University Health and Counseling Services
Ambrose Center

About Us

Patient Rights

What are my Rights & Responsibilities as a patient/client?

  1. The right to be treated with respect, consideration and dignity without regard to race, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political belief, or handicap.
  2. The right to request and receive information concerning your diagnosis, evaluation, treatment and prognosis, in easily understandable terms. This includes your right to review your medical record and/or receive a copy of it. When it is medically inadvisable to give such information to you, such as being physically, mentally or emotionally incapacitated, the information will be provided to a person designated by you or to a legally authorized person.
  3. The right to receive enough information to give informed consent before a procedure is performed and when possible, to participate in all decisions affecting your health.
  4. The right to have opportunity to participate in decisions involving your health care, except when such participation is contraindicated for medical reasons, such as being physically, mentally or emotionally incapacitated.
  5. The right to be informed regarding your treating professional’s credentials, record keeping, goals, techniques to be used, limitations of treatment, and to receive a response to any other questions you may have. The right to expect your health care provider to adhere to all ethical standards of their profession.
  6. The right to refuse any medical or counseling services and to request and receive information about the potential risks and benefits associated with not receiving care.
  7. The right to privacy regarding all aspects of your treatment.
  8. The right to have your personal health information held in confidence as protected by state and federal law. This information cannot be shared with anyone outside UHCS without your written permission or under circumstances prescribed by law, such as a life threatening situation; court order; reporting of certain communicable diseases and actual or potential abuse of vulnerable individuals; or providing confidential information to authorized officials conducting security investigations under the Patriot Act (which prohibits us from notifying you when a release occurs). Student workers handling your record must meet the same confidentiality standards as staff. Serious breach of confidentiality is grounds for dismissal for students or staff.
  9. The right to receive and review a current copy of our NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES. It can be found on the UHCS web site which is updated as indicated.
  10. The right to reasonable response to your request for services, to offer suggestions for improving services, to file a grievance, information on procedures for filing a grievance and how to make external appeals. Procedures for expressing suggestions, complaints and grievances are posted on our website or are available with the receptionist.
  11. The right to quality health care, health maintenance and health education with an emphasis on prevention.
    Upon request, we can provide information regarding:
    • Diagnostic and clinical services on-site, our hours, fees, and special preventive and therapeutic services for certain high risk groups
    • Contact information for health care providers when UHCS is closed.
    • Our policies on treatment of un-emancipated minors
    • Health education programs
    • Access to in-patient care, dental services, and consultation by specialists.
  12. The right to expect that when we are not open, you will have information on how to access urgent or emergency care.
  13. The right to be informed of continuing health care needs and the right to expect reasonable continuity of care when referrals to other agencies or services are made. In addition, you have a right to know about our relationships with other institutions and services as they affect your care.
  14. The right to expect UHCS to inform you of any plans to engage in research affecting your care, and to give you the right to refuse to participate.
  15. The right to expect UHCS to advocate control of environmental problems or factors affecting your health, (e.g. nutrition, sanitation, noise, crowding, safety, stress, etc.)
  16. The responsibility to take an active role in your own health care by:
    • Providing us complete and accurate information to the best of your ability about your health, any medications, including over-the-counter products and dietary supplements and any allergies or sensitivities
    • Following the treatment plan prescribed by your provider
    • Providing a responsible adult to transport you home from our facility and remain with you for 24 hours, if required by the provider
    • Informing your provider about any living will, medical power of attorney, or other directives that could affect your care
    • Accepting personal financial responsibility for any charges (student bill, purple points, cash or check)
    • Being respectful of all health care providers and staff, as well as other patients
    • Canceling appointments, allowing us to schedule this time with another patient needing services
  17. The right to change health care providers if other qualified health care providers are available.
  18. UHCS is an integrated health and counseling service. All providers involved in your care have full and ready access to your health or counseling chart for the purpose of coordinating your care. You have a right to limit sharing of information between providers. If you have concerns, discuss with your provider.
  19. The right to receive this information in the manner you prefer.

Advanced Directives
The Patient Self Determination Act (PSDA) requires us to provide to you written information about Advanced Directives. Wisconsin Advanced Directive forms may be downloaded from Or visit your State's Department of Family and Health.

Who may see my health or counseling record?

Who can see my health or counseling record? This is a question frequently asked at the University Health & Counseling Services. If you are over 18 years old No One can see your records without your consent.

The privacy of the medical or counseling record is protected by longstanding precedent and by law. No person outside UHCS has access to medical or counseling records unless a written release is signed by the patient or parent of a minor, or in rare exceptions as prescribed by law.

The implication of these statements for the University Health & Counseling Services is that medical or counseling records are not available to parents, to teachers, to administrators, or any unauthorized individual. The Health & Counseling Services on this campus makes continuing efforts to protect the confidentiality of individual records by education of staff and by careful attention to handling and to the method of storage.

What is done with my health or counseling record when I leave school?

Currently health and counseling records are stored for ten years after a student leaves school and then are shredded by a member of the UHCS staff. For the years they are stored, they are exclusively under the control of UHCS personnel.

May I take my record with me when I leave school?

Medical or counseling records belong to the physician, the counselor, the clinic, the hospital, or the medical facility where the record is generated. However, the patient has the right to determine who has access to the information, has the right to know what the record contains, and with a properly signed release and the payment of any required fees, may obtain a copy. The University Health & Counseling Services also cooperates in sending information to other physicians, counselors, medical centers, or insurance companies when a written request is received and proper authorization is given.

What information is kept in a health record?

Most practitioners or counselors keep a record of each visit or substantial phone call by a patient. The standard format is the chief complaint or reason for the visit, events discussed, the history of the present illness, the objective physical findings and laboratory results, the diagnosis and recommended treatment. Past medical or counseling history and social, environmental, and family data also may be recorded since these are frequently important factors in illnesses and injuries.

Why is it necessary to keep a record?

Memory for medical or upsetting events is notoriously poor. Research has shown that a hospitalization, an unusual happening for most, is often not reported a year following the event. For the patient it is important that a record be kept of reactions to drugs, immunizations, laboratory findings, blood pressure and certain other physical findings to name just a few. The perspective of time and serial recordings sometimes can provide a simple answer to seemingly complex situation.

The required history completed on the first visit helps the health care providers or counselors at the University Health & Counseling Services to provide better care particularly when the student has pertinent past history and/or physical findings.

When do I Become a Patient/Client?

A professional relationship and privileged communication between yourself and a UHCS provider begins at the time of professional consultation, examination or interview for services at UHCS. Submission of medical information, documentation and/or authorization forms does not create an official patient/client and health care provider relationship.


All information on this website is written by UHCS professional staff unless otherwise noted. No data is collected on visitors to this site. Financial Support for this web site is provided by University Health & Counseling Service, Division of Student Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. This web site does not accept advertising.

This site is not meant to replace the advice of a health care or counseling professional. You should not rely on any information on these pages, or information generated for you by this site, to replace consultations with qualified professionals regarding your own specific situation. Some links take you to a source outside of UHCS. The owners of that site, not UHCS, are responsible for the content.