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Terms & Conditions of Use


Who We Are
At Catholic Healthcare West, we are committed to providing patients and users of this Service authoritative and reliable health information. To achieve our goal of providing online information that is thorough, well-written, accurate, up-to-date, and unbiased, we have developed a rigorous set of ethical and editorial standards and processes.

This website, including all of its content, look and feel, databases, domain name (collectively the “Service”) is owned and maintained by or for Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), a California non-profit public benefit corporation, on behalf of itself and its hospitals, research institutes, clinics, outreach programs, wellness education programs, and home health agencies, all of which are hereinafter collectively referred to as "CHW", "we", "us", or "our". The term "you" or "your" refers to viewers or users of this Service.

This document, consisting of Part I, Part II, and Part III, is both an AGREEMENT hereby entered into by you and CHW and also the policy of CHW in making this Service available to you.

Part I - Services Provided through this Website

This Part I describes how information provided through this Service is selected, reviewed, and updated, and what the role of this Service is in providing information. If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please contact our Website Service manager at webmaster@chw.edu

This Service provides health information, not medical advice
The information and online services we provide through this Service are not meant to replace the advice and care you receive from your physician or other health care professionals. The "My Health" section of the Service is not reviewed or moderated by a healthcare professional. Unless specifically stated otherwise, any chat rooms or other message forum accessed via this Service are not moderated by a healthcare professional, and any communications in such chat rooms do not constitute medical advice and should not be relied upon as such. Any medical information on any online pre-registrations forms or referral forms which may be made make available through this Service as a convenience to you is not be reviewed by a healthcare provider until after your in-person registration.

We hope that this information will help you to be better able to participate with your health care providers in making informed decisions about your care. Except where explicitly stated otherwise, it is not intended as specific medical advice. It is not a substitute for appropriate professional medical treatment or diagnosis. The resources, data submission forms, and other means of communication provided through this Service are for non-urgent purposes only.

Do not attempt to access emergency care through this Service.  If you think you have a medical or psychiatric emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital

What is a medical or psychiatric emergency?

An emergency medical condition is a medical or psychiatric condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in any of the following:

  • serious jeopardy to your health
  • serious impairment in your bodily functions
  • serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part

Examples of symptoms that may be an emergency medical condition include the following:

  • chest pain or pressure which may radiate to the arms, neck, back, shoulder, jaw, arm, or wrist
  • sudden onset of severe abdominal pain
  • severe shortness of breath
  • sudden decrease in or loss of consciousness
  • sudden inability to talk or to move one side of the body, or sudden slurred speech
  • severe, persistent bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • major injuries such as gunshot or stab wounds or severe injuries from a vehicle accident

If you think you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 immediately! Do not attempt to access emergency care through this Service.

If you are not sure what type of care you need, please call your personal physician.

What is an urgent symptom?

An urgent care need is one that requires prompt medical attention, usually within 24 to 48 hours, but is not an emergency medical condition. Examples of urgent care situations include:

  • minor injuries
  • sore throats and upper respiratory symptoms
  • earaches
  • coughs
  • backaches
  • frequent urination or burning sensation when urinating

If you think you have an urgent symptom, please do not send a message through this Service. Please call your local medical facility or advice nurse.

Content selection and credibility

Topics to be covered, their emphasis, and placement on the site are determined by our Service content team.

Whether produced by CHW or licensed from outside sources, our site will contain health information that we believe to be credible and up-to-date. We will not make claims of therapeutic benefit without reasonable support. We encourage you to submit any comments or concerns you have about any health information Content on this Service by contacting our Web Service manager at ??chw.edu.

Where our health information comes from
The health information on this Service is either:

  • authored or produced by CHW staff and physicians
  • licensed from reviewed and approved outside sources


Health links
To provide you with additional resources, this Service may contain hyperlinks to non-CHW services. However, unless we state otherwise, providing an external link does not imply its may be of benefit to you or that it is formally endorsed by CHW. We will make reasonable efforts to ascertain that linked sites abide by appropriate ethical standards of conduct. While we do select the sites we link to with care, we do not vouch for or assume responsibility for the material contained on those sites.

