Policy Manual


Media Relations Procedure      

Type: Procedure                 Category: Risk Management and Safety                 Level: Community Care 

Parties: Community Care employees and contractees

Printer Friendly Version: http://apps.comcareme.org/policymanual/default.aspx?code=9.MEP.5&nonav=yes

Supporting References: 

Parent Effective Date Approval Level Revision Dates Last Reviewed
N/A  1-1-2004  Management Team  None  4-1-2009
Related Document Code Related Document Name Type
9.ME.3 Risk Management Policy

Procedure:  .

The Office of the Executive Director of Community Care is the primary agency contact with the media. All Community Care employees and contractees are prohibited from representing the agency in the media without approval from the Executive Director. All media communications must be channeled through the Community Care Executive Director or designee.

1. Members of the media wishing to speak with any Community Care employee, contractee, or client should be directed to contact the Executive Director.

2. To protect the privacy and confidentiality of all Community Care clients, no media representative is allowed to tour an agency facility without the Executive Director's approval and must be accompanied by an agency employee when such approval is granted.

3. When media requests are made outside of business hours, the employee or contractee will call the Community Care emergency pager service and request that the pager service contact the Executive Director to inform the director of the situation. A phone number should be left with the pager service where the caller can be reached.

4. At no time should a Community Care Employee or Contractee acknowledge the presence or absence of a client being served by the agency to any media representative, caller, or individual without a validated authorization or consent form. In the case where there is a valid authorization or consent form all Community Care employees or contractees must forward requests for information to the appropriate Community Care supervisor.

5. When permission is granted for media contact with clients, or clients choose to participate in events such as fundraisers, the client and/or the client's guardian are required to sign a consent form outlining such participation. Community Care must inform all persons served that such participation is strictly voluntary.

6. Community Care has legal counsel on retainer allowing for consultation regarding matters involving disclosure to the media of client information and associated risks. The Community Care Executive Director or designee may access such consultation.

7. Anytime a Community Care client elects to speak with the media, the agency will: a. explain Community Care's confidentiality policy regarding information about the person served and other persons served; b. obtain a signed statement from the person served stating that s/he has been informed of and understands the confidential nature of certain client information; and c. obtain a signed release of claims from the person served discharging the organization from liability in the event that s/he voluntarily or inadvertently discloses confidential information about him/herself or others.

8. Any request for information by the media should be communicated to the office of the ED as soon as possible.

9. Any unauthorized media exposure of client information should be reported to the offices of the Executive Director and the agency´┐Żs HIPAA Privacy Officer as soon as possible.

10. All employees and contractees are accountable to the agency Professional Conduct Policy: 7.ME.9, which states that disclosure of confidential information may result in termination of employment or contract status.

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