Information about Confidentiality and Your Health Record at Parton
Welcome to Parton Center for Health and Wellness (Health Service, Counseling, and Sports Medicine). This document contains important information about privacy, confidentiality, and our commitment to social justice. When you visit Parton your health care provider will also discuss with you information specific to your care and may provide you with additional information. Please bring up any questions you might have so that we can discuss them during your visit with us.
Understanding Your Health Record
Each time you visit Parton (Health Service, Counseling, and Sports Medicine), or when Parton has an interaction with someone else about your care, the information is documented in a password protected electronic health file. This file is protected with security measures and accessible only to Health, Counseling, and Sports Medicine staff. Typically, this record contains a summary of your health concerns and symptoms, physical exam, test results, diagnoses, progress notes, treatment, referrals, and plan for future care or treatment if appropriate. This information makes up your “health record” or personal health information, and serves as a:
- Basis for planning your care and tracking your progress;
- Means of communication with other health professionals who contribute to your care;
- Legal document describing the care you received;
- Source of information for Vermont and national health professionals charged with monitoring community health (only under very restricted circumstances);
- Resource we use to assess and improve the care we provide.
You may request a copy or summary of all or part of your health records. Because these are professional records, and sometimes contain technical language, we recommend that you review them with us before requesting a copy or summary. Parton Center for Health and Wellness retains your records for a period of seven (7) years following your graduation.
Commitment to Confidentiality
Health records at Parton are confidential and are completely separate from all other College records. Students have the right to control who has access to their health care information, and Parton will not release any information about you without your written permission, except under the following conditions:
- As authorized or required by law (i.e., when we are presented with a valid court order requiring us to release records);
- As necessary to protect you and/or others from a serious threat to health or safety, or to protect property from a serious threat of damage;
- As necessary to notify parents and/or deans when you have a serious mental or physical health problem and are unable to assume responsibility for notifying others.
In addition, Parton medical, sports medicine, and counseling staff confer with one another as needed to provide coordinated care for you. Parton also works with Porter Hospital, the Counseling Services of Addison County (CSAC), and any other off-campus health care providers that you identify to us. When students receive treatment at multiple offices, we exchange only such information as is needed to ensure that you receive appropriate care. You may limit the information we share at any time.
Commitment to Social Justice
Parton strives to create a safe, affirming, and non-judgmental environment that embraces human diversity, including differences in race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, marital status, place of birth, and individuals with disabilities. We are committed to respecting the uniqueness and complexity of student identities, life experiences, and multiple contexts in which these occur.
Treatment of Minors
Vermont State Law limits the ability of minors (those under the age of 18) to authorize their own health care. This means we may need authorization to provide treatment from a parent or legal guardian of a student who qualifies as a minor. If you are under age 18, please refer to the document Treatment of a Minor 2015-16 (available in any Parton office and on our website) or speak with one of our health care providers to clarify the conditions under which a minor may or may not be able to authorize their own medical and mental health care. Under some circumstances, parents or legal guardians may have the right to access the medical or mental health records of a minor.
Other Legal Issues, Limits, Your Consent and Signature
We hope this written summary of information is helpful to you. However, please discuss with us any questions or concerns that you may have. We welcome questions about this document and anything related to your care at Parton.
If a court finds that any of the language in this document is invalid, the rest of the language in the document will remain in effect. A copy of this document can be provided for you at your request.
Please note: Middlebury College and Parton Center for Health and Wellness are not subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and therefore are not required to comply with the various federal regulations relating to the use and disclosure of health information. Middlebury College is, however, committed to protecting student privacy. This policy should not be interpreted as creating any contractual rights and Middlebury College reserves the right to make changes to this policy at any time without prior notice.