When you do choose to link to an external site, you will be clearly advised that you are exiting our site.

External health-related Services to which we provide a link must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The Service is provided by an organization known to CHW
  • It offers relevant products, services, and/or health information
  • The health information on this site meets our standards for thoroughness, accuracy, relevance, and timeliness

We reevaluate all external health-related Services to which we link at least annually.

Classes
Information on health education or other classes will be updated regularly. However, we urge you to call the telephone number provided in order to make sure class information is up-to-date.

Updating our policy
As the types of health and medical information we produce and review undergo change, we will update this policy. The date of the most recent update will be clearly posted at the end of this policy. We encourage you to periodically reread this policy, to see if there have been any changes to our policies that may affect you.

Vendor relationships
We will clearly disclose on the site any significant business relationships between CHW and other organizations mentioned on our site. We will make reasonable efforts to determine that companies that provide health content or health-related services for this Service abide by appropriate ethical standards of conduct.

Conflict-of-interest policy
To keep our health information as free from bias as possible, we require all CHW authors, editors, message board moderators, and other content contributors to this Service to disclose any potential conflicts of interest they may have. Possible conflicts of interest include financial relationships or other affiliations with businesses or organizations that promote or sell products or services that are the subjects of the health information being considered. If such conflicts of interest exist, or if there would be a reasonable perception by the public that a conflict of interest could exist, the person would be excluded from contributing to that particular topic.

Advertising policy
This Service does not accept payment for advertising from any source not affiliated with CHW.

Product sales policy
Any information promoting a product or service that is offered for sale via this Service will be clearly identified as marketing information.

Part II - Privacy Practices for this Service

This Part II of the policy describes how we protect your privacy as a user of this Service; not as a patient. If you are a patient of a CHW medical facility, you have other rights with respect to data within a designated record set, which is a term defined under the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"). For a more complete description of a patient’s rights under HIPAA, please refer to the Joint Notice of Privacy Practices of your specific CHW medical facility by clicking here.

Web Site Privacy Statement
We do not sell or rent personal information received through your use of this Service.

This Service has security measures in place to help protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of information under our control. These measures include encryption of data using the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) system, and using a secured messaging service when we send you personal information electronically. Despite these measures, the confidentiality of any communication or material transmitted to or from us via this Service by Internet or e-mail cannot be guaranteed. At your discretion, you may contact us at the mailing address or telephone number listed under a particular CHW facility website herein. If you have privacy or data security related questions, please feel free to contact the office identified at the end of this document.

Use of Data Received in Pre-Registration or Referral Forms
Should you submit information on a pre-registration form using this Service, the data (“Data”) therein may become part of a designated record set that we create for you. However, such Data will not be reviewed by a healthcare provider and will not be deemed part of our designated record set unless and until you are registered in person at our medical facility. Should you fail to be registered in person at the CHW medical facility and date designated, we will keep the Data for up to thirty (30) days and thereafter delete it from our files.

Site Visitor data
CHW routinely gathers data on activity at this Service site, such as how many people visit the site, the pages they visit, where they come from, how long they stay on the site, etc. The data is collected on an aggregate, anonymous basis, which means that no personally identifiable information is associated with the data. This data helps us improve the Service for you, including it site content and overall usage. The information is not shared with other organizations for their independent use.

Collecting and using personal information
Except as disclosed in this policy and the Joint Notice of Privacy Practices, we do not collect any identifiable information about visitors to this site.

1. Web logs
We maintain standard web logs that record data about all visitors and customers who use this site and we store this information for a while. These logs may contain the Internet domain from which you access the site (such as aol.com, abc.org, etc.); the IP address which is automatically assigned to your computer when you get on the Internet (a static IP address may be identifiable as being connected to you, while a dynamic address is usually not identifiable); the type of browser and operating system you use; the date and time you visited the site; the pages you viewed on the site; the address of the website you linked from, if any. If you sign on to this Service to use its secured features, our web logs will also contain an individual identifier and show the services you have accessed.

