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For the Media

Media Inquiries

The staff and physicians at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center are committed to sharing information and working with the media to educate the public on topics related to health and healthcare. The Community Relations Department welcomes the opportunity to serve as a media resource with the assistance from St. Joseph's knowledgeable clinical staff, to provide background information, expert interviews and commentary on healthcare issues. All media calls should be channeled through Community Relations.

To protect the privacy of our patients and their families, St. Joseph's policy requires a staff member from Community Relations to accompany all reporters, video crews and photographers visiting the facility for business purposes.

If you have questions regarding a news release or to arrange an interview during business hours, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. contact us by phone at (315) 703-2140 or e-mail: community.relations@sjhsyr.org.

After office hours, please call the hospital's main number, (315) 448-5111, and ask to speak with the administrative coordinator.

Patient Information

Patient Condition Guidelines

Media representatives may obtain a condition report on a patient at St. Joseph's, by calling Community Relations at 315-703-2140. If you leave a voice mail message, please remember to include your name, media organization, phone number and first and last name of the patient. Hospitals and health systems are responsible for protecting the privacy and confidentiality of their patients and patient information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) mandates regulations that govern privacy standards for healthcare information.

St. Joseph's will provide all patients upon admission an option regarding inclusion in our facility patient directory as required by federal law. Patients will be asked in the admission/registration process if they would like to opt out of the facility patient directory. If a patient chooses to opt out of the directory, no patient condition can be provided. If a patient chooses not to opt out of the directory, only a one-word condition will be provided when the condition of an individual is requested. The correct first and last name must be provided by the media agency in order to expedite condition information. Patients must give written permission to be interviewed, photographed or for issuing written statements about his/her condition.

The HIPAA patient privacy law will delay your request for conditions on patients arriving in our emergency department as a patient must first be approached about whether or not they wish to opt out of our facility patient directory upon admission as stated above.

A patient's condition will be given as good, fair, serious, critical or undetermined.

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 limits. Patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.
Serious - Vital signs are 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.
Undetermined -Patient is awaiting physician and/or assessment

Release of Patient Information

Patients of public record are those patients whose cases include information reported by public authorities like the police, patients who have been placed under arrest, or any person brought to the hospital by the fire department or any law enforcement agency. Prisoners are not considered public record patients.

The media must have the patient's correct first and last name before any information can be released. Only a one-word condition will be released. HIPAA regulations apply.

Requests for information on circumstances or incidents resulting in a patient's hospitalization will not be provided by the hospital and will be referred to the appropriate public authority.

These guidelines are in keeping with HIPAA guidelines initiated in August 2002 governing patient privacy. Similar guidelines are now in effect at health centers across the country and are enforced at state and national levels. St. Joseph's reserves the right to designate access to the property.

Parking for the Media

Media representatives visiting the hospital to conduct interviews may park in the Medical Office Centre parking garage located at the corner of Townsend Street and Union Avenue. Please bring your parking ticket with you for validation. Members of the media may also park along the street (in designated areas only) and proceed to the hospital's Information Desk. Once there, please check in with security and a member of the community relations department will escort you.

Patient Safety

Hand hygiene is very important at St. Joseph's. You will be asked to perform hand hygiene either by washing your hands with soap and water or using the alcohol-based sanitizers available throughout the hospital network. Please send another reporter if you are ill. These simple actions help stop the spread of deadly infections.

t. Joseph's Hospital Health Center
Community Relations
Phone: (315) 703-2140
Fax: (315) 703-2129
E-Mail: community.relations@sjhsyr.org
Address: 301 Prospect Avenue, Syracuse NY 13203