Personal Health Information Privacy Program
This Privacy Program explains how your personal health information may be used and disclosed. Please review it carefully
Purpose: The Blood Center collects certain personal health information when you donate blood. This information is necessary for identification purposes, safeguarding the blood supply, recruitment, matching blood donors with recipients, testing and follow-up activities, and other donation-related activities that may be necessary for medical purposes or required by law. Although The Blood Center is not a HIPAA covered entity, we respect the confidentiality of your health information, subject to the necessary uses described herein, and will protect the privacy of your information to the best of our ability and to the extent required by law.
This program describes our privacy practices and explains how we use and maintain your health information to ensure the adequacy and safety of the blood you so generously donate to patients in need.
How The Blood Center May Use Personal Health Information
We may use your personal health information for the following purposes and in the following ways:
- To send you appointment reminders.
- To schedule your next donation or to contact you with a request to donate blood.
- To notify a volunteer donor chairperson (if you participate in a company campaign) for purposes of scheduling donations (i.e. name, blood type, phone number), or for contacting you if there is an urgent need for your blood type.
- To provide information to a disaster relief agency, if you are involved in a disaster relief effort.
- To prevent a serious threat to health or safety.
- To share information with health care providers involved in your treatment. For example, we may share information about your test results with your physician, if you are an autologous donor (you are giving blood for your own use), you are giving blood for therapeutic treatment, or you are undergoing a therapeutic apheresis procedure.
- To conduct internal operations, including, but not limited to, quality control, quality improvement, training, employee evaluations, attorneys and insurers for professional liability or risk management purposes, or licensing or accreditation.
- To conduct business operations through business associates, for example, to install a new computer system requiring technicians to have access to records.
- In the event you experience a medical emergency, we may notify a family member or other responsible person of the medical emergency and provide information necessary to make treatment decisions. For example, if you have an adverse reaction to a blood donation, we may need to explain what happened and instructions regarding your care to a person driving you home or to receive medical care.
- Under limited circumstances, we may use and disclose medical information for research purposes. All research projects are subject to an approval process, and we generally ask for your written authorization before using your personal health information for research purposes.
- As permitted or required by law. For example,
- Texas law permits blood banks to share certain information for the safety of the blood supply and for public health activities, including, but not limited to, other blood banks, state agencies for donor safety, disease prevention, injury or disability, reporting deaths, reporting reactions, product problems, notification of recalls, and infectious disease control.
- Health oversight activities by governmental or accrediting agencies, for example, audits, inspections, investigations and licensure.
- Judicial process related to lawsuits and disputes.
- Law enforcement activities, for instance, in response to a court order or other legal process.
- To military command authorities if you are a member of the armed forces or a member of a foreign military authority.
- National security and intelligence activities.
- Protection of the President, other authorized persons, or foreign heads of state, or to conduct special investigations.
- Notifying the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), if you have consented to participate in the NMDP.
- Fundraising activities by The Blood Center, but such information will be limited to your name, address, and phone number. You will have an opportunity to refuse to receive these communications.
- Informing you of a community need for additional blood and encouraging you to continue to be a blood donor.
The Blood Center may electronically use or disclose your personal information for one or more of the ways or purposes above.
Your Authorization Is Required for Other Disclosures.
Except as described above and as permitted or required by law, we will not use or disclose your personal health information unless you authorize us in writing to disclose the information for the purpose you authorize. You may revoke your authorization by written letter, which will be effective only after the date of your written revocation.
You Have Options Regarding Your Health Information.
You may request special confidentiality protections regarding your personal health information by written letter; however, there may be some requests that we can not accommodate.
Confidential Communications. You may request communications in a certain way (for example, telephone or email) or at a certain location, but you must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.
Copy of Personal Health Information Record. You may request in writing a copy of the record containing your personal health information. We may require you to provide proof of identity and charge a fee for copying, mailing and supplies.
Change of Privacy Program. The Blood Center may change this Privacy Program, and these changes will be effective with regard to existing health information as well as any information we receive in the future.
At your request, we will provide you with a printed copy of this Privacy Program.
If you believe your privacy has been violated, you may file a complaint with The Blood Center on our confidential compliance and privacy hotline at 1-877-874-8420. You will not be penalized or retaliated against in any way for making a complaint to The Blood Center.
Contact: Send an email to if you wish to discuss a complaint, or if you have any questions about this Privacy Program. Written requests can be mailed to Privacy Program, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, 1400 LaConcha, Houston, Texas 77054.