPAA. The following guidelines are used by HonorHealth for media seeking information on patient's condition:
Patient Condition Reports/Updates
- Reporters must have the patient's first and last name to request a condition report. Without a full name, information cannot be released.
- Patients (or their parent or guardian) have the right to decline condition information and/or interview requests. A patient's physician, nurse or hospital staff also has the right to decline patient interviews.
- Patient condition – Good, Fair, Serious Critical or Deceased – is the only information that can be released with a patient's full name.
- Media Relations staff must obtain written consent from the patient (or patient's parent or guardian) to release additional information.
Below are the patient conditions available for news media:
- Good: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. The 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 questionable.
- Serious: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill or injured. Indicators are questionable.
- Critical: Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient is unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.
- Deceased: Announcement of death is not routinely made by hospitals.
- Treated and released: Patient was treated but not admitted to the hospital.