For the Media
Richmond University Medical Center welcomes media professionals to contact our Communications Department to arrange patient and staff interviews and stories, request background information and visit our facilities, accompanied by a communications staff member.
Weekday Contact for Media Inquiries (including patient condition reports)
Erika Hellstrom, Vice President Development, Executive Director of the RUMC Foundation
Office phone: 718-818-2104 (office hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday)
After hours: Contact through hospital switchboard by calling 718-818-1234
Weekend Contact for Media Inquiries
On weekends, contact Richmond University Medical Center’s operator at 718-818-1234 and ask for the on-call media spokesperson.
HIPAA Regulations and the Release of Patient Information
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), federally mandated regulations, went into effect in April 2003 at health care institutions across the country. HIPAA changed patient privacy standards and has limited hospitals’ ability to release information about patients to the media and public. Richmond University Medical Center works with media to provide accurate and timely information, while our priority is to respect the confidentiality of our patients’ medical information and comply with HIPAA’s privacy regulations.
The following information helps clarify what patient information a spokesperson may (or may not) legally release to the media.
For Media Coming to Our Campuses
- Under HIPAA, hospitals must ask each patient (his or her legal representative) if he or she agrees to disclose information about his or her stay at the hospital. Patients may opt to refuse the release of information (including the fact that they are currently patients) or to limit the information released.
- A member of the media MUST have a patient’s name in order to ask for information. A patient’s condition will be provided ONLY if that patient has approved the release of information. No additional or detailed information beyond the condition will be provided about the patient.
- If the media does not ask for the patient by name, no individual identifiable information about the patient may be legally disclosed by the hospital.
- For patients who die at the hospital, the hospital may not release ANY information without the written authorization of next of kin.
- ALL media interviews or photography sessions with Richmond University Medical Center patients, administrators, physicians and employees must be cleared through the Communications Department. Media crews, reporters, videographers and photographers who enter any RUMC property without clearance will be stopped by security and asked to go to the lobby area until a member of the Communications Department can be contacted. This policy is in effect to secure the confidentiality of our patients and is in concurrence with the American Hospital Association and HIPAA guidelines.
- ALL media who come to our facilities must first check in with the receptionist in the lobby of that building.
- ALL media must be accompanied by an RUMC staff member when conducting interviews or taking photos at an RUMC facility.
- When at an RUMC facility, media crews must park in proper parking spaces (metered street parking, visitor lot) unless otherwise authorized by the Communications Department. Please do not block patient access to the hospital. Crews may NOT park in Emergency Department parking areas.
Motion Picture Filming at Our Campuses
Generally, Richmond University Medical Center does not accommodate film crews on the hospital’s main campus. However, in some situations, as determined by the Communications Department, Nursing Department and Quality Department, permission to film is granted. For information or to submit a request, call 718-818-2102.