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General Statement

Health First Internet resources on the World Wide Web provides a wide range of resources and facilities for the communication, dissemination, and processing of information that is of fundamental importance to the academic, research, and administrative functions of the Health First system and its clinical entities. Health First, Inc. supports open access to electronic communication and information. Nevertheless, the preservation of an open computing and communications environment requires adherence by users to a set of standards and policies for the responsible use of computing systems, software, and telecommunication networks as described in this rule.

  1. Members of the Health First system generally are free to utilize computing hardware and software and communicate and access information on telecommunication networks as necessary to perform their responsibilities and are subject to the appropriate use of these resources as described.
  2. Electronic information accessible to the Health First associates or medical staff through telecommunication networks that are stored in or processed on Health First computer facilities shall be afforded the same First Amendment protections as the equivalent of printed information. Specifically, such information shall not be censored or restricted on the basis of its content, origin, background, or views of the individual who created or communicated the information.
  3. Certain types of information, such as pornography or obscene material, are not entitled to First Amendment protection under the United States Constitution, regardless of whether the information is printed or electronic.
Use of Information and Electronic Resources

Members and associates within the Health First system shall use information resources responsibly in accordance with this rule.

  1. Health First’s computing and telecommunication resources shall not be used to impersonate another individual or misrepresent authorization to act on behalf of other individuals or Health First. All messages stored in or transmitted through Health First computers and telecommunication networks must correctly identify the sender. Users shall not modify the original attribution of electronic mail messages or postings and shall not send anonymous messages.
  2. The computing and telecommunication resources of Health First shall not be used to make unauthorized or illegal use of the intellectual property of others. Users shall not transmit to others or display images, sounds, or messages that reasonably could be perceived as harassing, invasive, or otherwise unwanted.
  3. Health First computers and telecommunication resources shall not be used to attempt to read or copy electronic information belonging to others, or decrypt or translate encrypted information, unless such action has been expressly authorized, in writing, by the owner(s) or copyright holder(s) of the information.
  4. Health First does not warrant that data or other information will be retained for any specified period of time on Health First’s computer network system. Users shall be responsible to make appropriate backup copies of all needed data to protect against the potential of loss. Likewise, each computer or telecommunications system administrator shall make accurate and timely backup copies of essential files and data to protect against information loss, or to be used as needed to facilitate disaster recovery. Media containing all backup or archival recordings of information from Health First’s computer systems shall be stored in a secure and environmentally sound location separate from the system from which the information was obtained.
  5. Management of and access to Health First administrative data shall be in accordance with procedures described in the Health First Operations Manual available on the Health First intranet (Inside Health First).
User Responsibility

Computer users shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations governing the use of computer and telecommunication technology, specifically Chapter 815, Florida Statutes, Computer Crimes Act, and Title 18, United States Code, Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.

  1. Health First network computing resources shall be used in a manner consistent with Chapter 815, Florida Statutes, Computer Crimes Act, and Title 18, United States Code, Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. Unauthorized or fraudulent use of Health First computing or telecommunication resources can result in felony prosecution as provided for in Florida Statutes, Chapter 775, Florida Criminal Code.
  2. The computing and telecommunication resources of Health First shall be used only for purposes directly related to, or in support of, the academic, research, or administrative activities of Health First administrative staff or of its medical staff and affiliated physicians. These resources shall not be used for commercial or other for profit purposes without express written approval from the Director of Information Technology.
  3. Owners of computer accounts shall be responsible for all use made on the accounts. Account owners shall prevent unauthorized use by others, and report intrusions or any other inappropriate activity to the system administrators in a timely manner. Users shall be required to change their passwords on a regular basis.
  4. Users shall not attempt to undermine the security or the integrity of computing systems or telecommunication networks and shall not attempt to gain unauthorized access. Users shall not use any computer program or device to intercept or decode passwords or similar access control information. If security breaches are observed or suspected, they shall be immediately reported to the appropriate IT system administrator or IT support personnel as well as local or federal authorities.
  5. Users shall not intentionally damage or disable computing or telecommunications equipment or software.
  6. Users shall ensure that software acquisition and utilization adheres to the applicable software licenses and copyright law, and is consistent with Health First software policies. Users shall maintain documentation sufficient to prove that all software installed on any computer workstation assigned to them has been legally obtained and is installed in conformance with the applicable license(s). Backup copies of software shall be made only if expressly permitted by the applicable license(s). Software managers and unit administrators shall ensure that the workstation of any employee who reports to them has been acquired and is operated in accordance with this rule and applicable Health First policy. In addition, managers and administrators shall provide software users reporting to them written documentation defining responsibilities for appropriate use.
  7. To maintain proper functioning of computer and networking hardware and software, system administrators and individual users shall take reasonable steps to ensure their computing facilities are free of viruses or other destructive software. Information on computer viruses and virus detection and eradication software is available from the Information Technology department.
  8. Users of Health First computing facilities and telecommunications networks shall use these resources prudently, and avoid making excessive demands on these facilities in a manner that would knowingly impair the use of these resources by others.
Access and Disclosure of Telecommunications

