Corporate Compliance

Tip: How to handle media requests

Compliance Monitor, September 3, 2008

Establish a written policy that requires all media requests proceed through designated channels and considers any exception to this practice a breach of the policy. Organizations that do not have an established a media relations department, or designated a facility spokesperson, should assign such responsibilities. These measures help ensure proper management and appropriate responses to media inquires.
 
“Follow the KISS (Keep It Simple, Sam) rule,” says Kate Borten, CISSP, CISM, president of The Marblehead Group in Marblehead, MA. Do not address or answer any inquiries other than to refer questions to the facility’s formal spokesman.
 
Mistakes occur when someone is unsure of the appropriate response, so it’s never wise to permit anyone other than designated staff members to respond to media requests, says Lisa K. McCusker, CPC, corporate compliance and privacy officer at Sisters of Providence Health System in Springfield, MA. Organizations that designate a specific department, such as marketing or public relations, to respond to media requests are often among the most successful in this regard, she says.
 
This tip was adapted from the article Minimize mistakes when responding to the media that appeared in the September 2008 issue of the HCPro newsletter Briefings on HIPAA. To learn more about this newsletter visit the HCMarketplace.

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