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Children's Mercy Kansas City Media Guidelines

The Children's Mercy Media Relations team helps to coordinate hundreds of news stories each year for regional, national and international print and broadcast media outlets. Whatever your needs, we will work to provide interviews and information on deadline. To request an interview with a doctor or a patient family at Children’s Mercy, please contact our team first. A member of the Media Relations team will help you identify physicians, staff or families appropriate for your story, find a space to conduct your interview and coordinate any photo or b-roll shoots at the hospital.


Need to speak with a Children’s Mercy expert?

Children’s Mercy experts can provide information about cutting-edge clinical practices, breakthrough medical research, healthcare trends, compelling patient stories and more. We are happy to connect you with some of the world’s most knowledgeable pediatric doctors and researchers in specific medical fields.


Need to arrange photos or interviews with our staff or patient families?

Contact Media Relations. We will make the arrangements for you and accompany you during your visit. (Please note that Hospital policy requires that a MR representative accompany all media personnel during their visits to Children’s Mercy facilities.) Additionally, we require the parent of any patient under 18, or a patient who is over 18, to sign a consent/photo release form before granting an interview, releasing medical information, or being photographed.


Releasing Patient Information

Releasing Patient Information Privacy regulations issued by the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) govern the use and release of a patient's personal health information (PHI). HIPAA privacy standards have specific provisions for the release of limited “directory” information without the patient’s consent or authorization.


Patient Condition Reports and Information

A patient’s condition may be provided consistent with the limitations imposed by HIPAA privacy standards. These include that we must have the patient’s first and last name. General condition information may be provided that does not communicate specific information about the individual. The American Hospital Association has suggested the following one-word descriptions of a patient’s 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 be unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable. ­

Reports at an accident scene are not official condition reports. A condition report can be assigned to a patient only after a physician’s assessment.


“That patient is not in our registry”

When you call or email to ask about a patient condition, we will ask you for a first and last name. Without a name, there is no information we can share with you. Sometimes a member of the Media Relations team will tell you “that patient is not in our registry.” That can mean one of several things.

+ The patient was never here.

+ The patient was treated and released.

+ The patient’s parents have asked that no information be released.

+ There is a concern for the patient’s safety.

+ The patient came in as a trauma case, and it hasn’t been at least 24 hours.


Contacting our Media Relations team

Contact information for our team can be found in the Children’s Mercy newsroom.


Need help during the night or on the weekend?

The Media Relations team is available around the clock to provide the news media with information about Children’s Mercy. To contact the team after hours, please email newsroom@cmh.edu.