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Media Policies

As a healthcare organization, it is our first priority to protect our patient’s health, legal rights and welfare. Our hospital cannot release any patient information to the media unless the patient has consented.

OCH requires all patients to sign a consent form before being interviewed or photographed by the news media or an in-house video/photographer. To request an interview, please contact Carrie Richardson, Director of Communications.

Media Guidelines

On-duty reporters/photographers are not permitted in the hospital without the permission of the OCH Communications Department. Upon entering the hospital, media representatives must immediately report to Admissions or Administration and ask for Carrie Richardson. Reporters and photographers are expected to wear proper identification including an “OCH Media Badge”while at Ozarks Community Hospital. Reporters and photographers not accompanied by a member of the OCH Communications Department will be immediately escorted from the building.

Videotaping and interviewing without the department’s involvement is only permitted off the hospital campus (outside the hospital buildings and beyond hospital property from the street). Reporters/photographers will be asked to leave the premises if found to be interfering with patients and hospital business.    

News vehicles may not park in fire lanes or block hospital driveways.  

Patient Condition

Under HIPAA law, the OCH Communication Department may only release a one-word patient condition without signed consent (granted the reporter/photographer already has the patient’s first and last name and the patient’s family has consented). Below are the hospital conditions as listed by HIPAA:

Undetermined – Patient awaiting physician and/or assessment.

Good – Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious and comfortable. Indicators are excellent.

Satisfactory – Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. 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.

Additional Restrictions

The law prohibits the Communication Department from releasing any information regarding patients listed as “protective status.” In addition, information will not be provided in instances where the safety and security of a patient and/or hospital staff may be jeopardized.

No information relating to psychiatric conditions, substances abuse or sensitive circumstances will be released.

Ozarks Community Hospital may provide identifying information in relation to a deceased patient after next-of-kin has been notified, unless the patient previously opted out of this release.

 

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