Baylor College of Medicine web sites are intended to provide general educational information about services offered by BCM and to help users arrange more easily for those services. Information on BCM web sites is written by faculty and staff affiliated with BCM, while other information may be from sources outside of BCM.
You assume full responsibility for using the information on BCM web sites, and understand and agree that BCM is not responsible or liable for any claim, loss, or damage resulting from its use by you or any user. While we try to keep the information on this site as accurate as possible, we disclaim any warranty, express or implied, including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. BCM also does not warrant that access to the site will be error free or virus free.
Copyright law protects material on BCM web sites. Reprinting or otherwise reproducing any document in whole or in part is prohibited, unless prior written consent is obtained from the copyright owner.
If you are a healthcare consumer who chooses to use the health related information on BCM web sites, you should not rely on that information as professional medical advice or use it to replace any relationship with your physician or other qualified healthcare professional. BCM web sites are not an attempt to practice medicine or provide specific medical advice and do not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Health-related information on BCM web sites should not be used to make a diagnosis or to replace or overrule the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.
Users of BCM web sites should not rely on the information contained in any BCM web site for emergency medical treatment. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare professional for answers to specific health related questions.
Some BCM web sites may allow you to enter your personal health information. Any personal health information you submit electronically to BCM web sites is done so voluntarily. BCM will not use or disclose your personal health information without your written consent or authorization, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.
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The privacy of our customers is important to Baylor College of Medicine. We understand that visitors to sites within the Baylor domain, bcm.edu, need to be in control of their personal information.
- Your personal information is not required to visit our site. If you choose not to provide personal information, you can still visit the bcm.edu pages.
- Access to some areas of our site may require appropriate authorization. In that case, your unique user ID and password is required.
- Access to some areas of our site may require some of your personal information. In that case, this personal information will only be collected if specifically and voluntarily provided and authorized by you.
- Baylor College of Medicine may collect personally identifiable information only if specifically and voluntarily provided and authorized by you.
- Baylor College of Medicine may use third-party services or programs to collect or maintain any voluntary personal information you may choose to provide us.
- Personally identifying information collected will be used only in connection with bcm.edu, or for such purposes as are described at the point of collection.
- Some information collected is for statistical purposes only. Baylor College of Medicine performs analyses of user behavior in order to measure customer interest in the various areas of our sites.
- Baylor College of Medicine will make every reasonable effort to protect the personal information that you share with us as outlined in our Internet Security Policy.
- You do not need to have cookies enabled to visit bcm.edu.
A cookie is a small piece of information that is sent to your browser, along with a Web page, when you access a Web site. A cookie might track the pages you've visited, and the date when you last looked at a specific page. There are two kinds of cookies. A session cookie is a line of text that is stored temporarily in your computer's memory. Because a session cookie is never written to a drive, it is destroyed as soon as you close your browser. A persistent cookie is a more permanent line of text that gets saved by your browser to a file on your hard drive.
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Baylor College of Medicine's Internet Security Policy:
- Baylor College of Medicine takes reasonable efforts to safeguard any voluntary personal information you provide us by using physical, electronic and procedural safeguards based on industry standards and best practices.
- While we may use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software in some cases to protect the security of your information during transmission, you should know that no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed absolutely secure.
- Baylor College of Medicine e-mail functionality does not provide a completely secure and confidential means of communication. You should take any appropriate steps to assure yourself that your communication is protected.
Baylor College of Medicine uses both session cookies and persistent cookies.
Baylor College of Medicine will not obtain personally identifying information about you when you visit our site, unless you choose to provide such information.
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Understanding Your Health Information
A medical record is made during each visit to a hospital, physician, or other healthcare provider. Typically, the record is paper or electronic and contains your health information suach as: symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This health information is used for the purposes listed below:
- basis for planning your care and treatment
- means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care
- legal document describing the care your received
- a tool in educating health professionals
- a source of data for medical research
- a source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of the nation
- a source of data for facility planning and marketing
- a tool that we can use to continually improve the care we give and the outcomes we achieve
Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used helps you to:
- ensure its accuracy
- better understand who, what, when, where and why others may access your health information
- make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others.
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Your Health Information Rights
You have the right to:
- request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information. However, Baylor College of Medicine is not required to agree to a requested restriction.
- receive confidential communications of protected health information.
- obtain a paper copy of the Privacy Notice upon request, regardless if you have agreed to receive the Notice by email.
