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Haverford College
Health Services

About Us: Patient Rights & Responsibilities

The Student Health Service staff is pleased to work with students and to assist them in the maintenance of good health.  We are available to advise students on how to stay healthy and to assist them when they are ill or injured.

The Health Services Staff agree to provide:


Students have the right to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their race, age, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation.  We will work as efficiently as possible and be concerned for individual's need for comprehensive, quality care. We will listen to their concerns and questions.  We will introduce ourselves and address them according to their preference.


All patients will be provided with privacy. All discussions, examination and treatment will be conducted in privacy. Any individual in addition to the practitioner will be explained to the patient and will be introduced to patient by name.


All communications between a patient and the clinician, as well as records containing identifiable health information about a patient, are considered confidential information.  With limited exceptions, patients must give written permission/authorization before any identifiable health information may be given to any person not directly connected with the patient's care, including parents and College officials. Exceptions to this written permission requirement include, among other things, reporting certain communicable disease to the Health Department and disclosure to accreditation agencies. Before you authorize a disclosure, make sure you understand what information will be sent and the reasons it is needed. You may wish to discuss the information to be released with a clinician before giving you authorization. Patients may arrange to inspect their records and have the information in the records explained to them before they authorize the release of information. Patients may have direct access to their medical records, either by inspection or by obtaining copies.


Patients will be expected to be an active participant in decision regarding their health. They have the right to know and understand the following:

  • Health Services procedures;
  • the assessment of the medical problem;
  • what tests are being done and why;
  • the risks of any tests or procedures;
  • alternatives to any recommended procedure and their risks;
  • the name of the person who will care for them;
  • what treatment is recommended and its potential side effects and risk;
  • the prospects for resolution of the problem;
  • the charges for care;
  • details of the medical circumstance in language they can understand;
  • and a full explanation of any bills incurred, and how the insurance coverage works (if they are on the College plan).


Students have the right to service for their health needs. They should expect that reasonable request for service is met. If the health center policies prevent us from meeting their request, they have the right to a clear explanation for the reason. They should expect continuity of care. They should expect that they would be advised in advance of the time and location of any appointment and the name of the practitioner they will be seeing. They have the right to refuse service. They can decline to accept a propose test or treatment. They may leave from any part of the building against our advice unless it is judged to be medically unwise. Student should expect that they would be given an explanation of the anticipated medical consequence if they refuse care, and they must sign an AMA (against medical advice) form if recommended treatment were refused. They have a right to a second medical opinion before making any decision.  They have the right to see the same gender practitioner or opposite gender, if desired. They have the right to request the same practitioner for continuous care. They have the right to change practitioners if they feel they have a personality conflict or other concerns, which impact their health care needs.

Provisions for after hour care and emergency care are published in the student health services brochure,the student guide and the college catalogue, web page, on the health center's phone message, posted in the security department and on the front door of the Health Services.

Grievances and suggestions may be submitted to the Student Health Services Advisory Committee, The Director of the Health Center, The Suggestion Box (either online or in the reception area), and the Annual Health Services Surveys.

Patient Responsibilities:

As a consumer of a health service you have responsibilities as well as rights. You can help yourself by being responsible in the following ways:

  • Give an accurate history of your illness and your medications. 
  • Be honest and direct about everything that relates to you needs for health service. 
  • Tell those who are helping you how you feel about the things that are happening to you. When in doubt, ask a question! 
  • Understand your health problems or needs. If you do not understand the treatment plan or the test, ask the health care provider about it. It is your responsibility to follow the prescribed plan. It also is your responsibility to advise the people helping you whether or not you will follow the prescribed plan. 
  • Be on time for your appointment and if you cannot keep your appointment, please advise us at least 24hrs before your appointment or a $25.00 fee will be charged.
  • Report to the Student Health Service about any changes in your health in relationship to your treatment.
  • Know and remember the names of the personnel who serve you. The Student Health Service staff will make every effort to make this an easy task (by introducing themselves at each visit and wearing name tags).

Your health is a shared responsibility between you and us. Let's be good partners in this endeavor!

Remember: Being a good health consumer does not mean being a silent partner in you health concerns. When you want to know, ask! When you have questions, speak up! When you have problems, complain! When you like what happens, tell us! When you don't like what happens, tell us- so we can correct it! If you feel your rights have not been respected, contact the Director.