Summary of Ochsner Lafayette General Media Policy
- All requests for interviews, photographs or responses to inquiries shall be directed to the Marketing & Communications Department for consideration/approval. Patients, physicians and employees cannot be interviewed without prior approval and scheduling.
- Media representatives must be escorted by a member of the Marketing & Communications Department, Administration, or other designee when on any Ochsner Lafayette General campus.
- All interviews with patients, including phone interviews, must be approved by Ochsner Lafayette General Marketing & Communications.
- We will permit photographs, video or interviews of patients only with written permission of the patient or his/her parent/guardian and verbal consent of the attending physician. Written consent for photographs, video or interviews is also required of visitors of all Ochsner Lafayette General campuses (hospitals, clinics, professional centers, etc.).
- In cases of public record (i.e. cases resulting from a motor vehicle accident or public disaster, involving an elected or other public official, under investigation by a lawful authority), except for patients on the Mental Health Unit, release of information shall be limited to verification of name, age, sex and medical condition (see below).
- No information shall be volunteered without inquiry. Illness, prognosis, etc., shall not be released without permission of the patient’s physician and/or family. No information whatsoever is to be released on patients housed on the Mental Health Unit.
- In cases other than those of public record, no information is to be released to media until the patient of his/her family is contacted and has granted permission in writing.
We appreciate your cooperation in adhering to this policy and our obligation to protect our patients' well-being and legal right to privacy.
HIPAA is an acronym that stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA includes regulations that govern the use and release of a patient's personal health information. HIPAA also limits the kind of information hospitals can disclose regarding patients.
Under HIPAA regulations, patients have the right to object to or restrict the use or disclosure of information contained in the directory.
If a patient does not object to this information being included in a hospital directory, a reporter asking for the patient by name can be privy to the general condition of the patient. If media does not ask for the patient by name, no individual identifiable information about the patient may be disclosed.
If HIPAA privacy standards are met, general-condition information may be provided that does not communicate specific information about the individual. The American Hospital Association recommends the following one-word descriptions of a patient's condition:
Patient Condition Reports:
- Undetermined: Patient awaiting physician and assessment.
- 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: Vitals signs may be 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.
- Treated and Released: Patient received treatment but was not admitted.
- Treated and Transferred: Received treatment. Transferred to a different facility. (a hospital may disclose that a patient was treated and released, it may not release information regarding the date of release or where the patient went upon release without patient authorization.)
In compliance with Federal HIPAA regulations and our of respect for our patients and families, we cannot comment on current or previous patients.