Media Information Center

If you are a member of the media, call the Norton Healthcare Media Line (24/7 coverage): (502) 629-2999

Media and Public Relations Procedures

All media inquiries should be directed to the public relations team. For general inquiries or to request an interview, please call our media relations line at (502) 629-2999.

Our team will strive to:

  • Provide appropriate information or set up an interview with one of our experts. If a specific person requested by a reporter is not available, we may be able to provide an alternative source.
  • Contact patients upon your request to determine their interest in being interviewed.

Our top priorities are the safety and privacy of our patients and their families, and the care that is being provided at our Norton Healthcare and Norton Children’s facilities. Due to these priorities, there are times when we will not be able to accommodate requests.

Please do not come to our sites, including for community events, with the intent of filming, photographing or doing a story unannounced. Reporters, film crews and photographers always must be accompanied by a member of our public relations team while on any of our campuses or at events where patients are being screened or are participating in medical education. Members of the media may not come to our facilities at the invitation of a patient or family member.

Release of Patient Information

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides federal protection for personal health information held by covered entities, gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information and sets forth standards that we must follow with regard to release of patient information.

Because of HIPAA, patients over 18, or the legal guardian for the patient, must sign a consent form before anyone who works at Norton Healthcare or Norton Children’s can release confidential information about a patient. We reserve the right to not release information in certain situations.

Before being photographed or recorded on video at a Norton Healthcare or Norton Children’s facility, patients or their legal guardians must sign a consent form. A member of our public relations team can arrange consent.

No media interviews with patients or about patients will take place without the patient’s prior authorization. Only information specified on the authorization form will be released.

Authorization for Public Disclosure of Health Information forms are needed to:

  • Report a birth
  • Give details beyond the one-word condition report (Please note, condition reports will be provided only on patients 18 and older.)
  • Conduct interviews with patients or take photographs, videos, etc., at our facilities
  • Conduct interviews with Norton Healthcare and Norton Children’s representatives regarding a patient’s condition

One-word Condition Reports

Media inquiring about a patient’s condition should contact a member of our public relations team, with the individual’s full name.

The following is intended to help members of the media and the public better understand legal issues and rules when seeking patient information from a health care provider.

One-word conditions

If a hospital patient has not requested that his or her information be withheld, a one-word condition may be released to anyone who asks about a patient by first and last name. One-word conditions may be released if:

  • The patient is an inpatient.
  • The patient is age 18 or older.
  • The inquiring party knows the spelling of the patient’s first and last name.
  • The patient is in the facility’s patient directory. (Patients may opt out.)

Protections for minors and behavioral health patients

  • All information regarding minors is completely protected unless a parent or legal guardian provides a release for that information. This includes verifying whether the child is receiving care at any Norton Healthcare or Norton Children’s facility.
  • Patient information will never be released in cases involving mental health, substance abuse or developmental disabilities.

Definitions of one-word patient conditions as determined by the American Hospital Association:

Undetermined – The patient is awaiting 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 – 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.

When Patient Information Is Not Released

If the patient is a minor (under age 18), no information will be released without the consent of a parent or legal guardian, even if the inquiring party has the patient’s first and last name with correct spelling. The public relations team typically will not ask for consent for the sole purpose of providing a one-word condition report.

The person inquiring does not have the correct spelling of the first and last name.

A patient, or the person authorized to give consent, has opted out of providing information altogether.

We will not issue condition reports or statements on sexual assaults, child abuse, spousal abuse, mental illness, AIDS, suicide or suicide attempts, or cases involving drugs or alcohol.

We will not comment or provide a condition report on first responders.

Mass Casualty Event

If there are mass casualties, we may release basic information, such as the aggregate number of victims and their general one-word conditions. However, individually identifiable patient information will not be released without a patient’s consent.

We also may provide an aggregate number of victims who were treated and released. Please note treated and released means the patient was seen in the emergency department, but not admitted to the hospital.

Death of a Patient

The death of a patient will be reported to the authorities by the hospital, as required by law.

The Norton Healthcare/Norton Children’s public relations team will not confirm deaths for media and would refer inquiries to local medical examiner’s offices only after sufficient time has passed to notify the family.

Thank you for your understanding of these procedures.

Media Experts

Norton Healthcare has specialists who can speak on cutting-edge medical topics, trends and procedures in the region. If you’d like to interview one of our physicians or specialists on any of the topics below, call our media relations team at (502) 629-2999.

Pediatric Care

  • Adolescent gynecology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiology/cardiothoracic surgery
  • Child advocacy (safety, burns, abuse, nutrition/fitness)
  • Concussions
  • Diabetes
  • Drug dependance in newborns (neonatal abstinence syndrome)
  • Emergency medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • General pediatrics
  • General surgery
  • High-risk pregnancy
  • Infectious diseases
  • Neonatal medicine
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Neurosurgical epilepsy program
  • New cancer treatment technology and research
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychology
  • Radiology
  • Sports health
  • Toxicology (poison)
  • Urology

Adult Care

  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiology
  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Diabetes
  • Emergency medicine
  • General practice/family medicine/internal medicine
  • Hand surgery
  • Health policy and legislation
  • Infectious diseases
  • Interventional radiology
  • Neurology (ALS, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis)
  • Neurosurgery (epilepsy, brain injuries, tumors)
  • New cancer treatment technology and research
  • Obstetrics/gynecology, including high-risk maternal-fetal medicine
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pathology
  • Pulmonology
  • Radiology
  • Spine surgery
  • Sports health
  • Urology
  • Weight management

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