The Public Relations staff has assembled the following tips to help news media representatives find out more about Erlanger Health System and better work with us.
Contacting the Public Relations Staff at Erlanger
For information related to a story, please contact a member of the public relations staff during regular business hours (M–F, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.) at 423-778-7427. Our experienced professionals understand the news gathering business, the need for accuracy and the importance of meeting your deadlines.
Request for Interviews
Our public relations staff can help arrange interviews with administrators and medical staff at Erlanger, or with patients/family members while they are at the hospital.
To request an interview with a member of the hospital staff, please call the public relations department at 423-778-7427 and provide us with as much information as possible about the subject of your story, so we may find the most appropriate expert. A list of anticipated questions is always helpful, so that our staff experts can properly prepare. Also, providing as much lead time as possible is appreciated to help coordinate schedules.
Requests for interviews with patients/family members will require you to provide us with the name of the patient. We will check our hospital directory to see if the name is listed. If so, we will contact the medical personnel serving the patient and ask them to relay your request. If the patient/family members agrees to an interview, we must obtain a signed privacy release form prior to the interview. A member of the public relations staff will then meet you at the designated area (usually at the Main Information Desk across from the gift shop unless otherwise stated) and escort you to a location most convenient to the patient/family member. Other than extraordinary circumstances, interviews with patients/family members are facilitated only during weekday business hours.
When appropriate, you may use Erlanger as an outside location for a live shot as long as you are on the sidewalk and do not capture patients entering and exiting the hospital. However, please call the public relations office at 423-778-7427 to let us know the approximate time you plan to arrive, so we can alert hospital security.
During non-business hours (for example, a live shot for the 11 p.m. newscast), please contact the House Supervisors at 423-778-6168 to let them know when you plan to arrive.
Patient Condition Reports
A one-word condition report on a patient may be obtained during regular business hours by calling 423-778-7427 and asking for a public relations staff member. After business hours, please call the House Supervisors at 423-778-6168. You MUST provide the full name of the patient (spelled correctly) for us to check if the name appears in the hospital directory. We cannot provide any information if the name is not found in the directory.
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) governs how healthcare institutions release medical information about patients to members of the news media.
The decision to provide such information is determined by whether the patient’s name does or does not appear in the hospital directory. If the patient’s name is listed in the directory, we can provide a condition if the reporter supplies us with the name, spelled correctly.
If the name does not appear in the directory, either the individual is not a patient at EHS or they have decided to “opt out” of the directory. In the later case, HIPAA prevents us from providing any information about the patient or his/her condition.
The conditions we are permitted to provide if the patient’s name appears in the directory are:
Good – Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. 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 acutely ill.
Critical – Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious.
To provide more detailed information about a patient’s condition, including interviews and photos while the patient is located at Erlanger, an additional step must take place – the patient and or member of his/her family must sign a HIPAA release form. Erlanger’s public relations staff will complete this form prior to the interview/photo taking place.
Media Parking and Directions
When coming to the Erlanger Baroness Hospital for an interview or media event, please park in hospital parking garage and bring your ticket with you. Enter through the main entrance on Central Avenue and proceed along the horseshoe drive. Parking garage entrance is on the right.
In the event of a large-scale event, we will make arrangements to assist with parking. However, be advised that the first priority in an emergency will be ease of access for emergency vehicles.
As always, please call 423-778-7427 if you plan to come to any one of Erlanger’s properties. A member of public relations staff will advise security of your plans. Our policy clearly states that reporters, photographers, and videographers are not allowed on property unaccompanied by a member of our staff.
The Human Resources office lobby, located on Hampton Street, will be the designated media briefing location where administration and medical staff will be available for interviews. If the emergency is ongoing, regular media briefings will be scheduled in the lobby.
Members of the public relations team will be available to assist media in obtaining interviews, staging live shots, receiving updates and being escorted to locations on the hospital property.