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Privacy Policy  

Thank you for visiting the AHRQ WebM&M site and for reviewing our Privacy Policy.
AHRQ WebM&M is the Nation’s first Web-based patient safety resource and journal. The site is produced by an editorial team at the University of California, San Francisco under a contract from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

We collect no personal information about you when you visit our Web site, unless you choose to provide that information to us.

Information Automatically Collected and Stored
When you browse through any Web site, read pages, or download information, certain information about your visit can be collected. However, we do not collect any information about your visit, and we do not record information about individual behavior or use of the site. AHRQ WebM&M’s site uses session cookies, so that you only have to log in once per visit.

What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small piece of information that is sent to your browser-along with a Web page-when you access a Web site. There are two kinds of cookies. A session cookie is a line of text that is stored temporarily in your computer's memory. Because a session cookie is never written to a drive, it is destroyed as soon as you close your browser. A persistent cookie is a more permanent line of text that gets saved by your browser to a file on your hard drive.

AHRQ WebM&M only uses session cookies, and we do so only so that users do not have to log in multiple times during a single visit. We do not use any persistent cookies.

Personally Provided Information
You do not have to give us any personal information to visit our Web site and review cases, commentaries, and forums.

To contribute a case, we require you to register and log on for two reasons: (1) to contact you, if necessary, for additional information about the case, and (2) to provide you with an honorarium if your case is selected for posting. Although some readers will be comfortable logging in with their usual e-mail address, others may wish to create or use a new address that contains no identifying information. There are several commercial sites that allow one to create a free, anonymous e-mail address. They include www.mail.yahoo.com or www.hotmail.com. We also require registration and log in for users who wish to submit comments to any of the site’s forums.

In addition, so that we can better understand our readers, we may occasionally send out a voluntary survey, in which you may choose to provide basic information. All registered users of AHRQ WebM&M have the option to receive periodic newsletters and surveys.

If you choose to provide us with additional information about yourself through an e-mail message, form, survey, etc., we use that information only to respond to your message or to fulfill the stated purpose of the communication. The information provided is handled on a confidential basis.

However, note that e-mail is not necessarily secure against interception.

All communications to the Web site mailbox are removed from the server.

The AHRQ WebM&M site does not disclose, give, sell, or transfer any personal information about our visitors, unless required by law enforcement or statute.

Intrusion Detection
For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, we employ software programs to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Such attempts are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

Systems of Records
Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed according to the principles of the Federal Records Act and regulations and guidance from the National Archives and Records Administration, and in some cases may be subject to the Privacy Act. If information that you submit is to be used in a Privacy Act system of records, there will be a Privacy Act Notice provided.

Links to Other Sites
Our Web site has links to other Federal agencies. We also have selected links to other Web resources. The privacy policy described here does not necessarily apply to those other sites. Once you link to another site, you are subject to the privacy policy of that site.


Health and Human Services FirstGov Produced for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, by a team of editors at the University of California, San Francisco with guidance from a prominent Editorial Board and Advisory Panel. The AHRQ WebM&M site was designed and implemented by DoctorQuality.