Media FAQs

To make your visit to MedStar Washington Hospital Center easy and productive, here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Interview Requests

I would like to talk to a medical expert about a study that was released today. Whom should I call?

Any media team member can help you find the right medical professional, whether it's someone to comment on a study, do a live interview, or handle production logistics for a multi-week documentary shoot.

I would like to shoot some cover footage at the Hospital Center for use in our medical footage archive. How would I arrange that?

MedStar Washington Hospital Center does not participate in file footage productions.

HIPAA Rules

I would like to interview a patient who is at the Hospital Center. The family has agreed and the patient wants to talk to me. How can I arrange that?

MedStar Washington Hospital Center's first priority is the health and privacy of its patients. It is the hospital's responsibility to see that a patient rests and recuperates during a hospital stay. All requests for interviews must be arranged and staffed by the Hospital Center’s Media Relations team or a designee. This applies even if the patient invites you to do an interview. The media is not allowed in any patient care area unless approved and accompanied by the Media Relations team or a designee. Federal law requires hospitals to acquire the patient’s written consent before he or she meets with the media, is photographed or videotaped. Again, the priority for the Hospital Center is to ensure the patient rests and recovers. MedStar Health’s policy is designed to respect the medical needs of our patients, particularly in what is a very vulnerable time in their lives.

I need the condition of a patient who was brought to your hospital following an explosion / accident / shooting. I do not have the patient's name, but know where the explosion / accident / shooting occurred.

Since the passage of the federal Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 2004, hospitals are severely restricted with regard to the release of patient information. If a patient's full first and last name is provided, HIPAA allows ONLY that patient's condition to be released. Without a patient's correct full first and last name, no information -- not even condition --can be released. We also cannot confirm patient names.

Guidelines for News Media Access to Campus

For information about media access to the MedStar Washington Hospital Center campus, please visit here.

View conditions defined to help clarify what each patient condition means as defined and approved by the American Hospital Association and used by MedStar Washington Hospital Center's media team.