As a user of this site, you take on certain risks and responsibilities. You also have the right to know how we protect your privacy and ensure your confidentiality and what you should expect from us.
Your role, responsibilities, and risks
- You need to be an informed user of this site. Please read all our policies in full so you know how our site works and how you interact with the site.
- Pay special attention to your risks as a user. Web site users open themselves up to certain risks, such as data collection.
- Understand how we collect data and how it is used. It is our goal to protect your personal information from misuse. We do, however, offer programs that collect data for special reasons, such as research, scientific studies, and statistics, in which case you may be interested in participating.
- Be aware that use of this site, its services, programs, and the health information on it cannot replace nor is it intended to serve as a health care provider-patient relationship. You must always consult with a professional for diagnosis and treatment for specific health problems.
What you should expect from us
- We will strive to maintain your privacy, confidentiality, and security at all times.
- It is our goal to ensure your trust and confidence by providing you with as much information as we can about data collection procedures and information when needed.
- We will not intentionally use your data without your permission, unless for purposes of maintaining the site or for reviewing the site's use.
- We will make every effort to notify you accordingly of all data collection practices.
- It is our intention to clearly inform you when your risks or privacy may change during the course of using this site.
- It is our goal to make you aware when you leave our site for another, either by telling you in writing or by another technical mechanism.
- We want you to know that this system operates on a secure server and your personal and professional information and health-related personal information is encrypted before it is transmitted. Encryption is a form of scrambling and de-scrambling that ensures that no unauthorized person can see your information.
- We will separate health information content from advertising and sponsorship programs so you can distinguish between the two.
- Where health professionals may interact with consumers, we will make every effort to tell you if this establishes a patient-provider relationship and make available the credentials and qualifications of professionals.
- We will not accept or show you health information content, advertising, sponsored programs, or services that we know to contain false or misleading information or that promote ineffective or dangerous products.
Our Security Measures
We want your personal information to remain as secure as possible; our business depends on it. We use encryption practices to help insure the integrity and privacy of the personal information and/or health-related personal information you provide to us. As an added security precaution, all personal information and/or health-related personal information are kept on servers with firewalls that meet or exceed industry standards to prevent intruders from gaining access. Although we make every reasonable effort to protect personal information and health-related personal information from loss, misuse, or alteration by third parties, you should be aware that there is always some risk involved in transmitting information via the Internet and that hackers or thieves do find ways to thwart security systems.
About the Information We Collect
We understand that the personal information and health-related personal information you provide during your visit to our site is highly sensitive and you may have concerns about sharing such information with us. It is our goal to protect your privacy and we strive to develop practices and policies to safeguard your personal and health-related personal information.
At different places on our site, you may be asked to volunteer your name, e-mail, address and telephone number. We refer to this type of information as "personal information" because it can be used to identify or contact you. When this information is combined with any information on your health or medical status, we refer to this information as "health-related personal information." We often collect information on site use that has nothing to do with you as an individual, only as an anonymous user of the site. We call this information "aggregate information." We intend to use the personal information, health-related personal information, and aggregate information only for the purposes for which it was provided.
Some personal information and health-related personal information is needed to use this site, and we ask that you provide it with the knowledge that it will be used to enhance your experience. This information is kept confidential. We do offer special data collection programs that you can "opt-in" to use, in some cases to receive e-mail on health topics or to participate in a new service. For opt-in programs we provide you, when applicable, with detailed information on:
- Who is collecting the data;
- What data are collected;
- Why and how the data are transferred to a third party;
- How the data are being used;
- How long the data are being collected;
- Who has access to the data;
- What revenue that is generated from data use in relation to advertisers and sponsors; and
- How to opt-out of data collection.
Where this Information is Collected
We collect information about you at several places throughout the site. You will be informed on how this information is colleted at that time. You will also have the ability to opt-in to information collection when you enter the site or use a service. Most information is collected in the following instances:
In order to have access to all of the services and content available on our site, you are required to complete a registration form that requests certain information, such as name, telephone number and e-mail address. In addition, you are asked during registration to tell us about health topics that you are interested in. We offer specialized registration for certain programs, events, and classes that may request some or all of the above information.
