Confidentiality Policy

The Brooklyn College Health Clinic adheres to a very strict confidentiality policy.

Case discussions are held in private and limited to appropriate health care providers.

Health Clinic clerical staff and health care providers giving direct care may read and write on the patient’s chart or computer data system. Chart and computer information may include:

  • identifying data (name, age, gender, address, phone, etc.),
  • name of insurance plan, if any (for lab billing, Rx),
  • medical data, or
  • social data.

Charts are stored in a locked file cabinet within a separately locked room within the locked clinic. Computer records are encrypted and secured from unauthorized access.

Written requests are required for the release of medical records to other providers or agencies. Contents of all information to be released shall be reviewed by a clinician. If desired, prior to the release of information, the patient may review the records with the clinician so that parts of the record not specifically relevant to the needs of the receiving agency will not be copied. The Health Clinic is willing to exclude from the copy records of visits for conditions that are episodic in nature and do not have any bearing on the long-term health condition of the patient.

In the event of a request for release of information over the telephone, great care must be made to ensure that information is not released inappropriately. (For example, if a patient calls for lab results, identifying personal data will be requested to confirm identity.)

Students may have access to their own medical records. Review of the record will be under the supervision of authorized clinic staff to avoid the possibility of any document alteration. Photocopies of medical records may be given directly to a requesting patient. Original medical records are never to leave the clinic.

Written authorization by the patient is required for release of information to any outside person, party or agency. In the event of a subpoena, legal counsel at Brooklyn College will review forms to ensure appropriate release.

Authorizations are not required for release of information to:

  • Another health care facility via telephone (after verification) when the information is needed for direct emergency care of the patient.
  • Another medical provider that is at that moment treating the patient. (After verification, a valid authorization is to be sent as soon as possible.)
  •  State and local health departments and/or other agencies listed below. (If possible, the patient will be informed in advance that certain diseases may be reportable.)
    • Communicable Disease Control
    • Bureau of Maternity and Family Planning Services
    • State Department of Labor
    • Medical Examiner
  • Third-party payers that have clauses in their contracts allowing for release of information. A signed consent from the insurance company will be requested.

All efforts are made to protect patient confidentiality. However, an exception is made in cases when patients pose an imminent threat of harm to themselves or others.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more information about your rights as a patient.

Brooklyn. All in.