Confidentiality and Privacy

Confidentiality and Privacy

We want everyone to feel comfortable seeking the care needed without worrying about privacy issues. All medical care and counseling at Rutgers Student Health (RSH) is confidential. Our staff members have a legal and ethical obligation to protect your privacy. Federal and state confidentiality practices maintain strict security controls over patient health information.

Health Records

Every time a healthcare provider at RSH has an encounter with you, during an appointment, on the telephone, or through email, the information collected is documented in your electronic health record.

Health records are completely separate from all other records, including academic records. Your health information cannot be released to anyone, including parents or any other part of the Rutgers community (i.e., faculty, staff, etc.), without your written consent. Exceptions include regulatory audits, when required by law, or when necessary in our judgment to protect the you or others from a serious threat to health and safety.If you wish to receive a copy of your health records or to disclose health information to others, a request for this release must be made in writing. This request can be can be made electronically, at the front deskd of all RSH facilities, or you can use the Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information Form.

For a full description of how health information about you may be used or disclosed, please see the Notice of Privacy Practices.

Confidentiality Mandate

Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records:

The confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse patient records maintained by this program is protected by federal laws and regulations. Generally, the program may not say to a person outside the program that a person attends the program or disclose any information, including identifying a client as an alcohol or drug user, UNLESS

  • The client’s consent is in writing
  • The disclosure is allowed by a court order
  • The disclosure is made to medical personnel in a medical emergency, or to qualified personnel for research, audit, or program evaluation
  • The disclosure occurs between healthcare providers for the purpose of coordinating a treatment plan

See 42 U.S.C. 290dd-3 and 42 U.S.C. 290ee-3 for federal laws and 42 CFR – Part 2 for federal regulations.


HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which protects patient rights regarding personal health information. FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which applies to educational records. Student Health records are considered treatment records under FERPA and are held to a much higher standard of privacy that other educational records.

Email Communication

To help ensure privacy, patients are cautioned against sending sensitive, detailed personal information to RSH via regular (non-secure) email. Patients who wish to communicate with their providers via email are encouraged to use the secure messaging email system available through the Patient Portal,, which allows communication directly within the healthcare system between the patient and the provider.