University Health Care System
(706) 722-9011

Internet Privacy

As a user of this site, you take on certain risks and responsibilities. You also have the right to know how we protect your privacy and ensure your confidentiality and what you should expect from us.

Your Role, Responsibilities and Risks

  • You need to be an informed user of this site. Please read all our policies in full so you know how our site works and how you interact with the site.
  • Pay special attention to your risks as a user. Web site users open themselves up to certain risks.
  • Understand how we collect data and how it is used. It is our goal to protect your personal information from misuse.
  • Be aware that use of this site, its services, programs and the health information on it cannot replace nor is it intended to serve as a health care provider-patient relationship. You must always consult with a professional for diagnosis and treatment for specific health problems.

What You Should Expect from Us

  • We will strive to maintain your privacy, confidentiality, and security at all times.
  • It is our intention to clearly inform you when your risks or privacy may change during the course of using this site.
  • We will make every attempt to tell you when our privacy statement is no longer in effect and another one is, such as when you use an integrated program that is being operated on another web site with a different privacy policy.
  • It is our goal to make you aware when you leave our site for another, either by telling you in writing or by another technical mechanism.
  • We want you to know that this system operates on a secure server and your personal and professional information and health-related personal information is encrypted before it is transmitted. Encryption is a form of scrambling and de-scrambling that ensures that no unauthorized person can see your information.
  • We will not accept or show you health information content, advertising, sponsored programs, or services that we know to contain false or misleading information or that promote ineffective or dangerous products.

Our Security Measures

We want your personal information to remain as secure as possible; our business depends on it. We use encryption practices to help insure the integrity and privacy of the personal information and/or health-related personal information you provide to us. As an added security precaution, all personal information and/or health-related personal information are kept on servers with firewalls that meet or exceed industry standards to prevent intruders from gaining access. Although we make every reasonable effort to protect personal information and health-related personal information from loss, misuse, or alteration by third parties, you should be aware that there is always some risk involved in transmitting information via the Internet and that hackers or thieves do find ways to thwart security systems.

Changes in our Privacy Statement

It is our goal to use personal information in the manner described in the privacy statement that is in effect when your information is collected. We do, however, reserve the right to change the terms of this privacy statement at any time and will post revisions to our site. If at any point, personal is to be used differently from those practices stated in the privacy statement in effect when your data was colleted, we will notify you. You will be given the choice to opt-in to any additional uses or disclosures of your personal information.

About the Information We Collect

We understand that the personal information and health-related personal information you provide during your visit to our site is highly sensitive and you may have concerns about sharing such information with us. It is our goal to protect your privacy and we strive to develop practices and policies to safeguard your personal and health-related personal information.

At different places on our site, you may be asked to volunteer your name, e-mail, address and telephone number. We refer to this type of information as "personal information" because it can be used to identify or contact you. When this information is combined with any information on your health or medical status, we refer to this information as "health-related personal information." We often collect information on site use that has nothing to do with you as an individual, only as an anonymous user of the site. We call this information “aggregate information.” We intend to use the personal information, health-related personal information, and aggregate information only for the purposes for which it was provided.

Some personal information and health-related personal information is needed to use this site, and we ask that you provide it with the knowledge that it will be used to enhance your experience. This information is kept confidential. We do offer special data collection programs that you can “opt-in” to use, in some cases to receive e-mail on health topics or to participate in a new service.

Where this Information is Collected

We collect information about you at several places throughout the site. You will be informed on how this information is collected at that time. You will also have the ability to opt-in to information collection when you enter the site or use a service. Most information is collected in the following instances:

  • Registration
    In order to have access to all of the services and content available on our site, you are required to complete a registration form that requests certain information, such as name, telephone number and e-mail address. In addition, you are asked during registration to tell us about health topics that you are interested in. We offer specialized registration for certain programs, events, and classes that may request some or all of the above information.

We may use your registration information to send you an e-mail confirming your registration with our site, to respond to questions from you. We may also, from time to time, send e-mails, with your permission, on special promotions, community education programs and screenings.

  • Interactive Services/Tools
    Some of the interactive tools on our site ask you for personal information and health-related personal information. Specifically, our health risk assessment tools may ask for information on your personal and/or family medical history including height, weight, blood pressure, history of certain conditions and/or diseases and medication history. Our health care professional directory may ask you for information on your insurance plan and geographic location in order to identify listed professionals in your area.

The health risk assessment tools use the personal health information you provide to generate a personal health record to help you manage your health. Your personal health record is kept strictly confidential and can only be accessed by using your password and login ID. We will make every effort to maintain the confidentiality of this information.

Through our partner, HEALTHvision, WellMed, Inc. is contracted to provide the health risk assessment tools on this site. When you select to use a tool, you will in fact be working on WellMed’s site and it will collect your data and return the results directly to you via our servers. In all instances where a WellMed tool is used, you will have access to WellMed’s privacy policy and information on how the tool works and when it was last evaluated.

