To better assist the news media and protect the privacy of our patients as mandated by federal legislation, CHOC has established the following guidelines:
- All contact by the media must be made through the Public Relations Department.
- A public relations representative from CHOC must escort the media while on the hospital campus.
- Parental permission is required for videotaping, photographing and/or interviewing patients under 18 years of age. The Public Relations Department will work with the media to obtain permission on a case-by-case basis.
- In order to protect the privacy of our patients and their families, CHOC will not release any patient information, including a one-word condition update, without parental permission. Exceptions may be made for matters of public record.
- CHOC will never provide patient information related to alleged abuse, suicide or psychiatric cases. Nor, will the hospital comment on circumstances leading to a patient's hospitalization.
- Requests for condition updates require media to provide the patient's full name.
- The following are standard definitions used to describe a patient's general condition:
Good: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious and comfortable. Indicators are excellent.
Fair: Vital signs are stable and within normal. 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.
Deceased: Announcement of death is not routinely made by the hospital. News of dead-on-arrival cases and subsequent death is considered public information only after the next-of-kin is notified. Information on the cause of death must come from the physician with permission from the family. If the death comes under investigation by the coroner or medical examiner, all calls will be directed to the appropriate office.