Media Coverage Guidelines

Interviews at UCSF

Reporters interested in arranging background conversations, phone and on-site interviews  with any UCSF faculty or staff member first must call the News Office at (415) 502-NEWS (6397). To accommodate breaking news requests, this number is covered 24 hours a day, weekends and holidays.  After regular business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT), a member of the news team is on-call and available to help.

The news team will work with you to obtain necessary clearance for on-site visits, which for patient care areas at the medical center includes a self-monitoring symptom form, and to ensure that all patient consent forms have been completed prior to interviews.  We also can provide you with relevant background material and recommend additional sources for your story.

Photo/Video Shoots

If you would like to schedule a photo or video shoot at any UCSF campus, please call the News Office. Advance notice is required, particularly for shoots that involve multiple locations or take place in patient care areas. A member of the news team must accompany all reporters, film crews and photographers for the duration of a shoot.

Patient Consent/Condition

The UCSF News Office is committed to protecting the health and welfare of patients. We will release patient information only as allowed under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Written authorization from a patient or a patient’s parent/guardian must be obtained before media interviews are arranged. If written consent is not available, we can release only a one-word condition on a patient’s medical status.  UCSF guidelines for that process are available here.

Entering Patient Care Areas

Because the severity of flu season varies from year to year, reporters may be required to present documentation of flu and other inoculations prior to entering clinical areas.  Any members of the media reporting symptoms on the self-monitoring symptom form administered by the News Office will not be allowed to enter patient care areas at the medical center.  Media entering operating rooms also must wear a medical mask and other protective gear.  No additional inoculations are required unless media intend to be on campus more than two weeks, in which case the long-term visitor  policy requires the same occupational health proof of inoculations required of all UCSF staff and contractors, to protect both patients and visitors.  That policy is tiered, to reflect the level of contact the media representative will have with patients or infectious agents.