Medical record privacy and adolescent patients

We know how important your child’s health is to you. We take seriously our obligation to balance your adolescent’s privacy rights with providing tools for you to help manage your child’s health care. Your child’s rights are especially important when they may seek certain sensitive services or types of care. We work to ensure that adolescents feel they are able to have private conversations with their physicians and other health care providers.

Your role in monitoring your child’s health records

Responsible parents taking an active role in their children’s medical records is at the heart of our online medical record, MyChart. Our doctors and nurses are partners with you in your child’s care, and we’re pleased to be able to share information about our care through this secure, convenient channel. 

Respecting your child’s privacy rights

UI Hospitals & Clinics and UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital follow the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics to protect the privacy of health care provided to patients 12 years old and older. Certain state and federal laws also recognize these rights for adolescents. Through our MyChart practice, parents can continue accessing their child’s MyChart account, but with a different level of access to information.

What this level of access allows

After a child reaches the age of 12, parents and guardians can print immunization records, send messages to clinic staff, and pay bills. Parents and legal guardians always have access to any portion of their minor child’s medical record to which they are legally entitled. Because MyChart is an abbreviated version of the complete medical record, some portions might not be viewable on MyChart anyway.

As of Dec. 17, 2019, parents/legal guardians will have access to their child’s MyChart account until the child reaches age 14. You may start to receive notifications about this after Oct. 17, 2019. Contact UI Health Access at 1-800-777-8442 or 1-319-384-8442 with any questions or concerns.

Parents can request this information via MyChart or in a letter addressed to Health Information Management Department, Release of Information Office, 200 Hawkins Dr., Iowa City, IA 52242. In emergencies, requests can be sent by email to him-consentform@uiowa.eduor by fax to 319-356-3079. 

Here are examples of types of care for which an adolescent has a right of confidentiality:

  • Prevention, diagnosis, or treatment for sexually transmitted infections
  • Sexual abuse or assault victim care
  • Mental health-related services
  • Blood donation
  • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Tobacco cessation services
  • Contraceptive care and counseling
  • Organ donation