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University Hospital

Interview & Filming Policy

Purpose

To ensure that all contacts with the media regarding University Hospital maintain the privacy and safety of our patients, protect the interests and reputation of the hospital, and comply with all applicable laws.

 

Scope

This policy applies to all University Hospital employees, physicians, patients, and visitors, and to all individuals seeking to interview, film, or photograph these individuals in their official capacity, or on University Hospital premises.

 

Policy

University Hospital respects the privacy of all of our patients, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations. Consistent with this policy, University Hospital will review all requests for written, oral or electronic information and documentation from members of the media on a case-by-case basis.

University Hospital reserves the right to refuse to grant permission for any reason, including but not limited to: potential disruption of patient care, research, or student activities; damage to, or alteration of, medical center property; disruption of traffic or parking; or potential safety hazards, or if University Hospital deems that the request is not in the best interests of University Hospital or its patients.

The Chief Administrative Officer of University Hospital, in consultation with the Chief Compliance Officer and associated clinical leadership, must always provide permission before any such requests are granted.

"Media" includes anyone engaged in the acquisition of news or other information, or anyone supporting those individuals, with the intent of disseminating it through legitimate and recognized mediums. Recognized mediums used to disseminate news and information include TV, radio, print media, documentary film/video productions, the internet, social media and other delivery formats.

All requests for patient information or interviews, filming or photography must be made through email to the Office of Public Affairs at: media@uhnj.org.

 

Procedure

Media Requests for Patient Information

The following direction applies to all requests from members of the media for patient information:

  • University Hospital maintains a directory of patients admitted to the facility. If a patient has not otherwise elected to be removed from the University Hospital Directory, and upon a request from the media that includes a patient's name, the Office of Public Affairs may provide the following details: a) confirmation that the individual is currently at University Hospital, b) the general status of the patient's medical condition (Good, Fair, Serious, Critical, or Undetermined only), and c) the location of the patient in the Hospital provided the location does not further reveal medical information about the patient.
  • General patient condition information may only be provided by the Office of Public Affairs, and then only within the limitations set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Absent emergency circumstances and consistent with HIPAA, University Hospital requires the patient or his/her personal representative to consent to disclosures. Release of information about minors requires written consent of the parent, guardian, or legal representative.
  • In emergency situations, the hospital may not be able to obtain consent from the patient or, if the patient is unable to give consent, the patient's representative. In those circumstances, University Hospital may not be able to disclose any information to the media.
  • Law enforcement officials, government officials, and parents or guardians may ask that no information be released about a patient. In such cases, communications officials cannot confirm or deny that a patient is located at our facility or a patient's condition.
  • Patient privacy rules apply even though information may be a matter of public record or public knowledge. Without express written consent by the patient or guardian, University Hospital may not disclose protected health information to the media even though the same information may be found in public records or has been reported elsewhere.
  • If a patient has expired, release of this status, upon media inquiry, will be taken into consideration on a case-by-case basis.

Media Requests for Interviews, Filming, or Photography

The following direction applies to all requests from members of the media for access to personnel, patients, and/or the facility to conduct interviews, take photography, or film:

  • Routine requests must be made at least five (5) business days before the proposed activity is to occur. In the case of breaking news where a five (5) day lead time is not feasible, requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Requests for permission to conduct an interview, film, videotape, or photograph made directly to the subject(s) will not be approved at that level, and must be redirected to the Office of Public Affairs.
  • Requests for permission to conduct an interview, film, videotape, or photograph that involve a patient, or personal health information about a patient:
    • require a signed HIPAA-compliant consent form (Exhibit A) from the patient or their legal guardian, or in the case of a minor, a signed HIPAA consent form from a parent or guardian, through the Office of Public Affairs; and
    • approval in writing from the patient's physician that the patient's condition or interest will not be jeopardized as a result of the interview, film, videotape, or photography.
  • University Hospital reserves the right to bar any member of the media from entering the premises if the individual is exhibiting signs of having an infection or otherwise creating an environment that risks patient safety.
  • In no event may filming or photography take place in an active clinical area.
  • Members of the media must be accompanied on the University Hospital campus at all times by a member of the University Hospital Office of Public Affairs staff.
  • Members of the media in violation of this policy will be prohibited from entering the University Hospital campus and will be required to immediately leave the campus. When necessary, the Security Command Center will be notified to assist in escorting a member of the media off campus.
    • In the event that requests from members of the media for access to personnel, patients, and/or the facility to conduct interviews, take photography, or film are for commercial or entertainment purposes, the following additional guidelines apply:
    • All such requests must be submitted at least 20 business days in advance;
    • University Hospital may establish a fee for such access, which will be affirmed along with any other terms in a written agreement prior to the activity taking place; and
    • University Hospital may deny permission for any reason, even if a patient otherwise consents to participate in such activity.

Patient Requests to Film, Photograph or Publicize

Any patient requests for filming by members of the media of any medical service or treatment provided by University Hospital must be made via the Office of Public Affairs in writing and will be reviewed by the Chief Administrative Officer consistent with the guidelines outlined above.