Notice of Privacy Practices (HIPAA)
The Notice of Privacy Practices describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.
Collecting and using personal information
Welcome to the St. Luke's Hospital website. We appreciate your interest in us! When you visit and navigate our sites and when you communicate with us via our website, we will not collect personal information about you unless you provide us that information voluntarily. If you provide personal information to us voluntarily via our website, we will not sell, license or transmit that information outside of St. Luke's Hospital and affiliated vendors/contractors who are involved in administering or providing services for fulfillment of your specific information requests (newsletters and e-health information). We will disclose information in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and will require recipients to protect the information and use it only for the purpose provided.
By "personal information," we mean data that is unique to an individual, such as a name, address, social security number or telephone number. We may request personal information from you at our site in order to deliver requested materials to you, respond to your questions or deliver a product or service.
E-mail and asking questions
First of all, it is important that you realize that any online health services and health information is not intended as a substitute for direct information from a trained medical professional, such as a physician, nurse or caregiver. You should always consult directly with a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment of any specific health problems or immediate health concerns. The information on our website is not medical advice!
We welcome your health-related comments or questions or general questions about our website and have provided e-mail contact opportunities for that purpose. We will share your comments and questions with our customer service personnel (often My Nurse staff, sometimes other clinical staff members) and those employees most capable of addressing your questions and concerns.
Please note that your e-mail, like most, if not all, non-encrypted Internet e-mail communications, may be accessed and viewed by other Internet users, without your knowledge and permission, while in transit to us. For that reason, to protect your privacy, please do not use e-mail to communicate information to us that you consider confidential. If you wish, you may contact us instead via telephone at the numbers provided at various locations on our website.
Where you provide information to us using the "Ask a question" form, you will be advised that you are entering a secure transaction area. The information is placed on a secure server and then retrieved by personnel at My Nurse, our 24-hour a day health information and physician referral service. This information transmission is safer than ordinary e-mail. For your reply, please indicate whether you wish us to respond to you by telephone or by your e-mail address to you (please note that such an e-mail reply is not delivered in a secure server environment, hence not private-see notes about regular e-mail, above).
Beyond answering your question, website management personnel will periodically review questions (without patient identifiers or e-mail addresses) to determine if additional information should be placed on the web site that would benefit other patients.
Healthcare content on this site
The health care information provided on or accessed from this site has been authored by UnityPoint Health and the staff members and physicians of its affiliates, with the exception of the health care information that has been authored by and purchased from third party vendors including, but not limited to, A.D.A.M., HealthDay and HeartAware, who are responsible for security and quality of information licensed by them. UnityPoint Health provides health care information for general knowledge and education and this content is not intended as a replacement for advice from your personal physician or direct caregivers.
We will use security procedures to protect personal information you submit to us from misuse or unauthorized disclosure. The personal information that you submit to us is stored in a secure database behind an electronic firewall. You can access your personal information only by using a password. We encourage you to change your password regularly and not to share it with anyone.
Access to the data is limited to a few computer technicians for our site who need to maintain the database and who also use passwords for that access, as well as outside vendors who may occasionally assist us in maintaining and improving our hardware and software tools.
St. Luke's Hospital will make every effort to safeguard your personal information. However, like other Internet sites, we cannot guarantee that it is completely secure from people who might attempt to evade security measures or intercept transmissions over the Internet.
Rules for online classes, chatrooms, bulletin boards and other user-supplied material
This site may have an area which allows you to 'chat' or upload and download materials. When using any of these areas, you agree not to post, send, transmit, upload or otherwise publish through this site, any materials that (1) interfere with anyone else's use of the site; (2) are abusive, illegal, indecent, obscene, offensive or threatening in any way; (3) encourage anyone to break the law; (4) violate anyone's copyright or other property right; (5) interfere with the privacy of any other user; (6) contain a virus or any other harmful component; or (7) contain false or misleading statements of fact or descriptions of the origin of the material or the communication. You agree to comply with any additional terms which are referred to on this site or any sub-site within the site.
Responsibility for user's material
You are prohibited from posting or transmitting any defamatory, libelous, obscene, pornographic, profane, threatening or unlawful material or any material that could constitute or encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offense or give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any law. Although St. Luke's Hospital may from time to time monitor or review bulletin boards, chat rooms, discussions, postings, transmissions and the like on the site, St. Luke's Hospital is under no obligation to do so and assumes no liability or responsibility arising from the contents of any such communications or for any defamation, error, inaccuracy, libel, obscenity or profanity contained in any such communication. St. Luke's Hospital may change, edit, or remove any user material or conversations that are illegal, indecent, obscene or offensive, or that violates St. Luke's Hospital's policies in any way. St. Luke's Hospital will fully cooperate with any law enforcement authorities or court order requesting or directing St. Luke's Hospital to disclose the identity of anyone posting such materials.
You should also be aware that when you visit our website, we collect certain information that does not identify you personally, but provides us with "usage data," such as the number of visitors we receive or what pages are visited most often. This data helps us to analyze and improve the usefulness of the information we provide online. We do not collect information about your specific use on the site or track what you view.
We use IP addresses to collect aggregate information about numbers of visitors and site usage. An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) whenever you access the Internet. This number may be the same each time you access the Internet or it may change. The address is logged on our server when your computer requests information. However, to allow users to access our site anonymously, your IP address is not linked with personal information about you. (We reserve the right, however, to use IP addresses to identify any individuals who threaten our site, service or customers.)
As our website develops, we may also use what is known as "cookie" technology. A "cookie" is an element of data that a website can send to your browser when you link to that website. It is not a computer program and has no ability to read data residing on your computer or instruct it to perform any step or function. By assigning a unique data element to each visitor, the website is able to recognize repeat users, track usage patterns and better serve you when you return to that site. The cookie does not extract other personal information about you, such as your name or address. Most browsers provide a simple procedure that will
enable you to control whether you want to receive cookies by notifying you when a website is about to deposit a cookie file.
Linking to other sites
From time to time our website may provide links to other websites, not owned or controlled by St. Luke's Hospital that we think might be useful or of interest to you. We cannot, however, be responsible for the privacy practices used by other website owners or the content or accuracy of those other websites. Links to various outside websites do not constitute or imply endorsement by St. Luke's Hospital of these websites, any products or services described on these sites, or of any other material contained in them.
Changes to this statement
St. Luke's Hospital may change this statement from time to time without notice. We plan to post notice on our home page for no less than a week if any significant changes occur. This privacy statement is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights in or on behalf of any party.