Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Read below to learn about our commitments to your privacy and other patient rights, as well as what is expected of you as a partner in your own medical care while at RISD.

Privacy statement

We at Rhode Island School of Design (“RISD”) Health Services are committed and dedicated to providing our patients with high quality healthcare. Maintaining patient privacy and confidentiality is our top priority and a standard of quality that all of our employees uphold. Our staff is bound by state and federal laws regarding disclosure of any patient’s personal health information (“PHI”). Health Services employees will not disclose PHI to RISD faculty, staff or any other parties unless there is a serious danger to yourself or others or if disclosure is required by law.

Patient bill of rights

As a patient of Health Services, you have the right to:

  • be treated with consideration, dignity and respect at all times.
  • keep all medical records and communications confidential, to the extent provided by law.
  • receive considerate care that is respectful of your personal, cultural and spiritual beliefs.
  • know the identity of the health care professional interviewing and/or examining you.
  • be examined by your doctor or other healthcare provider in private.
  • speak to your healthcare provider in private.
  • receive appropriate assessment and management of your symptoms.
  • have your health care needs explained and questions answered in terms that you understand.
  • know your diagnosis, prognosis, testing, and treatment plan in terms that you understand.
  • participate in decisions involving your health care.
  • be informed of common side effects of your medication, when prescribed.
  • know what other health care or treatment is available to you.
  • choose or change your provider at your discretion.
  • be assured of the confidential treatment of disclosures and records and to have the opportunity to approve or refuse the release of such information, except when release of information is required by law or is necessary to safeguard you or the RISD community.
  • participate in the consideration of ethical issue(s) that arise in the provision of your care.
  • refuse to be examined or treated and be informed of the consequence(s) of such decisions.
  • know the contents of your medical records.
  • request your medical records and have them given to you.
  • be accompanied by an interpreter if you need one.
  • know you are safe and can trust Health Services to support and/or protect your health care needs.
  • know you will receive the best possible care honoring your health care choices.

Patient responsibilities

As a patient of Health Services, it is your responsibility to:

  • be forthcoming to health care provider(s) regarding your medical and mental health history and all pertinent health information, including but not limited to current symptoms, pain and/or medication, in order to enhance the ability of your provider(s) to make an accurate assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • take an active interest in your own health outcomes and goals by asking questions about your condition and the treatment plan outlined by your provider.  
  • work with your provider to optimize your health care outcome by following the treatment plan or by adjusting it with your provider according to your needs.
  • keep appointments or contact Health Services in a timely manner if you need to cancel or reschedule appointments.
  • understand your health insurance policy—including lab work, outside provider referrals or hospitalizations—whether it is provided by RISD or through a private insurance company.
  • respect the privacy of others.
  • treat Health Services staff and providers with dignity and respect at all times.


Below is the confidentiality statement that all students must sign via the patient portal, before beginning attendance at RISD:

“I hereby grant permission to be examined and treated according to a reasonable standard of care by the health care provider and their authorized representatives at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Health Services. I have the right to refuse any diagnostic tests, medication, referrals or treatments that are recommended.

All information shared with the RISD Health Services staff is kept strictly confidential.  Professional discussion about a student which uses identifying information will be limited to those persons at RISD who are involved in the student’s care.  Any additional disclosure will require a release form signed by the student.  Exceptions to the confidentiality policy are limited to those situations where there is a court order or evidence of danger to self or others.  In an emergency or in the case of a student under the age of 18, parental disclosure may be made by a director or professional staff involved in the student’s care.

I understand that to provide the best possible care for students, the clinician may share information, when appropriate, with professionals within RISD Counseling and Psychological Services for the purposes of diagnosis and treatment planning. I also acknowledge that RISD Health Services must abide by both Rhode Island State Law and the individual policies of area hospitals with regard to consent to medical treatment of a minor.

I give permission for my lab results to be sent to me electronically.  I understand that the Medical Online Student Health System used to transmit lab results and correspond with my health care provider is secure and meets HIPAA confidentiality guidelines.

I acknowledge that I understand the RISD Health Services Confidentiality Policy and that I consent to treatment.”

Release of medical records

Prior to attending RISD, all students must submit a signed medical records release authorization form, per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This allows Health Services to share documentation related to your current health status to a party of your choosing. Submit your signed HIPAA form to us via the patient portal.

Parental consent to treat minor student

If you are under the age of 18, your parent or guardian must sign submit (via the patient portal) an authorization form Health Services to provide treatment.