Media Policy

News Media Policy

In order to maintain privacy and proper conditions for patient care and to control access to patient care areas as well as sensitive departments, all interviews, photographs, television and news-gathering requests must be approved in advance through the HIPAA Privacy Officer. The HIPAA Privacy Officer manages all inquiries from members of the media seeking comment from Grand Island Regional Medical Center. To arrange an interview, please contact our staff Monday-Friday 8:00am – 4:00pm. If you need assistance after normal business hours, please call (308) 675-5000 and ask to have the Administrator on-call get in touch with you.

HIPAA Privacy Officer
Phone: (308) 675-5011
Email: hipaa@giregional.org

Grand Island Regional Medical Center recognizes the valuable role media plays in a free society and enjoys a strong relationship with members of the media. Our goal is to provide information that is accurate, official and consistent. In order to continue to ensure productive interaction with the media, the following guidelines have been established.

All media inquiries will be responded to in a helpful and timely manner, providing reasonable disclosure except as it relates to information of a confidential, strategic or proprietary nature.

When calls are received by the HIPAA Privacy Officer, efforts will be immediately made to obtain answers to questions. If the caller wishes to talk directly to the CEO and the request is of a reasonable nature, arrangements will be made at the convenience of the CEO. An effort to learn the nature of the questions to be asked will be made in advance of the proposed interview.

If the CEO is unavailable (not in the hospital and/or unable to be reached for comment) and the media inquiry is one of an urgent nature, the HIPAA Privacy Officer will meet with the administrator on-call to determine the best option for response.

When arriving on campus, all members of the media should go to the Main
Entrance Lobby, where they will be met by a member of the Quality Management team and then escorted to the interview/filming location.

To protect the privacy of Grand Island Regional Medical Center patients and
families, a member of the Quality Management team must escort all reporters, producers, film crews and photographers at all times on the campus. Any unauthorized members of the media will be asked to leave the campus.

REQUESTS FROM THE MEDIA – PATIENT

When a media representative requests the privilege of interviewing,
photographing or filming a patient, such permission may be granted by the
hospital if, and only if all the following conditions are met:

  • The patient’s medical condition will not be jeopardized in any way as a result.
  • The patient’s medical care will not be interrupted.
  • The patient (or in the case of a minor, the parents or guardian) grants written permission that he or she is willing to be interviewed and/or recorded and/or photographed and/or filmed AND signs a “Consent to Media Access Form.”
  • The physician in charge agrees.

REQUESTS FROM THE MEDIA – NON-PATIENT

Requests or inquiries regarding non-patient information – which may include questions regarding finances, policies, services, employees, etc. – should be referred to the Administrative Assistant Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm. Urgent after-hours requests for this information should be forwarded to the administrator on-call.

When a media representative requests the privilege of interviewing,
photographing or filming an employee in the course of their duty, such
permission may be granted by the hospital if, and only if, all the following
conditions are met:

  • The employee grants permission that he or she is willing to be interviewed and/or recorded and/or photographed and/or filmed AND signs a “Consent for Media Access” form.
  • The employee’s department head/supervisor agrees.
  • The Director of Human Resources agrees.

In compliance with the HIPAA privacy law, patients who agree to be interviewed or filmed must complete a media release form prior to the interview. If the form is not completed by the time of the interview, the interview cannot take place.

Individuals granting consent have the right to request cessation of filming or recording at any time and to rescind consent for use within a reasonable time prior to the material being used.

When recordings, films or other images of patients are made for external use, the hospital obtains and documents informed consent prior to producing the recordings, films or other images. This informed consent includes an explanation of how the recordings, films or other images will be used.

In the event of a disaster or other events of exceptional media interest, a public information command post will be established at a location deemed appropriate by the Quality Management team. If the situation involves a disaster or fire, the guidelines in the hospital’s Emergency Management Plan shall be followed.

If information is not yet available, or if next of kin has not been notified, all media inquiries will be logged, and callbacks made as soon as information is releasable.

Please Note 
Access to Grand Island Regional Medical Center is based on the understanding that members of the news media will adhere to all policies and laws related to patient privacy.

A patient also may also terminate an interview at any time. In such cases, the news media must immediately end the interview and any related recording or filming of the interview subject. If such a patient also withdraws consent at that time, news media once again may not release protected health information or in any way identify the patient.

Please also note that under federal policies and laws, “protected health
information” includes direct or “overheard” conversations between and among caregivers, patients and family members, as well as information contained in medical records. Therefore, while Grand Island Regional Medical Center provides reasonable press access to its facilities, if members of the press should overhear or see protected health information that is not covered by an authorization, they must not use or disclose that information without obtaining a specific authorization for that information.  To keep inadvertent disclosures to a minimum, restrictions in some areas may be imposed and escorts for all news media film crews and still photography are required.