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Media Inquiries and Patient Condition Policy

At Archbold, we welcome media inquiries. It is our privilege to make the media’s job easier in covering our healthcare system. Members of the media are welcome to call the Marketing and Public Relations Department for press releases, calendar listings and news about Archbold.

All media inquiries are handled by Archbold’s Marketing and Public Relations Department. Archbold Medical Center strictly adheres to federal guidelines regarding patient confidentiality matters as outlined by HIPAA. To protect the privacy of our patients, we require all reporters and photographers visiting our facilities to be escorted by a Arcbold Marketing and Public Relations staff member. We ask that you coordinate your visit with us before arriving.

General Guidelines

We welcome inquiries about medical topics and will work to put you in touch with a medical professional who can address the subject. However, media representatives and photographers must contact the Marketing and Public Relations Department when they are interested in locating a source for a story. Advance notice for interviews is required so our staff can schedule interviews.

If a patient participates in an interview or is photographed, written permission of the patient is needed before photos or interviews can be obtained. Formal consent forms are handled through the Marketing/PR Department. Please help us protect our patients’ privacy by not interviewing them or photographing them until we obtain written consent.

Patient Condition Policy

All inquiries for information about a patient at any Archbold facility, must be directed to the Marketing and Public Relations Department.

A patient condition report may be obtained by contacting the Marketing and PR department at 229.584.5520. If information is needed on a patient after regular business hours, please call 229.228.2000 and ask the operator to connect you with the hospital’s Public Information Officer.

It is the policy of Archbold Medical Center to hold patient medical information in the strictest confidence, releasing only that information, within the law, which provides adequate representation of the patient’s condition and only as a response to inquires about the patient.

Information that can be released:

The hospital may release patient condition and location information only if the patient has not stated that he or she does not want information released, including information confirming his or her presence in the hospital. The patient's general condition may be released only if the inquiring person identifies the patient by name and correct spelling of the name, and if the patient is listed in our patient directory. For all media inquires, Archbold Marketing and Public Relations Department will only give a one-word condition: undetermined, good, fair or serious.

Information that cannot be released:

Information or identity of sexual assault victims, suspected domestic violence victims, suicide or attempted suicide, psychiatric, drug or alcohol abuse patients will not be released. Information concerning prisoners will not be released.

The death of a patient may be reported to the authorities by the hospital, as required by law. Death of a patient is presumed to be a matter of public record and may be released by the hospital once the next of kin has been notified. Under HIPAA, we cannot share information with the media on the specifics about sudden, violent or accidental deaths or deaths from natural causes without the permission of the decendent's next-of-kin or other legal representative.

No information of any kind, including but not limited to patient condition, may be released regarding minors. Minors are considered to be any patient age 17 and under.

Release of any medical information beyond the one-word condition, including interviews and photographs with the patient or medical staff, requires written authorization by the patient or patient's legal representative.

Patient Conditions

Below are five one-word conditions that adhere to the Archbold Medical Center Policy for patient conditions:

  • Undetermined - This is not a medical classification. It is to indicate the patient is in evaluation process to determine a more definite condition status
  • Good - Vital signs are stable. Patient is conscious and comfortable.
  • Fair - Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious. Patient is uncomfortable or may have minor complications.
  • Serious - Vital signs may be unstable or not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill indicators are questionable.

Hospitals and health systems are responsible for protecting the privacy and confidentiality of their patients and patient information. HIPAA regulations as well as Archbold Medical Center policies govern which information may and may not be released without authorization from the patient. For all media inquiries, please contact the Archbold Marketing and Public Relations department at 229.584.5520.

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