Effective January 1, 2015
Committed to Your Privacy
Information Submitted to Our Website
At various points on our Service, we may ask you to supply us with your name, e-mail address, telephone number and other pertinent personally identifiable information. This information is considered "Personal Information," and we may use it to contact you. We will collect this information from you only if you voluntarily provide it. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing:
While visiting our Service, you may have the option to select whether you'd like to receive more information from Houston Methodist. If you select this option, we may send you e-mails introducing a new service or information that we think might be of interest to you. We may also request Personal Information from you in connection with your use of, or participation in, requests for suggestions, customer feedback and surveys. If you send us an e-mail with questions or comments, we may respond using the information you provided.
If, at any time, you decide that you no longer wish to receive commercial e-mails from Houston Methodist, you may opt-out by sending us an e-mail, letter or by calling us at the Contact Us information below. We may still send you transactional e-mails such as responding to a request or related to services you are receiving and we may still communicate with you in other ways, and if you subsequently subscribe to commercial e-mail from us that will terminate your prior opt-out. However, you can always opt-out again later.
Information We Collect From Our Website
In addition to any Personal Information or other information that you choose to submit to us via our Service, we and third- parties may use a variety of technologies that automatically (or passively) store or collect certain information whenever you visit or interact with the Service ("Usage Information"). This Usage Information may be stored or accessed using a variety of technologies that may be downloaded to your personal computer, browser, laptop, tablet, mobile phone or other device (a "Device") whenever you visit or interact with our Service. To the extent we associate Usage Information with your Personal Information we collect directly from you on the Service, we will treat it as Personal Information. Otherwise we do not treat it as Personal Information.
This Usage Information may include:
- your IP address, UDID or other unique identifier ("Device Identifier"). We do not consider Device Identifier to be Personal Information. A Device Identifier is a number that is automatically assigned to your Device used to access the Service, and our computers identify your Device by its Device Identifier;
- your Device functionality (including browser, operating system, hardware, mobile network information);
- the URL that referred you to our Service;
- the areas within our Service that you visit and your activities there, including remembering you and your preferences;
- your Device location;
- your Device characteristics; and
- certain other Device data, including the time of day, among other information.
We may collect information about you in various places when you visit our website. For instance, we may collect Usage Information about what pages on our site you visited and for how long for record-keeping purposes.
We may generate reports using certain kinds of non-identifying site Usage Information, such as the number of hits and visits to our site. This information may be used for various reasons such as to monitor what the public likes and doesn't like about what we offer on our Service and may be used by technical support staff to provide better services for our visitors. However, these statistics do not contain any Personal Information.
How and When Do We Share Information with Third Parties?
We may share non-Personal Information, such as aggregated user statistics, with third parties. We may share your Device Identifiers with third parties along with data other than Personal Information related to you and your activities. We do not share your Personal Information that we have collected directly from you on our Service with third parties for those third parties’ direct marketing purposes unless we have given you the choice to consent or withhold consent to such sharing at the time you provide your Personal Information, in which case we will honor your choice. If we de-identify data about you, it is not treated as Personal Information by us, and we may share it with others freely.
(a) When You Request Information From or Provide Information to Third Parties. You may be presented with an option on our Service to receive certain information and/or marketing offers directly from third parties or to have us send certain information to third parties or give them access to it. If you choose to do so, your Personal Information and other information may be disclosed to such third parties and all information you disclose will be subject to the third-party privacy policies and practices of such third parties. In addition, third parties may store, collect or otherwise have access to your information when you interact with their Tracking Technologies (defined below), content, tools apps or ads on our Service or link to them from our Service. This may include using third-party tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other third-party posting or content sharing tools and by so interacting you consent to such third party practices. We are not responsible for the privacy policies and practices of such third parties and, therefore, you should review such third-party privacy policies and practices of such third parties prior to requesting information from or otherwise interacting with them.
(b) Third Parties Providing Services on Our Behalf
. We may use third-party vendors to perform certain services on behalf of us or the Service, such as hosting the Service, designing and/or operating the Service’s features, tracking the Service’s activities and analytics, and enabling us to send you special offers or perform other administrative services. We may provide these vendors with access to user information, including Device Identifiers and Personal Information, to carry out the services they are performing for you or for us. Third-party analytics and other service providers may set and access their own Tracking Technologies on your Device and they may otherwise collect or have access to information about you, potentially including Personal Information, about you. We are not responsible for those third party technologies or activities arising out of them. However, some may offer you certain choices regarding their practices, and information we have been informed of regarding such choices is available here
. We are not responsible for the effectiveness of or compliance with any third parties’ opt-out or other choice options.
