Patient Information and Media Procedures

All requests for interviews that take place at Cabell Huntington Hospital must be arranged or approved by the Marketing and Public Relations Department.

For any requests

Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Call Charles Shumaker, Media Relations Manager, to request an interview with a physician, employee or patient of Cabell Huntington Hospital.
304-399-6742
Outside of business hours
Call the nursing supervisor on duty. If the nursing supervisor cannot help you, he or she will contact Charles Shumaker or someone else from the Marketing and Public Relations Department.
304-526-2000

Call Charles Shumaker, Media Relations Manager, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 304-399-6742 to request an interview with a physician, employee or patient of Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Outside of business hours, please contact the nursing supervisor on duty by calling 304-526-2000. If the nursing supervisor cannot help you, he or she will contact Charles Shumaker or someone else from the Marketing and Public Relations Department.

For patient conditions

You must first have the patient's name: no information can be given out without a name. During business hours, call Charles Shumaker; if he is not available you can call the nursing supervisor on duty at 304-526-2000 or Chris Koenig, Communications Manager, at 304-526-2004. You will be given a one-word statement that describes the patient's condition. Conditions on minors will only be released if permission has been obtained from the parent or guardian.

Condition Terms and Definitions

The following conditions will continue to be used. The definitions are included so you'll understand them better.

Undetermined
The patient is still undergoing assessment and treatment.
Good
Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. The patient is conscious and comfortable.
Fair
Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious, but may be uncomfortable.
Serious
Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient is suffering from acute illness or injury.
Critical
Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious.
Deceased
Confirmation that a patient has died is permissible, but the date, time or cause of death may not be disclosed. Next of kin notification also must be confirmed before any information is released to the media. If the patient had requested that no information be released to the media, then the patient’s death cannot be confirmed unless the deceased's next of kin gives permission.

PLEASE NOTE: "Stable" is not a condition.

Crisis and Disaster Situations

During a community crisis or disaster, the hospital will provide you with general information about the number of patients received, the scope of injuries and the age range of the patients. Charles Shumaker is the primary point of contact.

In the event of a hospital crisis or disaster, a media area will be established and working members of the news media will be escorted to this area and asked to remain there awaiting updates. Such events may include security issues, flooding, electrical outages, infectious disease outbreaks or hospital accidents.Every effort will be made by hospital staff to keep the media informed of the situation. However, it will be critical that media understand that patient and hospital employee safety and privacy will be the first priority. Such events may include security issues, flooding, electrical outages, infectious disease outbreaks or hospital accidents.

Request for information to be withheld

Patients have the right to request that their information be withheld, including confirmation of their presence in the hospital. By law, we must honor that request.

Child and adult protective service cases

All child and adult protective service cases are confidential, and no information may be released about the patient, nor can confirmation that the individual is a patient be given.

When a patient contacts you

When a patient contacts you about their situation and desires to be interviewed, the reporter must notify Marketing & PR prior to coming to the hospital for the interview. There are several reasons for this requirement:

  1. The patient may be on a narcotic medication that alters his or her decision-making ability.
  2. The patient's physician or other caregivers may feel that an interview at the time may not be good for the patient's recovery.
  3. The patient may have a semi-private room and his or her roommate may not want to be disturbed by the media.
  4. The Marketing & Public Relations staff and nursing supervisors may have schedule conflicts that prevent them from escorting the reporter and photographer while they are in the building.

Every effort is made to accommodate your request; however, the patient's best interest is the hospital's first priority at all times.

Patient privacy and HIPAA

A comprehensive law governing how hospitals and health systems protect the privacy and confidentiality of their patients and patient information, known as The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), is in effect. To comply with this law, Cabell Huntington Hospital has made adjustments to its policy for releasing information about patients to the media. We cannot release information about patients without you providing the patient's name. This eliminates confusion over which patient you may be calling about. While the circumstances that bring some patients to the hospital may be unique, the absence of a name may cause the hospital to provide you with a condition on the wrong patient.

We cannot disclose the specific location of the patient in the hospital, for example the ICU, PICU, etc. In some cases, patients may exercise their legal right remain anonymous while being cared for at Cabell Huntington Hospital. In those cases, the patient will be listed as "confidential" in the hospital patient listing, and no information will be released regarding that patient's condition. Also, we will be unable to confirm that patient's presence on the hospital's campus. This is a right each patient is given and informed of at the time they check into the hospital. Please respect this decision and understand that while you may know that a person was transported to or is being treated at Cabell Huntington Hospital, the hospital staff, including Marketing and Public Relations staff, will not discuss that patient.

Celebrities, public figures and public officials fall under the same guidelines for patient privacy as any other patient in the hospital.

  • Last updated: 03/14/2011
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