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Media Guidelines

Scott & White’s Media Relations department handles all media calls for the institution. Scott & White Media Relations professionals respect the deadline-oriented nature of the news business and work to provide access to information and experts in a timely manner.

An on-call Media Relations staff member is available 24 hours a day to assist members of the media. For assistance after hours, please call 254-724-2111 and ask that the on-call representative be paged.

It is Scott & White’s intent to work with the media to the fullest extent possible while upholding the highest standards of patient care, safety and privacy.

In order to efficiently and effectively manage media requests, Scott & White has established the following media guidelines:

  • Members of the media should contact Media Relations for information and to arrange interviews or visits to any of our facilities.
  • To protect the privacy of all Scott & White patients and families, all members of the working media – to include reporters, photographers or film crews – must have an escort while working in any of our facilities.

Release of Patient Information Policies

Scott & White’s first responsibility is to the patients we serve. Patients have specific legal rights that Scott & White has an obligation to protect. The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), restricts the information that may be released to the news media. Scott & White may release a patient’s “one-word” condition as determined by a medical staff member. Condition reports can only be released to those who ask about patients by name.

Some patients may choose to keep their cases private. In these instances, Scott & White media representatives will have no information to provide about their condition or patient status. Information about minors may only be released with parental consent.

“One-word” Condition Reports

The list below describes the “one-word” reports used to define patient condition:

  • Good – Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. The patient is conscious and comfortable. Indicators are excellent.
  • Fair – Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. The patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.
  • Serious – Vital 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.
  • Undetermined – The patient assessment has not been completed and a condition has not been determined.