Privacy Practices

Notice of Privacy Practices

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.  PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.

Understanding Your Health Record/Information

Each time you visit a hospital, physician, or other healthcare provider, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as your health or medical record, serves as a:

  • 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 you received;
  • means by which you or a third party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided;
  • tool in educating health professionals;
  • source of data for medical research;
  • source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of the nation;
  • source of data for facility planning and marketing; and,
  • tool with which we can assess and continually work to improve the care we render 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; and,
  • make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others.

Your Health Information Rights:

Although your health record is the physical property of the healthcare practitioner or facility that compiled it, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:

  • request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information, upon written request, as provided by 45 CFR 164.522 and organization policy
  • receive confidential communications of protected health information, as provided by 45 CFR 164.522 (b) as applicable;
  • obtain a paper copy of the notice of privacy practices upon request;
  • inspect and copy your health record, upon written request, as provided for in 45 CFR 164.524 and organization policy (a copy fee applies);
  • amend or correct your health record, upon written request, as provided in 45 CFR 164.528 and organization policy;
  • obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information, upon written request, as provided in 45 CFR 164.528 and organization policy;
  • request communications of your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations;
  • revoke your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that action has already been taken; and,
  • file a complaint with our organization and/or with the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Our Responsibilities:

This organization is required to:

  • 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; and
  • 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 provide notice of such change on our website and by updating this Notice, which will be available at our organization.

We will not use or disclose your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice.

For More Information or to Report a Problem

If have questions and would like additional information, you may contact our organization’s Privacy Officer at (740) 282-5323.

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with our organization’s Privacy Officer or with the Secretary of Health and Human Services.   There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint.

Examples of Disclosures for Treatment, Payment and Health Operations

(made without your authorization)

We will use your health information for treatment. For example: Information obtained by a nurse, physician or other member of your healthcare team will be recorded in your record and used to determine the course of treatment that should work best for you. Your physician will document in your record his expectations of the members of your healthcare team.  Members of your healthcare team will then record the actions they took and their observations.  In that way, the physician will know how you are responding to treatment.

We will also provide your physician or a subsequent healthcare provider with copies of various reports that should assist him/her in treating you once you're discharged from this hospital.

We will use your health information for payment. For example: A bill may be sent to you or a third party payer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis, procedures and supplies used.

We will use your health information for regular health operations. For example: Members of the medical staff, the risk or quality improvement manager, or members of the quality improvement team may use information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your case and others like it. This information will then be used in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare and service we provide.

Other Uses or Disclosures

(made without your authorization)

Business Associates: There are some services provided in our organization through contacts with business associates. Examples include physician servicesin the Emergency Department and Radiology, certain laboratory tests, and a copy service we use when making copies of your health record. When these services are contracted, we may disclose your health information to our business associate so that they can perform the job we've asked them to do and bill you or your third party payer for services rendered. So that your health information is protected, however, we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.

Directory: Unless you notify us that you object, we 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.

Notification: We may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, your location, and general condition.

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.

Research: We may disclose information to researchers when their research has been approved by an Institutional Review Board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information.

Funeral Directors: We may disclose health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to carry out their duties.

Organ Procurement Organizations: Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking, or transplantation of organs for the purpose of tissue donation and transplant.

Marketing: We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.

Fund Raising: We may contact you as part of a fund-raising effort.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA): We may disclose to the FDA health information relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, product and product defects or post marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs or replacement.

Workers Compensation: 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.

Public Health Risks:  As required by law, we may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following:

  • to prevent or control disease, injury, or disability;
  • to report births and deaths;
  • to report child abuse or neglect;
  • to report reactions to medications or problems with products;
  • to notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
  • to notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition;
  • to notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.

Correctional Institution: Should you be an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose to the institution or agents thereof, health information necessary for your health, and the health and safety of other individuals.

Law Enforcement: We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law, or in response to a valid subpoena, warrant, summons, or court order.

Appointment Reminders: We may use and disclose medical information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care at the hospital.

Treatment Alternatives: We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.

Health-Related Benefits and Services:  We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.

Military and Veterans:  If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities.  We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.

Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law.  These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure.  These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.

National Security and Intelligence Activities: We may release medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.

Protective Services for the President and Others: We may disclose medical information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons, or foreign heads of state or conduct special investigations.

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 workforce 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.

Health Information Exchange: We participate in one or more Health Information Exchanges. Your healthcare providers can use this electronic network to securely provide access to your health records for a better picture of your health needs. We, and other healthcare providers, may allow access to your health information through the Health Information Exchange for treatment, payment or other healthcare operations. This is a voluntary agreement. You may opt-out at any time by notifying the Medical Records Department.

Effective Date:  April 14, 2003

Acknowledgement of Receipt of Notice

  I understand that Trinity Health System, Steel Valley Emergency Physicians, LLC, 

  Ohio Valley Pathology Associates, Inc., Steuben Radiology Associates, Inc., Allegheny

  Specialty Practice Network, Trinity Anesthesiology Associates, and Trinity Medical

  Staff is part of an organized healthcare arrangement and that these providers may 

  share my health information for treatment, billing and healthcare operations. I have

  been given the opportunity to receive a copy of the organization's Notice of Privacy

  Practices that describes how my health information is used and shared. I understand 

  the organized healthcare arrangement has the right to change this notice at any time.

 I may obtain a current copy by contacting the hospital registration office or by visiting 

  the Web site at www.trinityhealth.com

  My signature below constitutes my acknowledgement that I have been provided with

  an opportunity to receive a copy of the Notice of Privacy Practices.

 

 

________________________________________                 _____________________

Signature of Patient or Legal Representative                            Date

 

 

If signed by legal representative, relationship to patient:__________________________

  (4000-110  Rev. 04/2003)