(d) Affiliates and Business Transfer. We may share your information, including your Device Identifiers and Personal Information, Demographic Information and Usage Information with our parent, subsidiaries and affiliates ("Affiliates"). We also reserve the right to disclose and transfer all such information: (i) to a subsequent owner, co-owner or operator of the Service or applicable database; or (ii) in connection with a merger, consolidation, restructuring, the sale of substantially all of our interests and/or assets or other corporate change, including, during the course of any due diligence process.
Changing Your Information
If you would like to make changes to Personal Information we currently have collected, you have a couple of options. You may change or update your Personal Information and/or health-related Personal Information at any time. You may do so by sending us an e-mail, sending us a letter or by calling us at the Contact Us information below.
How to Contact Us
Attn: Web Services Manager
1707 Sunset Blvd. MS-102
Houston, TX 77005
Cookies We Use
Tracking. We may use various methods and technologies to store or collect Usage Information ("Tracking Technologies"). Tracking Technologies may set, change, alter or modify settings or configurations on your Device. A few of the Tracking Technologies include, without limitation, the following (and subsequent technology and methods later developed):
Cookies. A cookie is a data file placed on a Device when it is used to visit the Service. A Flash cookie (or locally shared object) is a data file placed on a Device via the Adobe Flash plug-in that may be built-in to or downloaded by you to your Device. HTML5 cookies can be programmed through HTML5 local storage.
Web Beacons. Small graphic images or other web programming code called web beacons (also known as "1x1 GIFs" or "clear GIFs") may be included in our Service’s pages and messages. Web beacons may be invisible to you, but any electronic image or other web programming code inserted into a page or e-mail can act as a web beacon. Web beacons or similar technologies may be used for a number of purposes, including, without limitation, to count visitors to the Service, to monitor how users navigate the Service, to count how many e-mails that were sent were actually opened or to count how many particular articles or links were actually viewed.
Embedded Scripts. An embedded script is programming code that is designed to collect information about your interactions with the Service, such as the links you click on. The code is temporarily downloaded onto your Device from our web server or a third party service provider, is active only while you are connected to the Service, and is deactivated or deleted thereafter.
Browser Fingerprinting. Collection and analysis of information from your Device, such as, without limitation, your operating system, plug-ins, system fonts and other data, for purposes of identification.
ETag, or Entity Tag. A feature of the cache in browsers. It is an opaque identifier assigned by a web server to a specific version of a resource found at a URL. If the resource content at that URL ever changes, a new and different ETag is assigned. Used in this manner ETags are a form of Device Identifier. ETag tracking may generate unique tracking values even where the consumer blocks HTTP, Flash, and/or HTML5 cookies.
Recognition Technologies. Technologies, including application of statistical probability to data sets, which attempt to recognize or make assumptions about users and devices (e.g., that a user of multiple devices in the same user).
There may be other Tracking Technologies now and later devised and used by us in connection with the Service.
Tracking Technologies Choices and Consent.
We are giving you notice of the Tracking Technologies and your limited choices regarding them so that your consent is meaningfully informed.
Regular cookies may generally be disabled or removed by tools that are available as part of most commercial browsers, and in some but not all instances can be blocked in the future by selecting certain settings. Each browser you use will need to be set separately and different browsers offer different functionality and options in this regard. Also, these tools may not be effective with regard to Flash cookies or HTML5 cookies or other Tracking Technologies. For information on disabling Flash cookies go to Adobe’s website: http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/disable-third-party-local-shared.html
. Please be aware that if you disable or remove these technologies some parts of our Services may not work and that when you revisit our Services your ability to limit browser-based Tracking Technologies is subject to your browser settings and limitations. Further, App-related Tracking Technologies in connection with non-browser usage (e.g., most functionality of the App) can only be disabled by uninstalling the App. To uninstall an app, follow the instructions from your operating system or handset manufacturer. For information on Third Party Tracking Technologies and browser Do Not Track signals, see the next section.
Third Party Tracking and Do Not Track.
. For more information on advertising and related Tracking Technologies, click here
. Also, various third parties are developing or have developed signals or other mechanisms known as "do not track signals". For instance, some browsers may have such signal options, though they differ as to if the signal is set as default or must be turned on by the user. Further, there is currently no standard as to what sites and app operators should do with regard to these signals. Currently, we do not monitor or take any action with respect to these signals or other mechanisms, though we may consider doing so if an understandable and practical standard is developed and widely adopted. Instead, we suggest that users interested in information on third party programs that may permit you to exercise choice regarding targeted advertising, click here
. For more information on our vendors and choices they may offer on tracking, click here
Securing Your Information
Securing your Personal Information is important to us. Therefore, we will take reasonable steps to secure your Personal Information. However, no data transmission over the Internet, mobile networks, wireless transmission or electronic storage of information can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. Please note that we cannot ensure the security of any information you transmit to us, and you use our Service, and provide us with your information, at your own risk.
Information on Our Website
All material contained within our Service is the sole property of Houston Methodist or its licensors. Any reproduction or redistribution of this material is prohibited without the expressed written consent of Houston Methodist. Any reproduction of illustrations or photographs appearing on these pages is strictly prohibited.