We may use your registration information to send you an e-mail confirming your registration with our site, to respond to questions from you, or to notify you if there is a problem with any order for goods or services that you placed. We may also, from time to time, send e-mails, with your permission, on special promotions or newsletters we think may be of interest to you.
- Interactive Services/Tools
Some of the interactive tools on our site ask you for personal information and health-related personal information. Specifically, our health risk assessment tools may ask for information on your personal and/or family medical history including height, weight, blood pressure, history of certain conditions and/or diseases and medication history. Our health care professional directory may ask you for information on your insurance plan and geographic location in order to identify listed professionals in your area. The health risk assessment tools use the personal health information you provide to generate a personal health record to help you manage your health. Your personal health record is kept strictly confidential and can only be accessed by using your password and login ID. We will make every effort not to use or disclose your personal health record to any one without your express consent. In some cases, you can permit your physician, pharmacist or other health care-related professional to have access to your personal health record.
- Chat Rooms/Bulletin Boards
As a service to our users, we may feature chat rooms/bulletin boards where users with similar medical conditions can share information and support one another. In addition, we may also offer online discussions on a variety of topics moderated by medical experts. You should be aware that any information shared in a chat room/bulletin board is public information and you should think carefully before disclosing any personal and/or health-related personal information in any chat room/bulletin board.
- Online Shopping
When this service is offered on this site and you purchase nonprescription products and services from us, such as ordering flowers for delivery to a local hospital, we will request that you provide your name, e-mail address, credit card number and expiration date, phone number and billing and shipping addresses.
If you order prescription drugs or medical equipment, we will ask for all of the information above, as well as the information that you would ordinarily provide to your pharmacist, including your prescribing doctor's name, your residential address, your gender and birth date, any drug allergies and existing medical conditions. If applicable, we will also ask for your health insurance information including the name, address and telephone number of your insurer and your member identification number (which may be your social security number). We may also ask for additional information about your current prescriptions and medical history. This information will help us provide you with the necessary information to make the safest and most effective use of your prescription medication or equipment.
This information will be kept in the strictest confidence. We will make every effort to maintain the privacy and security of this information at all times.
Your browser software can be set to reject all cookies, including cookies from our site. Most browsers offer instructions on how to reset the browser to reject cookies in the Help section of the toolbar. If you reject our cookie, certain functions and conveniences of the site may not work properly. You do not have to accept our cookie in order to productively use our site. If you accept our cookie, we will never link the cookie to personal information and/or health-related personal information you provide to us. We will not allow other sites or third parties to use our cookies.
How We Use Your Personal Information
We continually seek new ways to maintain your trust as a user and improve our offerings. To provide new and better services, we tend to monitor user traffic patterns and try to analyze what our users like and do not like about our current offerings so we can design better services for you. We may also use certain information for testing purposes, site development and planning, and during the normal course of maintaining the site. When you use our site, you automatically allow us to collect this information. In these cases, researchers, business analysts, system designers, and others may have access to the data we collect.
We do not intend to use or disclose any personal information or health-related personal information you provide on our site to an unrelated third party without your express permission, except as explained in this section. You should know that there are circumstances when, in the ordinary course of business, we will share some information about you with a related third party.
- If you have insurance coverage for your prescriptions, your insurance company or prescription benefit manager may have access to information about your orders so they can process your benefits or assist you with your prescription orders, if necessary. This information is shared in accordance with the terms of your health plan and the information remains confidential.
- We may also share aggregate statistical information on our users, sales, traffic patterns and site usage with our business partners and sponsors. There is nothing in this information that could be used to identify or contact you.
- We may, from time to time, contract with vendors to provide specific services, such as data analysis, data storage, e-mail processing, customer service, sweepstakes or special promotions. We ask vendors to adhere to our confidentiality standards and do not permit a vendor to use our customer information for any other purpose. In many of these instances, you will be given the opportunity to opt-in to this collection of information and can opt-out at any time.
- We may share registration data with business partners that maintain a co-branded service or content, only with your affirmative consent. For more information on co-branded sites, read the information below on our relationships with third parties.
- In certain limited circumstances, we may be legally compelled to release your personal information in response to a court order, subpoena, search warrant, law or regulation. In the event that we are compelled to disclose personal information and/or health-related personal information to a third party, we will notify you unless doing so would violate the law or court order. We also reserve the right to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in investigating and prosecuting users that violate our rules or engage in behavior that is harmful (or illegal) to other users.
Our Relationship with Third Parties
We work with several types of third-party vendors, including those that provide products and services that we integrate to our site, sponsors that provide us revenue through logo and link placement on our site, advertising companies that serve up advertisement programs for the site, and organizations that maintain this site. We request that third-party vendors supply us with information on their security procedures, and we evaluate them periodically to ensure that they are using data in the agreed upon way.
You should know that our relationship with some third party vendors provide us with revenues based on the number of users who view an advertisement or use a sponsored or co-branded program. These revenues are based on the use of a site and not on you as an individual. In some cases we also receive revenue from the use of external services, such as buying flowers online or other such services, and may get a commission on specific purchases made online. In addition, we may allow third-party vendors to buy aggregate data collected on our site but that data cannot be used to identify you.
There are three types of relationships that differ from our standard business partner relationship in which we license content or a product for integration. These exceptions are:
- Sponsored or Co-Branded Sites
We allow other companies to make services and/or content available to you, sometimes on a sponsored or co-branded basis. To access the services on a sponsored or co-branded site, you may have to complete an online registration form in addition to the registration you completed for us. Whenever you provide registration information on sponsored or co-branded sites, data can be collected. You should read the individual privacy policies of sponsored or co-branded sites. Reading the policies will help you make an informed decision on whether or not you want to use the site.
- External Links
- Advertising Servers
You should know that we might allow advertising to be coordinated with health information content on our site. This happens through linking up identification codes with an ad and a health topic. In no way is your use of this site and the health information you view directly connected with advertising.
Our Children's Policy
Our site may feature information and services of interest to children 13 and under. Contact information, such as name, e-mail address, and demographic information including their age and ethnicity, may be requested. We do not disclose personal or health-related personal information about our 13 or under users. We may, however, use information to create aggregate data that may be shared with third parties.
Parents and guardians of minors who permit their children to use our site should be aware that any information volunteered by a child in a chat room, bulletin board, moderated online discussion or other public forum on our site could be used by other persons participating or observing activities on the site to contact the child via e-mail or in some other manner. We do not have control over the actions of these third parties and are not responsible for any contacts that may occur. When it is brought to our attention that a 13 or under user has volunteered personal information on a chat room or other public forum on our site, we will delete such information from our active databases in accordance to our deletion policy.
To obtain more information on a child's use of this site, parents or guardians can contact us in writing using the address in our Contact Us link.
Your Privacy Choices
You have the choice on this site to opt-in to information collected about you in most circumstances, the exceptions being the instances when data are used for site maintenance and so on. If you opt-in to data collection we make every effort to give you detailed information on the program or service you select. To opt-out of data collection, make any changes or updates, or request that information be deleted, you have several choices.
When you register with our site, you are given the option of receiving e-mail with information that we think you might find useful including promotions, announcements of new services and products, and newsletters on particular health topics. You may also participate in our personalized e-mail reminder system that allows you to send an e-mail reminding you of certain health-related activities such as a doctor's visit or to schedule tests. If you decide, at any time, that you no longer wish to receive these e-mails you may opt-out by deselecting the checkbox on your personal information page.
Change/Update Personal Information
You may change or update your personal information and/or health-related personal information at any time using the following options:
- Go to your personal information page and change the information there.
- You can contact us in writing using the address in our Contact Us link
Remove or Delete Personal Information
You may remove previously provided personal and/or health-related personal information at any time using the following options:
- You can contact us in writing using the address in our Contact Us link
Users should be aware that it is not always technically possible to remove or delete the information you provide to us. We back-up our systems to protect information from inadvertent loss, and that means a copy of your personal information may exist in a non-erasable form that may be difficult or impossible for us to locate. Nevertheless, upon receiving your request we will try to remove or delete all personal information and/or health-related personal information stored in the databases that we use for research and daily business activities. We will not intentionally disclose any personal information stored in a non-erasable format after receiving your request for removal, except as required by law.
There are certain restrictions on your ability to correct, update or remove the health information you enter into a personal health record. If your doctor or other health care professional has access to your personal health record, and they add information to that record, your personal record could be considered an official medical record for legal purposes. In this case, information cannot be deleted or removed, only updated or annotated.