All web logs are stored securely, and may only be accessed by CHW employees or designees on a need-to-know basis for a specific purpose. CHW uses web log information to help us design our site, to identify popular features, to resolve user, hardware, and software problems, and to make the site more useful to visitors.

2. Internet cookies
We may place Internet "cookies" on the computer hard drives of visitors to this Service site. Information we obtain from cookies helps us to tailor our site to be more helpful and efficient for you. The cookie consists of a unique identifier that does not contain information about you or your health history. We use two types of cookies, "session" cookies and "persistent" cookies.

A session cookie is temporary, and expires after you end a session and close your web browser. We use session cookies to help customize your experience on our site, maintain your signed-on status as you navigate through our features, and to track your "click path" through our web pages.

Persistent cookies remain on your hard drive after you've exited from our site, and we use them for several reasons. For instance, when you give us permission to "remember" a feature about you when asked by the web site, such as your nearest CHW medical facility, we place a persistent cookie on your hard drive so that the next time you visit us, we won't have to ask you that information again. If you've given us permission to e-mail you with information about your CHW health care services, or for other reasons, we may place a persistent cookie on your hard drive that will let us know when you come back to visit our site. We sometimes use this type of persistent cookie with a "web beacon" (see below). Persistent cookies will not contain any personal information about you such as a Catholic Healthcare West Health/Medical Record number.

You may have software on your computer that will allow you to decline or deactivate Internet cookies, but if you do so, some features of this site may not work properly for you. For instructions on how to remove cookies from your hard drive, go to your browser's help file for detailed instructions and browser updates available from the browser licensor. In addition, further information regarding cookies may be available on other websites or from your Internet service provider. Netscape and Internet Explorer are two common browsers.

3. Web beacons
We may also occasionally use "web beacons" (also known as "clear gifs," "web bugs, " "1-pixel gifs," etc.) that allow us to collect non-personal information about your response to our e-mail communications, and for other purposes. Web beacons are tiny images, placed on a Web page or e-mail, that can tell us if you've gone to a particular area on our Service site. For example, if you've given us permission to send you e-mails, we may send you an e-mail urging you to use a certain feature of this Service. If you do respond to that e-mail and use that feature, the web beacon will tell us that our e-mail communication with you has been successful. We do not collect any personal health information with a web beacon, and do not link web beacons with any other personal health information you've given us.

Since Web beacons are used in conjunction with persistent cookies (described above), if you set your browser to decline or deactivate cookies, Web beacons cannot function.

4. E-mails
We may use a third-party vendor to help us manage some of our e-mail communications with you. While we may supply this vendor with e-mail addresses of those we wish them to contact, your e-mail address is never used for any purpose other than to communicate with you on our behalf. When you click on a link in an e-mail, you may temporarily be redirected through one of the vendor's servers (although this process will be invisible to you) which will register that you've clicked on that link, and have visited our Service site. CHW never shares any information, other than your e-mail address, with our third-party e-mail vendor, which does not share these e-mail addresses with anyone else.

Even if you have given us permission to send e-mails to you, you may revoke that permission at any time by following the "unsubscribe" information at the bottom of each such e-mail.

5. Evaluation and research
We will periodically ask users to complete surveys asking about their experiences with features of the Web site. Our surveys ask visitors for demographic information such as age, gender, and education, but will not request in such surveys that users provide specific information about any medical condition. We use survey information for research and quality improvement purposes, including helping CHW to improve information and services offered through this Service. In addition, users giving feedback may be individually contacted for follow-up due to concerns raised during the course of such evaluation. Demographic information and web log data may be stored for future research and evaluation.

