WHAT IS PERSONAL INFORMATION?
Personal information is information about identifiable individuals. Personal information includes information that relates to: An individual’s personal characteristics (e.g., gender, age, home address or telephone number, family status). Health (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received). Activities and views (e.g., opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual).
WHO WE ARE
ChiroHealth Massage is a studio located in Ashburn, VA, that offers various massage therapy services to the general public. We are staffed by licensed massage therapists.
PERSONAL INFORMATION: PRIMARY PURPOSES
Like similar medical professions, we collect, use and disclose personal information in order to serve our clients. For our clients, the primary purpose for collecting personal information is to provide treatment. For example, we collect information about a client’s health history, including their family history, physical condition, function and social situation in order to help us assess their needs, to advise them of their options and then to provide the massage therapy they choose to have. A second primary purpose is to obtain a baseline of health and social information so that in providing ongoing health services we can identify changes that occur over time.
WE COLLECT PERSONAL INFORMATION: RELATED & SECONDARY PURPOSES
Like most organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for purposes related, or secondary, to our primary purposes. The most common examples of our related and secondary purposes are as follows: To invoice clients for goods or services, process credit card payments or collect unpaid accounts. Review of clients personal information and other files for the purpose of ensuring that we provide high quality services, including assessing the performance of our staff. In addition, external service providers and business associates (e.g., point of sale system and data storage providers) may store personal data, do audits and continuing quality improvement reviews of our studio (including reviewing client files and interviewing our staff). We have agreements in place with these service providers and business associates that we believe are designed to secure and protect personal information.
Licensed massage therapists are regulated by the Virginia Board of Nursing. Licensed massage therapists are also permitted by Loudoun County. The licensing authorities may inspect our records and interview our staff as a part of their regulatory activities in the public interest. We may share personal information about a client with other health service providers (e.g., medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists) with whom the client has a relationship. Generally, these other health service providers will have their own privacy policies in place for the client’s protection.
ChiroHealth Massage believes that it should report information suggesting serious illegal behavior to the authorities. In addition, as professionals, we may report serious misconduct, incompetence or incapacity of other practitioners, whether they belong to other organizations or our own. These reports may include personal information about our clients, or other individuals, to support the concern. We may become subject to various legal processes (e.g., subpoenas, law enforcement, administrative) and may disclose personal information to the extent we believe such disclosure is required by law. Unless a client directs us otherwise in writing, we will use our judgment in communicating personal information to a client’s family members and others involved in the client’s care or payment for care. We may also notify such persons about a client’s location and condition in the event of an emergency or upon inquiry.
We may consult with other professionals (e.g., lawyers and accountants) on matters that concern personal information. These other professionals generally adhere to their own privacy policies that, we believe, are designed to safeguard this information. In the event that a third party pays for the services we provide to a client (e.g., health insurance and employers), the third party may have the client’s consent or legal right to direct us to collect and disclose to them certain information in order to demonstrate client’s entitlement to this funding. Clients or other individuals with whom we deal may have questions about our goods or services after they have been received. We retain our client information for a mandatory minimum in Virginia for six years after the last contact to enable us to respond to those questions and provide these services.
PROTECTING PERSONAL INFORMATION
RETENTION AND DESTRUCTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
We retain personal information for a minimum of six years to ensure that we can answer any question the client may have about the services provided and for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies. We destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding. We destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, we ensure that the hard drive is physically destroyed.
QUESTIONS AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION