Student medical records are housed in Health Services and are confidential. If a student is over the age of 18, Health Services is constrained about sharing health information directly with other parties and parents due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) as well as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). Student medical information is not released to parents, college officials, or others without written authorization from the student unless there is a medical emergency where the safety of the student or other individuals is at risk.
If a student is ill and is visiting Health Services, the student may sign a release of their medical records on a per illness basis. Health Services DOES NOT accept “blanket” HIPPA/FERPA releases, including the medical power of attorney. If a student would like to file a medical power of attorney with Cone Health in the event they become incapacitated, please visit the Cone Health website: Cone Health Advance Directive Packets.
There are some instances in which Health Services will release medical information without the student’s consent. Health Services and University administrators may determine that it is necessary to disclose medical information/records education records to appropriate parties (including University administrators, parents/emergency contacts, other medical staff, public health officials) in order to address a health or safety emergency. Health or safety emergency provisions permit such disclosures when the disclosure is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. For instance, if there is a medical emergency and the student is transferred to the hospital for a serious or life-threatening situation, Health Services will contact The Student Life Emergency Response Staff. If the student is unconscious, incapacitated, or there is a risk to the student’s safety, the Student Life Emergency Response Staff will notify the designated student’s emergency contact. In the absence of a designated emergency contact or if that party cannot be reached in a timely manner, the staff will notify parents.
This exception to the general consent requirement is limited to the period of the emergency and generally does not allow for a blanket release of medical information from a student’s medical records.
Note: It is important that the student maintains and updates their contact records, including emergency contacts and parent contact information. To do so, students may log in to OnTrack to update their information.