Rick Pozniak, System Director of Marketing & Communications
Jesse Kawa, Communications Specialist for Public & Media Relations
For media inquiries during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday), contact Jesse Kawa at 781-979-3243. After hours, please call 781-979-3000 and ask the switchboard operator to the page the Marketing & Communications staff member that is on-call.
To protect patient privacy and confidentiality (see HIPAA guidelines below) and to accommodate requests for interviews and information about the organization, its staff, employees and programs and services in a timely and accurate manner, Hallmark Health asks members of the media to follow these guidelines:
The implementation of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets standards that all healthcare institutions follow to safeguard patient privacy and confidentiality.
In general, information about a patient may be released if it is included in the hospital's directory and if the patient has not specified that no information be released.
Specifically, Hallmark Health uses the following American Hospital Association (AHA) guidelines for release of patient information to the public and the media:
• Undetermined: Patient is awaiting physician and/or assessment.
• 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.
The death of a patient may be reported to the authorities by the hospital, as required by law. Under HIPAA, hospitals cannot share information with the media on the specifics about sudden, violent or accidental deaths, or deaths from natural causes without the permission of the decedent's next-of-kin or other legal representative. A hospital also may not disclose information regarding the date, time or cause of death to the media.
If a Patient Is Treated and Released
If a patient has not specified that no information may be released, the hospital may disclose that a patient was treated and released. However, without patient authorization, it may not release information to the media regarding the date of release or where the patient went upon release.
The hospital may release patient condition and location information only if:
Providing more than a century of care, Hallmark Health is a leading community-based, nonprofit healthcare system serving Boston's northern suburbs. Hallmark Health includes two community hospitals, Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. The system also includes the Hallmark Health Medical Center in Reading, The Malden Family Health Center, Hallmark Health Cancer Center in Stoneham, Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice in Malden, Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc., diagnostic facilities and community health programs.
With more than 400 physicians, Hallmark Health provides high quality healthcare by offering the latest technologies and treatments, as well as meeting the changing health needs of more than 500,000 residents in the communities it serves.
To learn more download our Fact Sheet.