Policies and Guidelines

Ensuring the best possible care in a campus setting.
In this Section

Student Health Services is focused on providing a high quality of care for our students. 

In order to ensure this level of quality, please review our policies and guidelines.

Email Guidelines

There are certain risks inherent in e-mail communication. The Health Care Provider (Provider) will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of e-mail information sent and received. However, the Provider cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of e-mail communications and will not be liable for improper disclosure of confidential information that is not caused by the Provider's intentional misconduct. Patients who chose to utilize e-mail to contact a Provider should agree to the following.

Email Conditions and Risks

Conditions For Use of Email:

  • All e-mails to and from the patient will be printed out and made part of the patient's medical record. Because they are part of the medical record, other individuals authorized to access the medical record, such as staff and billing personnel, will have access to those e-mails.
  • Provider may forward e-mails internally to Provider's staff and agents as necessary. Provider will not, however, forward e-mails to independent third parties without the patient's prior written consent, except as authorized or required by law.
  • Although the Provider will endeavor to read and respond promptly to an e-mail from the patient, the Provider cannot guarantee that any particular e-mail will be read and responded to within any particular time. Thus, the patient shall not use e-mail for medical emergencies or other time-sensitive matters.
  • If the patient's e-mail requires or invites a response from the Provider, and the patient has not received a response within a reasonable amount of time, it is the patient's responsibility to follow up to determine whether the intended recipient received the e-mail and when the recipient will respond.
  • The patient should not use e-mail for communication regarding sensitive medical information such as information regarding sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS/HIV, mental health, developmental disability or substance abuse.
  • The Provider will not, in general, use e-mail to communicate laboratory or other test results, nor will give medical advice or other specific medical information using e-mail.
  • The patient is responsible for informing the Provider of any types of information the patient does not want to be sent by e-mail in addition to the conditions mentioned above.
  • The patient is responsible for protecting his/her password or other means of access to e-mail. The Provider is not liable for breaches of confidentiality caused by the patient or any third party.
  • It is the patient's responsibility to follow up and or schedule an appointment if warranted.

Risks For Use of E-mail:

  • E-mail can be circulated, forwarded and stored in numerous paper and electronic files.
  • E-mail can be immediately broadcast worldwide and received by intended and unintended parties
  • E-mails can be easily misaddressed
  • E-mails are easier to falsify than handwritten or signed documents
  • Backup copies of e-mails may exist even if deleted by sender or recipient
  • Employers/online services have a right to archive and inspect e-mails transmitted by their system
  • E-mails can be used to introduce viruses into computer systems; E-mails can be used as evidence in court.

Medical Excuse Policy

It is the policy of UW–Stout Health Services (SHS) not to provide students with medical excuses for short-term absences from class or missed deadlines due to illness or injury. In the event of a prolonged illness or injury requiring medical attention and an absence of more than three (3) days, we frequently work with students to provide appropriate documentation. This policy helps SHS to direct its finite medical resources toward providing health care access for as many students as possible, rather than toward verification of short-term medical absences. Moreover, in cases of students seeking medical excuses after a brief illness or injury that has been effectively and appropriately managed by self-care, our clinicians may have no direct knowledge about the student's condition at the time of the absence.

Medical Excuse Policy Continued

This policy has been in place for many years and reflects our respect for students' medical privacy and our educational mission to help them become mature and independent stewards of their own health care. Our policy is consistent with the policies of many peer institutions, as well as with the medical excuse recommendations of the American College Health Association. 

We recognize that faculty and staff seek equitable means of determining when to excuse student absences, and we believe this policy reinforces the students' responsibility to communicate directly and proactively with faculty/staff about conditions that interfere with their class attendance. We encourage students to speed their own recovery and to refrain from spreading infections such as colds and flu throughout the campus community by staying home when they are too sick to attend class or go to work. We appreciate the many ways in which faculty and other members of the campus community support and assist students during such absences.

In the event that a student needs to miss class due to an illness, injury or an emergency, the Student Health Services recommends that the student contacts their professor(s) and/or the Dean of Students office, preferably before the class or exam takes place, to inform them of the absence. All decisions about the impact of the student's absence on their grade, as well as any arrangements for making up work, rest with the student's professors/instructors.

Please reference: UW-Stout Class Attendance Policies

Confidentiality

If students have reached the age of 18, their medical information is confidential.  As the student’s health care provider, we are legally required to protect the privacy of their health information.  We cannot provide you with any of their health information unless they sign an Authorization to Release Medical Records. In the case of a medical emergency where there may be an issue of harm to self, harm to other and/or of life or death, we may contact you without the consent of the student.

Release of Records

Student Health Services will, upon completion of the Release of Medical Records form, disclose medical records or request records necessary for the continuation of care, personal, or other reasons as deemed necessary.  This form must be completed in full and submitted to our office for processing. The form is processed within 3 days of receiving it. Any questions while completing this form, please call 715-232-1314.