Confidentiality and privacy of student health information is of paramount importance at OSU Student Health Services. Student Health Services follows all applicable state and federal laws related to the disclosure of medical and mental health information, and applies the highest professional standards of care and privacy. No information about a student can be released to any third party without the student's permission to do so. Student Health Services employs staff who work directly with students in managing their health records and who specialize in information and data security. All staff, student employees and volunteers are routinely trained on confidentiality and security practices.

With a student's consent, Student Health Services may disclose information for the purposes of providing medical treatment and to bill the student's insurance company for services and treatment received. Student Health Services’ electronic medical record provides a highly secure Patient Portal, which can report test results to students, as well as provide secure messaging between the student and their health care provider.

In some circumstances Student Health Services providers may need to disclose health information without a student's written consent:

  • If necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or others
  • If the student reports current abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult or child
  • As a result of a court order or subpoena  
  • To verify to the university whether the student has completed all mandatory immunizations
  • Other instances required by law, or that are timely and necessary to protect the health and safety of others. For example, certain communicable diseases will be reported to the Benton County Health Department.

Release of Medical Information

A patient can sign a release allowing SHS to discuss specific medical information with their parents, significant others or health care representatives. There is no limit to how many conditions or visits for which a student may authorize release of information. However, to protect patient privacy and the ability to make informed decisions about release of specific medical information, SHS will not accept “blanket” releases applying to future records, unless these are going to a medical entity.

Students can list a parent as an emergency contact on their electronic health information form. If the student seeks care at SHS and there is an emergency situation present, SHS staff may notify the person listed as the emergency contact. If the parent is not listed as the emergency contact they may not be contacted. If the student is receiving emergency care at the community ER or through an outside medical provider, that facility would issue the emergency contact.  

SHS encourages students to be in direct contact with their parents about their health situation. A student may call a parent from the clinician’s office, allowing the parent to speak directly with the clinician during the appointment.