6. Messages and transactions
Comments or questions sent to us using e-mail or secure messaging forms will be shared with CHW staff and health care professionals who are most able to address your concerns. We will archive your messages once we have made our best effort to provide you with a complete and satisfactory response. However, they will not become part of your medical record or a designated record set unless and until you are seen and examined in person by a CHW healthcare professional.

When you use a service on the secure section of this Web site to interact directly with Catholic Healthcare West health care professionals, some information you provide may be documented in your medical record, and available for use to guide your treatment as a patient.

7. Credit card transactions
If you provide us with your credit card number for pharmacy prescriptions or other payments, we will treat your credit card number in a secure manner. But your credit card number should never be entered into an unsecured website page. Not all pages on this Service are intended to be secure. Only provide a credit card number in the box that we specifically designate.

8. Data integrity and correction
Requests to view and correct personal information on this Service that is documented in your medical record may be submitted using the contact information provided at the end of the Joint Notice of Privacy Practices for your specific CHW medical facility (list of CHW facilities and homehealth agencies).

9. Children
We do not knowingly allow or solicit anyone under the age of 13 to participate in any activity at this site, and we do not knowingly allow CHW patients under the age of 13 to create accounts that allow access to the secured features of this site.)

10. Disclosures
We may disclose personal information to any person performing audit, legal, operational, or other services for us. We will use information which does not identify the individual for these activities whenever feasible. Personal information disclosed to vendors or contractors for our operational purposes may not be re-disclosed to others by such a vendor or contractor.

We may disclose personal information when required to do so by a subpoena, court order, or search warrant. We may disclose personal information as we deem it appropriate to protect the safety of an individual or for an investigation related to public safety or to report an activity that appears to be in violation of law. We may disclose personal information to protect the security and reliability of this Service and to take precautions against liability.

11. Opt out
If a user makes a request to receive information in an ongoing manner through this Service by providing their e-mail address (for example, requesting a subscription to one of our online publications), a user may make a request to discontinue future mailings. Similarly, if you receive information about a CHW service through e-mail, you may make a request to discontinue receiving similar messages in the future. All such materials sent to you by e-mail will contain information about how to opt out.

Part III - Terms and Conditions for this Service

Purpose
CHW provides this Service a to allow its users to view information, communicate with our providers and staff and each other, and obtain clinical and insurance services. This resource is not a substitute for the advice of your personal physician or other qualified health care professional. The mention of specific products or services by this Service does not constitute or imply a recommendation or endorsement by CHW unless it is specifically stated.

Links
This Service may provide links to other websites that are not owned or controlled by us. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of other websites. Consult the privacy statement of each website you visit. Links to other websites do not constitute or imply endorsement by CHW of those sites, the information they contain, or any products or services they describe.

Access, correction, and data integrity
Although we attempt to ensure the integrity and accurateness of this Service, we make no guarantees as to its correctness or accuracy. It is possible that the Service could include typographical errors, inaccuracies, or other errors, and that unauthorized additions, deletions, and alterations could be made to the Service by third parties. In the event that an inaccuracy arises, please inform us so that it can be corrected.

Revisions, changes, and updates
We may revise our policies and the information provided by this Service or change or update the Service without notice. CHW may also make improvements and/or changes in products and/or services described in this information or add new features at any time without notice. Any revised policy will apply both to information we already have about you at the time of the change, and any personal information created or received after the change takes effect. We encourage you to periodically reread these Terms and Conditions to see if there have been any changes to our policies that may affect you.

