Medical Records: Privacy & Confidentiality

Health Services maintains an electronic medical record for each patient. This record is initiated when you complete your health history form as an incoming student. Our records are maintained and protected under high security standards.

Privacy Notice

Health Services Privacy Notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.


Confidentiality is important to us as well as to you. You can be assured of confidential treatment of your medical records and will have the opportunity to approve or refuse the release of information. You, the student, are our patient; parents do not have access to your medical records without your consent. Medical information is not released to other university staff (e.g., deans, professors, Psychological Services) without your written consent. There are a very few exceptions when release of specific information without your expressed consent is necessary in emergencies or is required by law (e.g., in court cases involving claims of insurance fraud, malpractice or liability). Each year, every staff member in Health Services signs the following legally-binding confidentiality agreement.

Health Services Employee Confidentiality Statement and Agreement

I acknowledge that all medical information relating to patients seen at Brown University Health Services is of a confidential nature, and that breaches of confidentiality can severely impair the overall effectiveness of Health Services in achieving its mission. I will maintain strict confidentiality concerning any patient information I become aware of during the course of my work. I am aware that breaches of the law are subject to penalties according to R.I. State Law. I am aware that a breach of confidentiality may result in disciplinary procedures and may result in termination of employment.

Access to medical records is limited to the staff of Health Services. All providers who work in Health Services have access to your medical record in order to assure continuity of your care; it is difficult to provide good care if we have to start from scratch each time you come in.

Why can more than one provider see my medical record?

Because we are a "group practice," each patient has one medical record that is used by all medical providers. The concept of a group practice may be new to you and you may have questions about how many people have access to your medical records. If you previously had a pediatrician or family doctor who had a private practice, s/he probably worked with a nurse and a receptionist. In that case, those three people had access to your records; they did not share them with the doctor across town (unless she/he was also taking care of you). Your records stayed in that office.

Likewise, your medical record stays in Health Services; we do not share it with the deans, Psychological Services, your parents. But Health Services is a little different in that we have more than three people working here. Health Services' philosophy of health care emphasizes providing "continuity of care" and treating the whole person rather than individual parts or illnesses. "Continuity of care" means knowing enough about a patient's health and previous illness to provide health care that is appropriate for the patient. To do this, a provider must take into consideration the patient's medical history, other illness, medications, etc. Having one medical record instead of five facilitates continuity of care.

Regarding release of information to insurance or outside consultants: As the patient, you must sign a form to request and allow Health Services to release your medical information. On the release form you indicate what information you wish released and to whom the information should go. There is also a section of the release form that allows you to specify one of three options for specific types of information. This section states,

_____ Release all information in my medical record.
_____ Release all information in my medical record, except for: mental health; drug or alcohol abuse; sexually transmitted diseases; or HIV related information, including testing.
_____ Release only the following specific information in such records (state illness and/or treatment and specify dates. This section states, please release/do not release..

What happens to my medical record after I leave Brown?

We are required by law to keep medical records for 5 (five) years after a student leaves Brown. The records are then destroyed. You may request a copy of your medical record anytime prior to the five-year deadline.

To Request a Copy of Your Medical Record

To request a copy of your medical record, you must fill out and sign a release of information form.

Click here for a printable copy of the Medical Record Release Form and fax it to (401) 863-7953 or email it to or mail it to Health Services at Brown University, Box 1928, Providence, RI 02912.

There is no charge for one or two page copies (e.g., immunization record, lab results); we can mail or FAX the information. We cannot FAX your entire medical record. If you want a copy of your entire medical record, there is a charge of 25 cents per page if there are more than twenty pages (the first twenty pages are free). Checks should be made payable to Brown University.

Always include the following information in a request for medical records (so that we can find your records):

  • your name;
  • Banner #;
  • complete current address and phone;
  • the last year you were at Brown.

Immunization Record Request

If you are requesting only your immunization record, a release of information form is not required.

If you enrolled at Brown after September 2006, you can log into Brown Health Services Online Student Health using your Brown username and password and print your own immunization record. Medical students (regardless of your enrollment date) can access their immunization data electronically.
After logging in, click on the Immunization listing and View History to print your record. Please note that the medical history section is for pre matriculating students only.

Alternatively, requests can be made to, Brown Health Services, Box 1928, Providence, RI 02912

Click to print an Authorization to Exchange Medical Information by Electronic Mail