- inspect and obtain a copy of your health record. We may provide a summary of your health record. Baylor College of Medicine may charge a reasonable fee to cover costs.
- request changes to your health record. Requests for changes must be in writing
- obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information, except for disclosures for treatment, payment and health care operations, disclosures for public health purposes or as required by law, and disclosures authorized by you. If you make more than one request in a 12-month period, Baylor College of Medicine may charge a reasonable fee to cover costs.
- request communications of your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations. For example, only send appointment messages by mail. No phone messages.
- revoke your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that action has already been taken. Revocations must be in writing.
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Baylor College of Medicine is required to:
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- maintain the privacy of your health information.
- provide you with a Notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you. • abide by the terms of this Notice.
- notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction.
- accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations.
We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain. Should our information practices change, we will mail a revised Notice to the address you have supplied us and post a revised Privacy Notice. The Notice can be found in each physician's office.
We will not use or disclose your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice.
Examples of Disclosures for Treatment, Payment and Health Options
Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of your healthcare team will be recorded in your record along with orders, actions, observations, and your response to treatment.
We will provide your physician or an alternate healthcare provider with copies of various reports that should assist him or her in treating you once you are discharged from the hospital. We share your health information outside of the Baylor System to assist in providing medical care.
A bill may be sent to your or your insurance company. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information about your diagnosis, procedures and supplies used. We may share such information outside of the Baylor system for payment purposes.
Routine Health Operations
Members of the medical staff, risk management, quality improvement, credentialing, or compliance programs, among others, may use information in your health record to examine the care and outcomes in your case and others like it. Your information will then be used to improve the quality of care and services provided. We may share your information outside of the Baylor system for health care operations.
Appointments and Alternatives
We may contact you to provide appointment reminders of information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
There are some services provided in our organization through contracts with business associates. Examples include transcription services and copy services we use when making copies of your health record. When these services are used, we may give your health information to our business associates so that they can perfrom the job we asked them to do. To protect your health information, however, we require the business associate to keep your information confidential.
Communication with Family
Health professionals, using their best judgment, may disclose to a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any other person you identify, health information relevant to that person's involvement in your care or payment related to your care.
Should you be an inmate of a correctional instituion, we may disclose to the institution or agents thereof health information necessary for your health and the health and safety of other individuals.
Unless instructed otherwise, hospitals will use your name, location in the facility, general condition, and religious affiliation for directory purposes. This information may be provided to members of the clergy and, except for religious affiliation, to other people who ask for you by name.
Education and Development
We may contact you as part of education and development efforts such as College publications, education forums, tours, College events, and opportunities for volunteerism and philanthropic support. You may decline future contacts.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
We may disclose to the FDA health information concerning harmful events with food, supplements, product and product defects, or post marketing information to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacement.
We may disclose health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to carry out their duties.
Group Health Plans
A group health plan, or a health insurance issuer or HMO on behalf of a group health plan, may disclose protected health information to the sponsor of the plan.
We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena. Federal law makes provision for your health information to be released to an appropriate health oversight agency, public health authority or attorney, provided that a work force member or business associate believes in good faith that we have engaged in unlawful conduct or have otherwise violated professional or clinical standards and are potentially endangering one or more patients, workers or the public.
We must obtain your authorization for all marketing purposes except for face-to-face conversations about services and treatment alternatives. If you do not want to be contacted for future marketing purposes, please indicate this in writing, by completing a marketing opt out form, which we will provide.
We may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care or your location and genral condition.
Organ Donation Organizations
Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose health inforamtion to organ donation organizations or other entities that collect, store and transplant organs for the purpose of tissue donation and transplantation.
As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability.
Registration and Scheduling
To improve our scheduling and registration operations, St. Luke's Episcopal Health System, Texas Children's Hospital, The Methodist Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine and their participating organization have developed a centralized database that allows us to share your demographic (i.e., name, address, etc.) and insurance eligibiliy information among our institutions. We believe this use of information will reduce the time you spend registering at any of our facilities.
We may use or disclose your personal health information for research that has been approved according to established standards for individual safety, scientific merit, and the protection of your health information privacy. Researchers may view your health information, in accordance with federal privacy regulations, to develop new scientific studies. Additionally, we may use your information to contact you about research opportunities.
We may provide information to schools to complete health medical forms or physicals.
We may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs established by law.
Other uses and disclosures will be made only with the individual's written authorization. You may revoke such authorizaiton. We may seek authorization for additional purposes relating to specified health care practices such as research, marketing, and development.
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