Our Site Uses Cookies

In addition to collecting information that you submit to us, we also rely on “cookies.” A cookie is a numeric code that a web site transfers to your hard drive for record-keeping purposes. Every computer is assigned a different cookie, but our cookie does not contain or collect your name or other personal identifying information. When you revisit our site, the cookie allows us to recognize you, your interests, and your preferences. We also use cookies to help track the level of interest in different features on our site and to compile data that can help us improve our content.

Your browser software can be set to reject all cookies, including cookies from our site. Most browsers offer instructions on how to reset the browser to reject cookies in the Help section of the toolbar. If you reject our cookie, certain functions and conveniences of the site may not work properly. You do not have to accept our cookie in order to productively use our site. If you accept our cookie, we will never link the cookie to personal information and/or health-related personal information you provide to us. We will not allow other sites or third parties to use our cookies.

How We Use Your Personal Information

We continually seek new ways to maintain your trust as a user and improve our offerings. To provide new and better services, we tend to monitor user traffic patterns and try to analyze what our users like and do not like about our current offerings so we can design better services for you. We may also use certain information for testing purposes, site development and planning, and during the normal course of maintaining the site. When you use our site, you automatically allow us to collect this information. In these cases, researchers, business analysts, system designers, and others may have access to the data we collect.

We do not intend to use or disclose any personal information or health-related personal information you provide on our site to any unrelated third party.

  • We may also share aggregate statistical information on our users, sales, traffic patterns and site usage with our business partners and sponsors. There is nothing in this information that could be used to identify or contact you.
  • We may, from time to time, contract with vendors to provide specific services, such as data analysis, data storage, e-mail processing, customer service, sweepstakes or special promotions. We ask vendors to adhere to our confidentiality standards and do not permit a vendor to use our customer information for any other purpose. In many of these instances, you will be given the opportunity to opt-in to this collection of information and can opt-out at any time.
  • In certain limited circumstances, we may be legally compelled to release your personal information in response to a court order, subpoena, search warrant, law or regulation. In the event that we are compelled to disclose personal information and/or health-related personal information to a third party, we will notify you unless doing so would violate the law or court order. We also reserve the right to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in investigating and prosecuting users that violate our rules or engage in behavior that is harmful (or illegal) to other users.

Our Relationship with Third Parties

We have business relationships with third-party vendors that deliver services and content. We ask that all business partners disclose their confidentiality practices and procedures and agree to abide by our privacy statement. We make diligent efforts to ensure that third-party vendors are above board; however, we are separate organizations and as such we are not privy to the details of their operations and not responsible for their actions.

External Links

We feature external links to other web sites that we believe you might find useful; however, we do not endorse these sites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of these external sites. We will make every effort to notify you when you are leaving our site and we encourage you to read the privacy policy of each site you visit that may collect information or ask you to disclose personal information and/or health-related personal information.

Regarding Children’s Use of the Site

Parents and guardians of minors who permit their children to use our site should be aware that any information volunteered by a child in a chat room, bulletin board, moderated online discussion or other public forum on our site could be used by other persons participating or observing activities on the site to contact the child via e-mail or in some other manner. We do not have control over the actions of these third parties and are not responsible for any contacts that may occur. When it is brought to our attention that a 13 or under user has volunteered personal information on a chat room or other public forum on our site, we will delete such information from our active databases in accordance to our deletion policy.

Your Privacy Choices

You have the choice on this site to opt-in to information collected about you in most circumstances, the exceptions being the instances when data are used for site maintenance and so on. If you opt-in to data collection we make every effort to give you detailed information on the program or service you select. To opt-out of data collection, make any changes or updates, or request that information be deleted, you have several choices.

Opt-out

When you register with our site, you are given the option of receiving e-mail with information including promotions, announcements of new services and products, and newsletters on particular health topics. You may also participate in our personalized e-mail reminder system that allows you to send an e-mail reminding you of certain health-related activities such as a doctor’s visit or to schedule tests.  If you decide, at any time, that you no longer wish to receive these e-mails you may opt-out by deselecting the checkbox on your personal information page.

Change/Update Personal Information

You may change or update your personal information and/or health-related personal information at any time using the following options:

  • Go to your personal information page and change the information there.
  • You can contact us in writing using the address in our Contact Us link.

Remove or Delete Personal Information

You may remove previously provided personal and/or health-related personal information at any time using the following options:

  • You can contact us in writing using the address in our Contact Us link.

Users should be aware that it is not always technically possible to remove or delete the information you provide to us. We back-up our systems to protect information from inadvertent loss, and that means a copy of your personal information may exist in a non-erasable form that may be difficult or impossible for us to locate. Nevertheless, upon receiving your request we will try to remove or delete all personal information and/or health-related personal information stored in the databases that we maintain. We will not intentionally disclose any personal information stored in a non-erasable format after receiving your request for removal, except as required by law.

  
     
© 2014   University Health Care System
1350 Walton Way, Augusta, Georgia
(706) 722-9011