Media Guidelines

It is the policy of Bon Secours to cooperate with the news media to the fullest extent possible. We understand the nature of breaking news and deadlines and will do our best to meet your requests. However, our first duty is to patient care and privacy. 

We are bound by federal HIPAA laws that limit the amount of patient information we may release without the specific consent of the patient or patient representative. No information other than a one-word condition report will be released without written permission by the patient or by the legal guardian of the patient.

Media Coverage Rules at Bon Secours Facilities

Escorts required: Reporters and photographers must make arrangements with the media team to arrange access to Bon Secours facilities, even if you are invited by a patient, family member, physician or employee.

  • Please provide advanced notice that you will be coming to a Bon Secours facility.
  • A member or designee of the media team will be with you at all times while at the facility.
Consent form required: A signed Bon Secours consent form must be obtained by an authorized Bon Secours representative prior to interviewing, photographing or videotaping a patient in our facilities. 

Access limited to story requested:  Reporters and photographers will limit their news coverage to the story requested.

We cannot supply patient names: To provide a condition report on a patient, we need a first and last name and correct spelling.

Condition reports limited to one word: We use language acceptable under HIPAA laws and American Hospital Association guidelines with regard to the release of patient information. The following are appropriate terms that may be used to describe a patient’s condition:

  • Undetermined: Patient is still being assessed. 
  • Critical: Vital signs unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious in an ICU.
  • Serious: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient acutely ill. 
  • Fair: Vital signs stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious, may be uncomfortable or in pain.
  • Good: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious, alert and comfortable.
Confirming patient deaths: We will confirm patient deaths after appropriate notification of family members.

Referencing Bon Secours

  • When pronouncing Bon Secours, the “s” at the end of Secours is silent.
  • The end of Secours rhymes with the word tour.
  • When referring to Bon Secours hospitals, the word Bon Secours precedes the name for the facility.