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Assisting reporters and photographers in their coverage of healthcare news is one role of the Marketing and Public Relations department for Hardin Memorial Health. Contact us at

Our goal is for members of the media to receive accurate information in a timely manner. To help further that goal, this online guide has been created as a quick reference to the nuts and bolts of Hardin Memorial Health's media policies.

Information you may need:

News Archive

Marketing and Public Relations Department Contact call the switchboard at 270-737-1212.

HIPAA and Patient Condition Reports
Federal medical privacy laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), limit some types of information that hospitals can provide to the news media.

HIPAA is designed to protect the privacy and confidentiality of patient information. HIPAA regulations govern which information may and may not be released without authorization from the patient. Failure to abide by HIPAA regulations can result in fines and sanctions against the hospital. Privacy laws have always restricted the release of certain patient information to the media. HIPAA regulations are much more stringent.

Information that can be released:
• The patient's general condition may be released only if the inquiry specifically identifies the patient by name, and if the patient is listed in our patient directory.
• Only a one-word condition may be released: undetermined, good, fair, serious or critical.
• The press may be told if a patient has been treated and released -- but no information on the release date or where the patient was released may be given.

Information that cannot be released:
• No information shall be released when a patient specifically requests it.
• Cause, date or time of death.
• Identity and any information about sexual assault victims, suspected domestic violence victims, psychiatric, drug or alcohol abuse patients.
• No information concerning prisoners. These questions will be referred to the proper police, jail or prison official.

With the patient's authorization, the following may be released or allowed:
• Specific details about the patient's hospitalization or diagnosis
• In the case of a juvenile, the name of the parent may be released only with the parent's consent.
• Media interviews and/or photographs of patients. These must be arranged through the Marketing and Public Relations department, and a written authorization form signed first by the patient. A Marketing and PR escort is also required.

Guidelines for media coverage during a crisis, disaster or major medical emergency.
When a disaster or major medical emergency occurs, Hardin Memorial Health and the media will need to work closely together to quickly provide accurate information.

To accomplish this, Hardin Memorial Health has multiple disaster plans that are specific to each incident. Please follow these guidelines in the event of a disaster or mass casualty incident:
• The media will be taken to a designated area to receive news releases and updates. In most instances, the area is a conference room located on the backside of Hardin Memorial Hospital next to the Diagnostic Imagining Center's entrance. Marketing and Public Relations, or other hospital representatives, will escort you to the designated area.
• Media crews may be given access to other areas of campus, depending on the circumstances, but only with a Marketing and PR escort.
• Cell phones may be used within the hospital as long as they are at least three feet from medical equipment such as IV pumps, ventilators and monitors. Land-line telephone availability may be limited.
• An escort from Marketing and PR will be required for media to conduct all on-site interviews.
• As a security precaution, media will be asked to show press credentials and/or may be issued temporary press badges by Hardin Memorial Health.
Hardin Memorial Hospital. 913 N. Dixie Ave. Elizabethtown KY 42701.
Phone (270) 737-1212
Contact HMH