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.
- Understand 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.
- 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 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.
- Make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others.
- Your health information rights.
Although your health record is the physical property of Beaufort Memorial Hospital, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:
- Request a restriction on certain uses and disclosure of your information. Unless otherwise required by law you have the right to restrict release of your information to your insurance company if you make full payment at the time of service out of pocket or a third party pays on your behalf at the time of service.
- Obtain a paper copy of the notice of information practices upon request.
- Inspect and copy your health record.
- Amend your health record.
- Obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information (effective 4-14-03).
- 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.
Beaufort Memorial Hospital 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. This includes notification should a breach of your protected health information occur.
- 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’ve supplied to us.
- 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 you have questions and would like additional information, you may contact the privacy officer at 843-522-5775.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the 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 options:
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 or her 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 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 and 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.
We will contact Patient Affairs at the Naval Hospital before and after care is rendered for any active duty military personnel.
There are some services provided in our organization through contacts with business associates. Examples include physician services in 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. To protect your health information, however, we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.
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.
We may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, a 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. A decedent's information may be disclosed to family members unless the decedent objected prior to his/her death to disclosing information to family members.
We may disclose information to researchers when an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information has approved their research.
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 donations and transplant.
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. You may opt out of continued marketing if your interest does lie there.
We may use certain information (name, address, telephone number, dates of service, age and gender) to contact you in the future to raise money for Beaufort Memorial Hospital. We may also provide this information to our institutionally related foundation, for the same purpose. The money raised will be used to expand and improve the services and programs we provide the community. You have the right to opt out of receiving fundraising communications.
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.
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.
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.
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 others.
Schools and educational institutions:
We may disclose proof of immunizations to schools without written authorization if the school is legally
required to have the information prior to admitting the student.
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.