The following contact information is intended for use by members of the news media only. All other questions or concerns should be directed to (864) 455-7000.
Karen Potter, APR
Manager, Public Relations
(864) 797-7558 (office)
(864) 449-6659 (cell)
Senior Media Relations Coordinator
(864) 797-7557 (office)
(864) 303-4115 (cell)
Public Relations Coordinator
(864) 797-7549 (office)
(864) 546-1910 (cell)
While Greenville Health System (GHS) believes it has a duty to keep the public informed by providing accurate and timely information to media, it also has an obligation to respect and preserve the privacy of every patient. The following guidelines have been created to ensure that an appropriate flow of pertinent information occurs between GHS and the community. All communication with the public and news media will be conducted consistent with the Freedom of Information Act and federal privacy protection regulations.
Release of information to the media and other members of the public
All communication with the public and news media will be conducted consistent with the Freedom of Information Act and federal privacy protection regulations. The Public Relations office is the first point of contact for requests for interviews or photographs, routine patient condition inquiries during and after business hours, and the development of news and feature stories. In every effort to proactively provide timely and accurate information, the following guidelines apply.
Requests for patient conditions
GHS may release a one-word patient condition in accordance with federal patient privacy guidelines and GHS policy ONLY if the patient or authorized representative has signed the Consent for Treatment form. Patient information is released only when the patient’s name is provided and is released by members of the PR staff. Only a one-word condition or phrase as defined by the American Hospital Association may be released:
- 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.
- Still being evaluated. Patient is most likely still in the Emergency Trauma Center and the physician has yet to make a final determination as to a condition.
- Treated and released. Patient was treated in the Emergency Trauma Center and released. Patient was not admitted.
- Treated and transferred. Patient was treated in the Emergency Trauma Center and transferred to another hospital.
- Discharged. Patient was admitted and has since discharged.
Requests for patient interviews/photographs/video
A member of the Public Relations staff will handle all news media requests for patient and/or family interviews or photographs/video. If a request for an interview/photograph/video is made after business hours, the PR staff member on call must be contacted either by GHS staff or the news media. The PR staff, working with the healthcare team attending to the patient or family in question, reserves the right to determine whether the interview/photograph/video would be in the best interest of the health of the patient in question. Staff may also ask family members who have agreed against the advice of hospital staff to speak with news media to leave the patient care area or hospital grounds for that interview.
Current and former patients who have agreed to an interview/photograph/video with the media concerning treatment or recovery at a GHS facility must sign a consent form provided by PR staff in advance of the interview/photograph/video.
All media requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act must be submitted to the Public Relations office. Final review of all FOIA requests will be conducted by legal counsel. The PR staff will respond to the media regarding the status of the request within the 15 business days allowed by law.
Requests for expert/source interviews
The Public Relations staff should be the first point of contact in reaching any GHS physicians, nurses, clinical specialists and other skilled professionals for interviews. PR staff will facilitate these interviews to help provide the most appropriate and knowledgeable source for an accurate story and timely interview. GHS staff contacted directly by the news media should alert the Public Relations office before proceeding with an interview or before releasing any information.
Facilitation of news media visits to a GHS facility
Media are required to have a member of the GHS PR team escort them while filming, photographing or conducting interviews on GHS property. If GHS PR personnel are not available, they may ask another GHS representative to serve in that capacity.