Visitor/member message boards and other interactive areas
CHW may, but is not obligated to, monitor or review any areas of this site where visitors transmit or post communications or communicate solely with each other, including, but not limited to, message boards and other user forums, and the content of any such communications. CHW, however, will have no liability related to the content of any such communications, whether or not arising under the laws of copyright, libel, privacy, obscenity, or otherwise. CHW retains the right to remove, in its sole discretion, communications that include any material deemed abusive, defamatory, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

Warranty Disclaimer
CHW provides the information on this Service. THIS SITE AND ITS CONTENT AND SITE-RELATED SERVICES ARE PROVIDED "AS IS," WITH ALL FAULTS, WITH NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. YOU ASSUME TOTAL RESPONSIBILITY AND RISK FOR YOUR USE OF THIS SITE, SITE-RELATED SERVICES, AND HYPERLINKED WEBSITES. NO ORAL OR WRITTEN INFORMATION OR ADVICE GIVEN BY CHW NOR ITS AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVES SHALL CREATE A WARRANTY NOR IN ANY WAY INCREASE THE SCOPE OF THIS WARRANTY.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
CHW, ITS SUPPLIERS, AND OTHER THIRD PARTIES MENTIONED ON THIS SITE ARE NEITHER RESPONSIBLE NOR LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, PUNITIVE, OR OTHER DAMAGES (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THOSE RESULTING FROM LOST PROFITS, LOST DATA, OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING IN ANY WAY TO THE SITE, SITE-RELATED SERVICES AND PRODUCTS, CONTENT OR INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN THE "SITE," AND/OR ANY HYPERLINKED WEBSITE, WHETHER BASED ON WARRANTY, CONTRACT, TORT, OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY AND WHETHER OR NOT ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. YOUR SOLE REMEDY FOR DISSATISFACTION WITH THE SITE, SITE-RELATED SERVICES, AND/OR HYPERLINKED WEBSITES IS TO STOP USING THE SITE AND/OR THOSE SERVICES. APPLICABLE LAW MAY NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

Copyrights
Except as otherwise indicated, all content on this site, including text, graphics, logos, button icons, photos, images, forms, audio, video, questionnaires, "look and feel" and software, is the property of CHW and/or its licensors and is protected by United States and international copyright laws. The compilation of all content on this site is the exclusive property of CHW and/or its licensors and is protected by United States and international copyright laws. Unless specifically authorized in writing by CHW, any use of these materials, or of any materials contributed to this site by entities other than CHW on any other website or networked computer environment for any purpose is prohibited. Copyright 1996 to 2004, CHW. All rights reserved for all countries. Any rights not expressly granted by these terms and conditions or any applicable end-user license agreements are reserved by CHW. The materials provided by this Service may be downloaded and/or reprinted for personal use only. Permission to reprint or electronically reproduce any document or graphic in whole or in part for any reason is expressly prohibited, unless prior written consent is obtained from the copyright holder(s).

Trademarks and service marks
The names, words, symbols, and graphics representing Catholic Healthcare West, CHW, and “Health Security Index” are the trademarks or registered trademarks of Catholic Healthcare West and protected by trademark laws of the U.S.A. and other countries. Other proprietary CHW may be designated as such from time to time on this site through use of the TM, SM, or ® symbols. Users of this site are not authorized to make any use of the CHW marks, including, but not limited to, as metatags or in any other fashion which may create a false or misleading impression of affiliation or sponsorship with or by CHW.

Infected or Corrupted Materials
You also understand that the Provider cannot and does not guarantee or warrant that files available for downloading through the Service will be free of infection or viruses, worms, Trojan horses or other code that manifest contaminating or destructive properties. Each Member is responsible for implementing sufficient procedures and checkpoints to satisfy his or her particular requirements for accuracy of data input and output, and for maintaining a means external to the Service for the reconstruction of any lost data. The Provider does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of the Service.

Questions, complaints, and contacts
If you have any questions about this policy and agreement, including your rights under this document, you can contact CHW by telephone at (415) 438-5565, by sending an email message to the CHW Chief Privacy and Data Security Administrator at cpdsa@chw.edu, or by U.S. mail at the address below:

Catholic Healthcare West
185 Berry Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, California 94107
Attn: Chief Privacy and Data Security Administrator

For all other questions, please use the contact information for the specific hospital, clinic, or program as provided at www.chw.edu.

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