Access to and disclosure of electronic information shall be governed by the following rules:

  1. Health First employees responsible for the management or maintenance of computer or telecommunications systems may, in the course of their duties, have access to proprietary information or other information of a confidential nature, including electronic and voice messages. Professional ethics dictate that any person having access to proprietary or confidential information:
    1. Use that access only to the extent required to discharge the assigned responsibilities of that person’s position
    2. Not disclose any such information unless it is absolutely required
    3. Not to use, in any manner, such information or knowledge for personal gain
  2. In general, any information residing in computer or telecommunications storage space allocated to individual users (and not assigned permission making it routinely accessible to others), as well as copyrighted information, electronic mail or voice mail message files, and any other information so designated by appropriate authority, shall be regarded as proprietary or confidential information, and shall not to be disclosed. It is part of the duties of each person having access to proprietary or confidential information, however, to pursue any case of actual or suspected abuse or misuse of resources. Proper pursuit of such cases shall, in general, require that person to disclose relevant information to supervisors or designated investigators.
  3. Any person having or gaining access to proprietary or confidential information who is found guilty of violating the above standards of confidentiality shall be subject to appropriate Health First and statutory sanctions.
  4. Users of Health First computing and telecommunication networks shall be aware that messages sent and received on computing and network resources are potentially accessible to others through normal system administration activities, and to the public through public record laws, subpoenas, decoding, interception, or, other means. Hence, Health First cannot guarantee complete privacy of electronic communications through electronic dispatch.
  5. A Health First employee may read, view, listen to, or otherwise access electronic messages without the knowledge or consent of the employee whose messages are being accessed only upon express prior authorization from the department supervisor or his/her designee or from the president or his/her designee. Such prior authorization shall be given in writing, and must clearly state the purpose of granting such access.
  6. Information access in such instances shall not be disclosed without prior written authorization from the department supervisor or his/her designee or from the president or his/her designee. Such prior authorization to disclose shall be given only in cases involving a possible breach of system security, a violation of law, a violation of a Health First rule or policy, or dereliction of duty or responsibility on the part of a Health First employee.
Use of Telecommunications

Telecommunication networks are intended to be used for appropriate purposes and:

  1. Employees shall not send telecommunication messages whose content is defamatory, or which constitutes a breach of telecommunication security, or are in violation of Federal, State, or local laws or Health First rules or policies.
  2. Telecommunication messages intended for general distribution to all users shall be reviewed and approved in advance by the appropriate department head or designee to determine that such information is suitable for general distribution.
  3. Chain letters or similar material are prohibited.
  4. Utilizing electronic systems for improper or unlawful activity, speech, or graphical presentations involving obscenity and/or pornographic information is forbidden.
  5. Telecommunication messages are not intended to be permanent. Users whose telecommunication messages must be retained indefinitely should retain a copy of such information in printed form if needed for reasons of permanence or to meet legal requirements.
Enforcement of Rules

Violations of Health First policies shall be referred to the appropriate Health First officials. Suspected criminal violations of Federal, State, or local laws shall be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies or any other applicable authorities or agencies.  Any violation of the rules and policies described above generally shall result in immediate loss of network and computer access privileges.

Definition of Terms

For the purpose of this rule, the following terms are described as follows:
  1. Telecommunications means all communications made through or on Health First telephones, electronic mail, radios, facsimile machines, computer or any other electronic device.
  2. Health First Communications means all communications that have a Health First business purpose.
  3. Personal Communications means all communications that do not have a Health First business purpose.
  4. Ownership means telecommunications that are made on or through Health First equipment or software programs links provided to employees for their use as employees conducting Health First business.
  5. Use of Telecommunication Equipment means telecommunication equipment provided to employees for their use as employees conducting Health First business.
  6. System Administrator means the person responsible for managing computer and/or fileserver operating systems and application software.
  7. Network Administrator means the person responsible for managing telecommunication network software and hardware infrastructure.
  8. Information Technology resources means the technology infrastructure for access and exchange of information, which includes computing and telecommunications (voice, video, and data) devices and associated resources to operate, maintain and utilize the technology infrastructure.
  9. Information Technology Systems Security Officer means the person responsible for insuring the integrity and security of Health First information content.
Maintenance of Confidentiality and Release
of General Information and Patient Records

Any information of a medical nature, including patient medical records, shall be governed by the established rules of Health First as noted in the Health First Facilities Operations Manuals. Anyone not using medical information consistent with these established policies will be held accountable per the existing policies and regulations as noted in theses manuals and per all governing local, State, and federal laws.