Only authorized personnel from the Administrative or Business Development staff are permitted to speak with or deal with members of the media. All media requests should be referred to the Business Development Office immediately. No members of the media may be on St. Mary's campus without Business Development or Administrative approval.
Director of Business Development
A reporter's guide
HIPAA regulations: The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (effective April 2003) states that a patient or the patient's parent/guardian must give permission, in writing, to release information about his or her hospitalization.
Injury or illness information: Law enforcement or other public officials often provide information about injuries or illnesses. However, our medical professionals must adhere to privacy laws and are often unable to discuss extent or reason for injury or illness.
No information patients: Patients or their parents/legal guardians may ask that no information be released about their medical condition. St. Mary's officials cannot confirm or deny that a no-info patient is at our facility nor can we provide condition reports.
Former patients: No information is available about former patients without written permission. Celebrity patients: When a patient (or his/her parent or guardian) is a celebrity or prominent person, Business Development staff will issue periodic statements in cooperation with the patient's family, physician and nursing/clinical staff.
Photography policy: St. Mary's patients at hospital events who have consented to be photographed will be identified by the Business Development staff.
Acceptable condition reports are:
- GOOD -- Vital signs (respiration, pulse, temperature) within normal limits and stable; patient is conscious, comfortable; indicators excellent.
- FAIR -- Vital signs may be unstable, not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious; indicators favorable.
- SERIOUS -- Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits, patient acutely ill; indicators not favorable.
- CRITICAL -- Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits, patients may not be conscious; indicators not favorable.
- UNCONSCIOUS -- Patient was unconscious upon arrival.
- DECEASED -- Coroners, medical examiners or law enforcement officials are the best sources of information about deaths. Death is usually public record and may be announced after next-of-kin have been notified or after a reasonable time.