Privacy, Security and Advanced Directives
To protect the confidentiality of your medical records,
we must have written authorization before information
regarding your medical treatment can be released. If you
or your physician need this information, please send a
signed and dated letter outlining the specific information
you need from your medical record. Be sure to include your
complete name, date of birth and UTMB Health patient
identification number. Also, include the name and address
of the physician to whom the record should be sent.
The letter requesting your medical record should be addressed to:
The University of Texas Medical Branch
Health Information Management Department
Release of Information
301 University Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77555-0782
For more information regarding the process for obtaining
a copy of your medical record or to request a copy of your
medical record prior to discharge, contact the Health
Information Management Department at (979) 848-9140 or
Privacy and Security of Health Information
UTMB Health is committed to protecting the privacy of
our patients and keeping their health information secure.
According to the federal law named the “Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act” (HIPAA), you have
rights concerning the use of individually identifiable health
information. The primary purpose of this law is to provide
standards to facilitate the electronic exchange of health
information, provide individuals with better access to their
health information and standardize this access among
states, decrease health care fraud and abuse and, most
importantly, protect your personal health information.
If you feel your health information has been misused in
any way, please call the UTMB Health Privacy Office at
(409) 747-8700. You may also call our anonymous Fraud,
Abuse and Privacy hotline at (800) 898-7679.
An advance directive is defined as “a written instruction
such as living will or medical power of attorney for health
care recognized under state law and relating to the provision
of such care when the person is incapacitated.” In Texas
there are three types of advance directives: Directive to
Physicians, Medical Power of Attorney, and Out-of-Hospital
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order. If a patient wishes to
formulate an advance directive, the necessary documents
can be made available by the hospital. Once formulated,
the completed document, which is signed by the patient,
becomes a part of the patient’s permanent medical record.
Prior to the initiation of new treatments or procedures, your
doctor will speak with you about the extent to which the
hospital is able, unable or unwilling to honor your advance
directive. A patient has the option to review or revise
advance directives. The existence or lack of an advance
directive does not determine an individual’s access to care,
treatment or services.
You have the right to:
- Create advance directives regarding care and have staff
and practitioners who provide care comply with these
- Participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of
care, including issues of conflict resolution, withholding
of resuscitative services, forgoing or withdrawal of lifesustaining treatment, and participation in investigational
studies or clinical trials.
- Receive end-of-life care that is respectful and responsive
and that demonstrates concern for a patient’s comfort