Understanding Your Health Record/Information
Each time you visit a healthcare provider, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your identification, symptoms, examination and test results, diagnosis, treatment and a plan for future care or treatment. This information is contained in your medical record and serves as a:
- Basis for planning your care and treatment
- Means of communication among many health professionals who contribute to your care
- Legal document describing the care you received
- Means by which an insurance company 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
- Tool with which we can assess and continually improve the care and outcomes we achieve
Your Information Rights
Although your health record is the physical property of the Aggie Health & Wellness Center the information belongs to you. According to 45 CFR 164.522, you have the right to:
- Request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information
- Inspect and be provided with a copy of your health record
- Add an amendment to your health record
- Obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information
- 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
The Aggie Health and Wellness Center is required to:
- Maintain the privacy of your health information
- Provide you with a notice (this document) as to our duties and 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
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 amend this notice to reflect those changes. 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 Executive Director of the Aggie Health and Wellness Center at 646-8306. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the Executive Director or with the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Examples of disclosures for treatment, payment and healthcare operations
Information obtained by a nurse, practitioner, or other member of the AWHC healthcare team will be recorded in your record and used to determine the course of your treatment. Members of the healthcare team will record the actions they have taken and their observations.
Communication with Family/Others
We provide practitioner on-call service after hours. In order to safeguard confidentiality, practitioners will ask to speak directly to the patient to disclose protected health information. Only encounters with patients will be recorded in the medical record. Any other types of communication will have to be authorized by you through a medical records release.
A bill may be sent to you, an insurance company, or the person responsible for paying your NMSU account. This may include information that identifies you, your diagnosis, procedures and supplies used. When AWHC charges are posted to your NMSU account, the bill will reflect “Health Center” and the amount charged. No health information will be entered on the NMSU bill. This bill will be sent to the person, you have identified, as responsible for paying for your NMSU bill.
We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you. Use of telephone message machines and/or messages left with roommates or other persons who answer the telephone number you disclosed, may be enlisted.
Members of the medical/administrative staff, the risk or quality improvement team may use information in your health record, combined with others like it, to assess care and outcomes. This information will then be used in an effort to continually improve the quality of the healthcare and services we provide.
Food and Drug Administration
We may disclose to the FDA health information relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, product or product defects, or post marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs or replacement.
There are some services provided in our organization through contacts with business associates. When these services are contracted, we may disclose your health information to our business associate so that they can perform the job we have requested. An example of this would be sending a test to an outside reference laboratory for processing. To protect your health information, we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.
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.
We may use or disclose information to notify you; or notify a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, in order to obtain your location, as a way to ensure your condition, or to determine if referral care was completed.
We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena. We may disclose to law enforcement officials upon request, information for the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person or information about an individual who is, or is suspected, to be a victim of a crime.
Your health information may be used by members of appropriate health oversight agencies, public health authorities including the State Department of Health inspection teams in order to determine that professional and clinical standards are followed and the AHWC is not endangering patients, workers, or the public.