We may use your medical information to provide you with medical services and supplies. We may also disclose your medical information to others who need that information to treat you, such as doctors, physician assistants, nurses, medical and nursing students, technicians, therapists, emergency service and medical transportation providers, medical equipment providers, and others involved in your care.
For example, we will allow your primary care physician to have access to your Hospital medical record. To assure that your other treatment providers have quick access to your latest health information, we may participate in a community-based electronic health information exchange. We also may use and disclose your medical information to contact you to remind you of an upcoming appointment, to inform you about possible treatment options or alternatives, or to tell you about health-related services available to you, or to perform follow-up calls to monitor your care experience.
In order to assist family members and other visitors in locating you while you are in the Hospital, the Hospital maintains a patient directory. This directory includes your name, room number, your general condition (such as fair, stable, or critical), and your religious affiliation (if any). We will disclose this information to someone who asks for you by name; we will disclose your religious affiliation only to clergy members. If you do not want to be included in the Hospital’s patient directory, please tell our Registration personnel when you are admitted. You may be asked to fill out a simple form.
Family Members and Others Involved in Your Care:
We may disclose your medical information to a family member or friend who is involved in your medical care, or to someone who helps to pay for your care. We also may disclose your medical information to disaster relief organizations to help locate a family member or friend in a disaster. During visits with family members and other visitors, let your physician and Hospital personnel know if you do not want them to disclose your medical information during the visit.
We may use and disclose your medical information to get paid for the medical services and supplies we provide to you. For example, your health plan or health insurance company may ask to see parts of your medical record before they will pay us for your treatment.
We may use and disclose your medical information if it is necessary to improve the quality of care we provide to patients or to run the Hospital. We may use your medical information to conduct quality improvement activities, to obtain audit, accounting or legal services, or to conduct business management and planning. For example, we may look at your medical record to evaluate the care provided by Hospital personnel, your doctors, or other health care professionals.
We may use or disclose your medical information for research projects, such as studying the effectiveness of a treatment you received. These research projects must go through a special process that protects the confidentiality of your medical information.
Required by Law:
Federal, state, or local laws sometimes require us to disclose patients’ medical information. For instance, we are required to report child abuse or neglect and must provide certain information to law enforcement officials in domestic violence cases. We also are required to give information to the State Workers’ Compensation Program for work-related injuries.
We also may report certain medical information for public health purposes. For instance, we are required to report births, deaths, and communicable diseases to the State. We also may need to report patient problems with medications or medical products to the FDA, or may notify patients of recalls of products they are using.
We may disclose medical information for public safety purposes in limited circumstances. We may disclose medical information to law enforcement officials in response to a search warrant or a grand jury subpoena. We also may disclose medical information to assist law enforcement officials in identifying or locating a person, to prosecute a crime of violence, to report deaths that may have resulted from criminal conduct, and to report criminal conduct at the Hospital. We also may disclose your medical information to law enforcement officials and others to prevent a serious threat to health or safety.
Health Oversight Activities:
We may disclose medical information to a government agency that oversees the Hospital or its personnel, such as the State Department of Health, the federal agencies that oversee Medicare, the Board of Medical Examiners or the Board of Nursing. These agencies need medical information to monitor the Hospital’s compliance with state and federal laws.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors:
We may disclose medical information concerning deceased patients to coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors to assist them in carrying out their duties.
Organ and Tissue Donation:
We may disclose medical information to organizations that handle organ, eye or tissue donation or transplantation.
Military, Veterans, National Security and Other Government Purposes:
If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release your medical information as required by military command authorities or to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Hospital may also disclose medical information to federal officials for intelligence and national security purposes, or for presidential Protective Services.
The Hospital may disclose medical information if the Hospital is ordered to do so by a court or if the Hospital receives a subpoena or a search warrant. You will receive advance notice about this disclosure in most situations so that you will have a chance to object to sharing your medical information.
Information with Additional Protection:
Certain types of medical information have additional protection under state or federal law. For instance, medical information about communicable disease and HIV/AIDS, and evaluation and treatment for a serious mental illness is treated differently than other types of medical information. For those types of information, the Hospital is required to get your permission before disclosing that information to others in many circumstances.
WHEN IS YOUR AUTHORIZATION REQUIRED?
Uses and Disclosures for Which Your Authorization is Required:
With limited exceptions, the Hospital must obtain your written authorization before it may disclose your medical information in the following circumstances: (1) to disclose psychotherapy notes, (2) to conduct marketing activities, or (3) to sell your medical information to a third party.
Other Uses and Disclosures Requiring Authorization:
If the Hospital wishes to use or disclose your medical information for a purpose that is not discussed in this Notice, the Hospital will seek your written authorization. If you give your authorization to the Hospital, you may take back that authorization any time, unless we have already relied on your authorization to use or disclose the information. If you ever would like to revoke your authorization, please notify the Privacy Official in writing.