Tips for Interviewing Patients and Families

Before filming takes place, it is important to address any concerns or questions patients and families* might have. Clearly explain your project, including what you are hoping to film and how/where the footage will be used.

Once a patient or family member has agreed to participate, please remember to:

  • Be respectful. Introduce yourself and any team members to the patient and the family members. Tell them what your role is and let them know that they can ask you to stop filming at any time.
  • Be sure to have all parties sign the appropriate confidentiality and consent form Before you shot any footage.

Do NOT film:

  • Patient medical bracelets, room numbers, or medical charts
  • Medical images without the proper patient health information consent form signed
  • Staff interacting with the patient or working with medical records without their signed permission

Remember patients are sick. Sometimes they are tired or they just don’t feel like participating in a project. We know it is inconvenient but you may have to reschedule for a different day. Do not push a patient or their family. If they look distraught or overly emotional, stop filming and let them know that you can come back on another day.

Patients are not actors. Do not coach them on what to say or how to tell their story. If refining your questions doesn’t draw out the responses or emotion you want, you should end the interview and speak to your Children’s contact to see if you need to find a different patient.

After filming is done. Thank the patient and their family for their time. Let them know when you hope to have the project finished. You should have your Children’s contact follow up with the families to let them have a copy of the final project. Sometimes, it is nice to give a family the raw footage from their interview as well.

* Only a Children’s doctor, nurse, social worker, or staff member should approach a family about initial involvement in a video project to ensure there is no HIPAA violation.