The information provided on houstonmethodist.org is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician.
Physician Directory and Videos
Houston Methodist gives all physicians that qualify for inclusion in its physician directory the option to submit a physician profile and a video. The information provided in the profile and the video are submitted by the physicians and the information included does not constitute an endorsement or corroboration of facts by Houston Methodist and its Affiliates.
At this time, we do not display third party advertisements on our Service. However, we may associate Tracking Technology with you when you are on our Service to enable us to send you ads about us when you are on third party sites or services, and we may use third-party analytics and other service providers to evaluate and provide us and/or third parties with information about the use of the Service and viewing of ads and of our content. Third party ad servers are third parties that display advertisements, which may be based on your visits to the Service and other apps and sites you have visited. Third-party ad serving enables us to target advertisements to you for products and services in which you might be interested. We respect the online ad industries’ 2009 Self-regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising
). We expect that those we work with to serve you ads will do so as well, though we cannot guaranty their compliance.
The Service’s third-party ad network and exchange providers, traffic measurement services and other third parties may themselves set and access their own cookies (including Flash cookies), web beacons and other Tracking Technologies on your Device and track certain behavioral Usage Information regarding users of your Device via a Device Identifier. These third-party Tracking Technologies may be set to, among other things: (a) help deliver advertisements to you that you might be interested in; (b) prevent you from seeing the same advertisements too many times; and (c) understand the usefulness to you of the advertisements that have been delivered to you. You acknowledge and agree that associated technology may access and use your Device and may set or change settings on your Device in connection with the associated operations. Note that any images (or any other parts of content) served by third parties in association with third-party ads or other content may serve as web beacons, which enable third parties to carry out the previously described activities.
However, some may offer you certain choices regarding their practices, and information we have been informed of regarding such choices is available here. Further, while we may use a variety of companies to serve our advertisements to you when you leave the Service, you may wish to visit http://www.networkadvertising.org/optout_nonppii.asp
, which provides information regarding this practice by Network Advertising Initiative ("NAI") members, and your choices regarding having this information used by these companies, including the "opt-out" procedures of NAI members. Opting out of one or more NAI members only means that those NAI members no longer will be allowed under their own rules to deliver targeted content and/or ads to you, which will affect this and other sites, but does not mean you will no longer receive any targeted content and/or ads. Also, if your browsers are configured to reject cookies when you visit this opt-out page, or you subsequently erase your cookies, use a different Device or change web browsers, your NAI opt-out may not, or may no longer, be effective. Additional information is available on the NAI’s web site accessible by the above link. You may also opt-out of receiving retargeted ads served by the Digital Advertising Alliance ("DAA") members by visiting the DAA web site at http://www.aboutads.info/choices/#completed
. Similar limitations may apply to the DAA opt-out. We are not responsible for effectiveness of, or compliance with, any third-parties’ opt-out options or programs.
In addition, we may serve ads on third party services that are targeted to reach people on those services that are identified on one of more of our data bases. This is done by matching common factors between our data bases and the data bases of third party operators. For instance, we may use Facebook "Custom Audience" services or Twitter conversion tracking and tailored audience products. If we use Facebook "Custom Audience" services, you can hover over the box in the right corner of such a Facebook ad and find out how to opt-out with us from such "Custom Audience" list. If you opt-out from Facebook "Custom Audience" services, we will remove the matching Personal Information from that list, however, this will not take effect immediately and if you have multiple e-mails or other accounts you may have to opt-out separately for each one. If we use Twitter conversion tracking and tailored audience products, you can opt-out through your account settings on Twitter. If you opt-out from Twitter conversion tracking and tailored audience products, you will be removed from that list, however, this will not take effect immediately and if you have multiple e-mails or other accounts you may have to opt-out separately for each one. We are not responsible for such third party services’ failure to comply with your or our opt-out instructions.
Houston Methodist has partnerships with several companies to help bring the latest in health information and news to you. For easier access, we have compiled a list of our site partners and what their role on Houstonmethodist.org
is to better serve you. Please take a moment to read about our site partners and their privacy policies. While we try to keep this up-to-date, it may not be complete or accurate.
Houston Methodist uses MedSeek software for content management and portal applications. For more information, visit http://medseek.com/
Pollen.com supplies us with an interactive allergy report. For more information, visit http://www.pollen.com/
We are a general audience service and do not use the Service to knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of thirteen (13) that requires parental notice and consent under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA") without such parental consent. If you are a child under 13 years of age, you are not permitted to use the Service and should not send any information about yourself to us through the Service.
In the event that we become aware that we have collected personal information, as defined by COPPA, from any child, we will dispose of that information in accordance with COPPA and other applicable laws and regulations. If you are a parent or guardian and you believe that your child under the age of 13 has provided us with personal information without COPPA-required consent, please contact us as set forth in Contact Us above.
