Media Guidelines

Brookings Health System enjoys a strong relationship with members of the media. To better assist the news media and protect the privacy of our patients as mandated by federal legislation, the Brookings Health System has established the following guidelines:

  • All contact by the media must be made through the Marketing and Public Relations Department. 
  • All interviews with members of the Brookings Health System staff must be arranged by the Director of Marketing and Public Relations. Advance notice of on-site interviews is necessary in order for the Public Relations staff to arrange for a room for media interviews, notify the patient care areas involved, and line up the appropriate patients, families, and Brookings Health System staff for the story.
  • To protect the privacy of our patients, residents and their families, a public relations representative from Brookings Health System must escort the media while on the health system campus.
  • In compliance with the HIPAA privacy law, patients who agree to be interviewed or filmed must complete a media release consent form prior to the interview. Parental permission is required for videotaping, photographing and/or interviewing patients under 18 years of age. The Marketing and Public Relations Department will work with the media to obtain permission on a case-by-case basis.

Without consent of a parent or legal guardian, Brookings Health System will only release a one-word description of a patient's condition. Below are the standard definitions used to describe a patient's general condition:

  • 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 not be conscious; indicators are unfavorable.
  • Deceased: This may only be reported after next-of-kin has been notified.
  • Undetermined: Patient is awaiting physician and/or assessment.