mPOWEr Privacy and Security Policy

This policy describes the privacy and security practices of mPOWEr, which is a project at the University of Washington. You may see mPOWEr systems at http://mpower.uwmedicine.org, http://mpower.cirg.washington.edu, or http://mpowercare.org

This privacy policy applies solely to information collected by these web sites and applications. It notifies you of the following:

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

You are the sole owner of the information you enter into this site. We only collect information that you voluntarily give us, or which you give us permission to obtain from your health care providers or others. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We may use your information to tailor mPOWEr to your unique health situation, to respond to you if you contact us, or to contact you regarding mPOWEr activities. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to contact you about information you enter, or to send you reminders or announcements related to mPOWEr.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about enhancements or changes to mPOWEr services, announcements regarding mPOWEr, or changes to this privacy policy.

We will try to respect your preferences for mode and type of communication, such as email, text, phone calls, etc., to the extent that we have implemented these abilities on the mPOWEr site.

Registration

In order to use mPOWEr, a user must first complete the registration process. During registration, a user may be required to give certain information (such as name, email address, gender, date of birth and a secret code to aid in resetting your password).

This information may be used to contact you as described above. At your option, you may also provide additional information about yourself, or clinical information about your health status, symptoms, and treatment, but it is not required.  If you do not provide information that we can use to customize the information on mPOWEr for your particular health status, symptoms, or treatment, you will either receive uncustomized information, or you may not be able to access certain mPOWEr features.  We will do our best to provide information specifically for you, with whatever optional information you provide.

Your Access to and Control Over Information

You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address given on our website (see Contact):

You can ask us to delete your account at any time, and we will make your account inactive and "zero out" all your information.  You will not be able to retrieve your information if your account has been deleted.

We can also choose to delete your account and discontinue your access to the service, if we feel that the way mPOWEr is being used causes a risk to your health or privacy, if we feel the system is not being used as intended, or if we decide to end use of any version of the mPOWEr tool, or to limit use of mPOWEr to specific geographic areas, patient groups, family, or individual users.  

Much of the information we keep about you can be viewed, and corrected, in the Patient Profile section of the web application.  Ensuring your health information is accurate will let us give you the most personally relevant advice and recommendations.

Contact

You may contact us at help@mpower.on.spiceworks.com for matters relating to mPOWEr or your health information stored in mPOWEr

Do not use that address for questions about your health care, about your surgical site, or to contact your health care provider.

Data Sharing

You may be able to give permission to us to share your information with your healthcare provider or organization, with family members or loved ones, or with others.   This feature may be implemented in different ways for different versions of mPOWEr, depending on whether you are using it independently, as part of your care through a health care organization, or in some other way.   If you give permission, we will require that the person with whom you are sharing information has an account directly on the mPOWEr system, or that they verify their access through a trusted logon process.  Examples of trusted logins are processes used to access information systems within their health care organization, or third party logins such as Google or Facebook, along with verification of the user’s identity by their healthcare organization.

You may give permission to us to use anonymous information about you and your health status for mPOWEr programs.  If so, that information may be shared by mPOWEr with researchers or others working to improve surgical site infection care or outcomes.  But, in that situation, neither mPOWEr nor anyone using your information for these purposes will make any attempt to identify you as an individual.

In the event you elected to share your information, either individually with a healthcare organization, family member or loved one, or other entity, you can choose to stop sharing that information.  We will not share additional information with them, but we can't ensure that they will delete the information they already have.  For instance, a health care provider who used your mPOWEr symptom data to recommend specific treatments for you will likely retain a copy of your symptom data in their electronic medical record.

In the event you elected to share your information anonymously with mPOWEr, you can choose to end that information sharing.  We will not share new information, but we can't ensure that the information you shared will be deleted.  For instance, your information may have been used as part of a large sample to compute statistical outcomes of surgical wounds, and we would not be able to remove your specific data from the analysis..

Security

We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as personal health data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a closed lock icon at the bottom of your web browser, or looking for "https" at the beginning of the address of the web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, developing, providing, or improving mPOWEr services) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

Cookies

We may use "cookies" on this site. A cookie is a piece of data stored on a site visitor's hard drive to help us improve your access to our site and identify repeat visitors to our site. For instance, when we use a cookie to identify you, you would not have to login using a password more than once for each session, thereby saving time while on our site. Cookies can also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our site. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally identifiable information on our site.

Links

mPOWEr contains links to other sites. Those sites can be identified by their web addresses; they will not contain the website names listed at the beginning of this policy.  Please be aware that we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of any other site that collects personally identifiable information.

Updates

Our Privacy Policy may change from time to time and all updates will be posted on this page.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via email (see Contact).

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(This privacy policy was adapted from the Best Practice example by the Better Business Bureau, https://www.bbb.org/dallas/for-businesses/bbb-sample-privacy-policy1/, accessed 2016-Aug-2)

updated 2016-Sep-09