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Privacy Policy

This site is part of a research project conducted by the Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado. The principal investigator of this project is Russ Glasgow, PhD, and the project manager is Deanna Kurz.

What kind of information do we collect?
We collect the following types of information, which are used solely for research purposes: participant name, phone number, demographic information, information on self-management issues, and diabetes control. We also collect information that is unique to projects conducted via the Internet, such as e-mail address and data on movement within the web site. Each person is assigned a participant number that is attached to all of that person's data, and no one outside the project's staff has access to identifying data about any participant.

We collect data from participants during new user registration and initial surveys, in the tracking progress section, and in follow-up surveys at 4 and 12 months. The questions asked during registration are required for use of the site. The questions in the surveys are optional but very important to the evaluation of how well the intervention works. We also collect data on participants "passively" without asking questions. This type of data includes information on your movement within the site and the choices you make within the program. For example, we keep track of the number of times you return to the website and which parts of the site you use. This will help us learn which aspects of the website are most useful. Your movement within the program is tracked in log files linked to your participant number. This allows us to analyze your use of the program and link it with your baseline characteristics (for example, your years of education) and any changes you make in your self-management behaviors (for example, exercising more regularly). We also collect the type of information that is normally collected by many websites, such as IP address, browser type, and the site you come to us from. We do not use cookies.

Who has access to the information?
Information collected through the website will be stored by InterVision, the contractor for developing and hosting the website. During the study, InterVision will maintain a secure database that includes participant information. This information is necessary to allow contact with participants enrolled in the study. InterVision staff members with access to information about study participants have signed a confidentiality agreement prohibiting disclosure of any information about participants. Once the study is completed, all identifying information will be removed from the data except for your participant number. This data set will be sent to the research team for evaluation.

A summary of your information on your self-management goals and A B C s of diabetes control (Hemoglobin A1c, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol) may also be sent to your primary care doctor's office and to your diabetes care manager, if applicable. This information will be protected using procedures consistent with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and used by Kaiser to safeguard your medical information.

How do we use the information?
The information we collect in this study is used both to design individualized recommendations for you and to further scientific knowledge about health behavior change and diabetes management. The findings of this study will be reported to our sponsor, the National Institutes of Health, and to the scientific community, through professional journals and presentations at conferences. All information is presented in summary form, so that it is not possible to identify individuals.

This is not a commercial site, and information about you is never used to try to sell you any products or services. Your e-mail address, and other information about you, will never be shared with any vendor.

How is the information protected?
All data we collect are available only to InterVision staff and to the research team. Each person with data access has signed a strict confidentiality agreement and must use a password to access the data. Our web security is maintained by regular maintenance of server software (installing all upgrades, patches, and service packs to the relevant software). The file systems on our machines are restricted to administrators and developers working with InterVision. The machines are also protected by a firewall that allows only very specific types of access to each machine from the outside.

What if this privacy policy changes?
We do not expect to make any changes in this privacy policy, but if we do, we will notify users on the study's home page. We assure all participants that at no time will we ever relax our confidentiality procedures, nor will we ever use any of their personal information for any commercial purpose.

The privacy practices of this site have been reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Kaiser Permanente Colorado in compliance with the regulations on protection of human subjects.

If you have questions or comments about this privacy policy, please e-mail Deanna.Kurz@kp.org.


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