We are dedicated to providing media professionals with key health information and timely access to our experts.
All media contact with patients, families, physicians or staff must be directed through the Methodist Corporate Marketing and Communications Department. A representative is available 24 hours a day to assist with media inquiries by calling 901-509-7956.
Please remember that Methodist property, including but not limited to hospitals, surgery centers, and physician practices, is private property. To protect patient privacy, media representatives must be accompanied by a Methodist Corporate Marketing and Communications team member while on any Methodist campus. Our Security team strictly enforces the visitor policy and holds the right to determine admission our campuses. Please display media credentials and badges clearly for security purposes.
Media are welcome to film on sidewalks across the street from any Methodist property at any time. As a courtesy, we ask that you notify us beforehand, so we can assist photographers.
Methodist abides by the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines. Because of laws enforced by HIPAA, media seeking patient condition reports must have the first and last name of the patient when inquiring about a patient. With a patient’s first and last name, the Methodist Corporate Marketing and Communications team can release a one-word description of a patient’s condition, as outlined in HIPAA guidelines.
Approved by HIPAA, definitions for patient conditions include the following:
- 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 intubated or unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.
Inquiries about the Death of a Patient
The time or date of death will not be released, but the death of a patient may be reported to the news media by the hospital. Typically, public information about a death will be disclosed after efforts have been made to notify the next-of-kin. Information about the cause of death must come from the patient’s physician. A legal representative of the deceased patient must approve its release. This means Methodist cannot share information about sudden, violent or accidental deaths, or deaths from natural causes without the permission of the decedent’s next-of-kin or other legal representative.
We strive to protect the confidentiality of our patients and their families. We also understand the media’s duty to keep the public informed and will make every effort to accommodate requests for information. We reserve the right to refuse interview or photography requests during a police investigation, when a family requests privacy or if a patient’s confidentiality is being compromised.