Personal Health Information
To obtain a copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices regarding your protected health care information, or if you have any questions or need any information regarding your rights and our obligations in this regard, contact:
Attn: Privacy Officer
1130 Earle Street AX200
Houston, TX 77030
Funding of Site
Houstonmethodist.org is the website for Houston Methodist and its Affiliates, located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, and surrounding communities. The Service is funded by Houston Methodist and its Affiliates.
Information accessed through this Service, and the Service itself, is provided "AS IS" and without warranty, express or implied. All implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are hereby excluded. Houston Methodist, Houston Methodist and its Affiliates, and all related physicians, and affiliated organizations (collectively "Provider") makes no warranty as to the reliability, accuracy, timelines, usefulness or completeness of the information.
THE PROVIDER DOES NOT MAKE ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, REPRESENTATIONS OR ENDORSEMENTS WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION WARRANTIES OF TITLE OR NONINFRINGEMENT, OR THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE) WITH REGARD TO THE SERVICE, ANY MERCHANDISE, INFORMATION OR SERVICE PROVIDED THROUGH THE SERVICE. EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY SPECIFIED, THE PROVIDER DOES NOT WARRANT THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS OR CORRECTNESS, TIMELINESS, OR USEFULNESS OF ANY OPINIONS, ADVICE, SERVICES, MERCHANDISE OR OTHER INFORMATION PROVIDED THROUGH THE SERVICE OR ON THE INTERNET GENERALLY. IN NO EVENT WILL THE PROVIDER BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANYONE ELSE FOR ANY DECISION MADE OR ACTION TAKEN BY YOU OR ANYONE ELSE IN RELIANCE UPON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED THROUGH THE SERVICE.
Limitations on Liability
No Provider nor any affiliated organization shall be responsible for information provided herein under any theory of liability or indemnity. The medical staff members who respond to individual inquiries are independent of Houston Methodist, its Affiliates and all affiliated organizations and are not Houston Methodist system employees.
Physicians shall not be held responsible for providing such information under any theory of liability or indemnity. The physicians who respond to inquiries provide information solely intended to educate and inform. Responses do not create a patient-physician relationship between the answering physician and the individual submitting the request.
THE USER AGREES TO HOLD HARMLESS AND INDEMNIFY EACH AND EVERY PROVIDER AND ALL OTHER AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS AND PHYSICIANS FROM ANY AND ALL CLAIMS BROUGHT AGAINST HOUSTON METHODIST AND ITS AFFILIATES, AND/OR ALL OTHER PROVIDERS AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS AND PHYSICIANS ARISING FROM THE USER'S USE OF THE SERVICE. USER'S OBLIGATION TO DEFEND, HOLD HARMLESS AND INDEMNIFY HOUSTON METHODIST AND ITS AFFILIATES, AND ALL OTHER PROVIDERS AND AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS AND PHYSICIANS SHALL EXTEND TO CLAIMS ALLEGING ACTS OF NEGLIGENCE, FAULT, AND DIRECT OR CONTRIBUTORY INFRINGEMENT ON THE PART OF ANY OF THEM. THE PARTIES SPECIFICALLY INTEND THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY EVEN IF SUCH PROVISIONS ACT TO EXCULPATE HOUSTON METHODIST AND ITS AFFILIATES, AND ALL OTHER PROVIDERS AND AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS AND PHYSICIANS FROM ITS OWN CONDUCT, INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE.
TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, IN NO EVENT SHALL WE BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF BUSINESS PROFITS, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, LOSS OF DATA, OR ANY OTHER PECUNIARY LOSS) ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SERVICE, WITH THE DELAY OR INABILITY TO USE THIS SERVICE, THE PROVISION OF OR FAILURE TO PROVIDE SERVICES, OR FOR ANY INFORMATION, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED ON OR MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THIS SERVICE AND THE PROVISION OF OR FAILURE TO PROVIDE THE SERVICE, EVEN IF WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. BECAUSE SOME STATES AND JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY, THE ABOVE LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
This Service is not targeted to users outside of Texas, and is not intended to constitute the doing of business in any other jurisdiction other than Texas, nor to be a solicitation of business anywhere on behalf of Houston Methodist and its Affiliates, and all other affiliated organizations and physicians, nor to constitute any contacts with any jurisdiction outside of Texas.
The following third parties that collect information from you on or in connection with our Service have given us notice that you may obtain information on their policies and practices, and in some instances opt-out of certain of their activities, as follows:
PLEASE NOTE: We are not responsible for third-party policies or practices. We try to keep this information current, and will add to and subtract from the chart above as appropriate, but it is provided as a courtesy and may not be current or accurate. Please contact the applicable third parties regarding their privacy and data security policies and practices.