Aultman's Corporate Communications Department handles all media calls. Calls made to others in the organization will be routed to the Communications Department. The Communications staff is also willing to work with media to develop and arrange special features, interviews and human interest stories.
Aultman has more than 500 active physicians in 43 different medical specialties who are also available for interviews. Corporate Communications is willing to assist you in finding the qualified physician in the chosen area and facilitate your request.
Leslee Dennis, Corporate Communications Specialist
Release of Patient Information
Aultman's first responsibility is to the health and welfare of the patient. We also have both legal and ethical responsibilities to preserve patient confidentiality. The patient has specific legal rights to privacy as governed by several federal and state laws, as well as standards set forth by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). For example, the patient's medical records are by law private and confidential. The medical records can only be released with the permission and written authorization of the patient (if 18 years or older) or patient's parents/legal guardian, or as required by the court process.
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), enforces even more privacy measures. HIPAA privacy regulations restrict the information healthcare providers may include in a patient directory and release to the public, including news media. Directory information, as it pertains to news media, is limited to two elements and patients have the option of further restricting release of the directory information. The directory elements are:
- Name - information can be released only to those who ask about patients by name
- Condition - guarded (in intensive care) or satisfactory (not in intensive care)
Note: Unless the patient has exercised the "opt-out" provision, directory information, as listed above, about a particular patient can be shared with any person who asks for the patient by name.
While the HIPAA privacy regulations restrict the information healthcare providers may release, patients (18 or older) or parents/legal guardians of patients (17 and under) are free to release their own personal information or to consent to interviews providing it doesn't interfere with their medical treatment.
Source: Ohio Hospital Association
Releasing Information After Hours
Call the lead nursing supervisor at 330-363-6888, and ask for the condition of a patient by name; he or she will provide the one-word condition of the patient.
Gaining Access to Aultman
Media representatives and photographers must contact the Communications Department before visiting patients or staff for photos or interviews. Aultman requires that a designated hospital representative accompany news personnel at all times. The Communications staff will handle obtaining the written or verbal permission of the patient, or in the case of a minor, the parent or legal guardian, for photos and interviews.
Medical judgment: Aultman may deny the media access to the patient if it is determined the presence of photographers or reporters would aggravate the patient's condition or interfere with appropriate clinical care.