Frequently Asked Questions and Best Practices for Members of the Media
Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Marketing and Communications partners with media across the state, region and, on occasion, nationally to share stories and information about our organization, patients, skilled providers, and the services and programs we offer. Below is information to assist reporters and other media representatives when covering stories.
How do I contact Marketing and Communications?
Our dedicated media number, (207) 973-9530, is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, excluding major holidays. After hours, if you are looking for a patient condition, you may call the main switchboard at 973-7000. If you have an emergency situation requiring assistance from our team after hours or on weekends you may contact us at any time via email at email@example.com
Are you allowing any reporters on campus?
No. At this time, we are continuing to limit visitors, which means members of the media are restricted. All interviews coordinated through our team will take place via a video call or when approved, in-person outside with all participants masked.
May I contact a staff member or patient directly?
No. We will coordinate interviews with our patients and staff. We are here to make your job easier by working with patients and their care teams and finding you the best subject matter experts available. We work to ensure the time for the discussion work well for everyone so we can facilitate smoothly coordinated interviews.
When I call for a patient condition, why do I have to wait for a call back?
Before we can release information about a patient in our care, we work with nursing staff to ensure a consent form has been signed by the patient or his/her representative. We must adhere to strict HIPAA laws and regulations to protect patient confidentiality.
Even if a reporter has previously received a condition report on a patient and calls back for an update, we are required to follow the same steps each time. Occasionally a patient or their representative may change their mind to restrict the release of their condition while at the hospital.
What do the patient condition terms mean?
It is hospital policy for members of the Marketing and Communications team to provide a simple, one- or two-word description regarding patient conditions. Below are guidelines to understanding what the conditions mean, and the conditions under which we must operate to ensure patient confidentiality:
Please note we are not able to clarify which situation applies when reporting “No Information”.
- “NO INFORMATION” – This may be due to factors, including
- The person is not a patient at our Medical Center;
- We do not have a signed consent allowing for the release of information.
Am I able to do a “live shot” from a Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center facility?
- “BEING EVALUATED” – Medical personnel have not yet determined the medical needs of a patient and, therefore, cannot provide a current condition.
- “GOOD” – Patient vital signs are stable and within normal limits; patient may be conscious and comfortable.
- “FAIR” – Vital signs are stable and within normal limits; patient may be conscious but uncomfortable.
- “SERIOUS” – Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits; patient is acutely ill.
- “CRITICAL” – Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits; patient may not be conscious and prognosis may not be favorable.
- “DECEASED” – We are only able to verify that a patient is deceased if the next of kin/guardian has been notified. Please note we are not able to report cause of death or whether an autopsy is planned.
- “TREATED & RELEASED” – The patient has been treated and released from the hospital. This is often used with Emergency Department patients who are not formally admitted as a patient.
- “TRANSFERRED” – This patient has been transferred to another medical facility.
- “DISCHARGED” – The person is no longer a patient at our facility.
We ask that you work with our team to schedule a live shot, and we will provide an escort during the entirety of filming on any of our campuses. This helps ensure patient and visitor safety and confidentiality.
Can I interview a patient at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center?
We are happy to ask a patient who is feeling well enough if they would like to participate in media stories by video or phone call. We require patients and family members who are at the Medical Center and want to appear in media stories to sign a written consent. We work together with the patient’s caregiver to find a time that works well for everyone.
Please consider us a resource and a partner who can help you get the best media story possible. Please reach out at any time for assistance:
MEDIA EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interim Director, email@example.com
Senior Communications Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Communications Specialist, email@example.com